If I had wanted to draw eyes, it would have been a bit like Marqus’s. He had those large wistful eyes- fateful/fated… they opened too wide and had huge bushy eyebrows, on a very angular face . His bones stuck out all over his face, and when he smiled, it scrunched up all together, around those eyes. They stayed wide and staring even then, with a bit of a twinkle, and a bit of seriousness, and what I now know was sadness. Startled surprise- like he’d never thought people would ever like him enough. Fateful sadness, really.
He was a bit of a blue line person.
Dangerous- dangerous, the game that I played-we played- with this boy- this spring leaf/bean sprout of a kid. We should have left well alone.
We were all so young back then. Barely out of bare-footed-ness in so many ways. Could that ever be an excuse…?
I guess this is really me trying to make amends, and say sorry- sorry for judging you, sorry for using our insecurities to put you down and say **** about you, and try to get your attention through all that and then throw you into a wall- a hard wall in your face, when you actually did notice. I am sorry and I wish I could tell you- but its too late now.
Its too late cuz you’re happy and you’re safe and free. Free from all of us and the monster that lived in us. Its just that… I’m not free. Letting that monster loose, altogether, let something else inside, so trickily intricate, well designed, and yet scarily destructive, and pathetic- a permanent non-infinite horrible thing that was there forever- tied forever with everyone else who was there- but could change if I truly tried. I chained my soul to you unasked, unwanted, in the most brutal, horrible way there was, and I have never really been set free… even all these years later…
He was a rather quiet kid, with this basic streak of something rather endearing, a child-like wonder with a bit of un-sure-ness- you’d get the full effect when you’d just met him and he’d just started trusting you enough to tell you about his fears of public speaking or his love of his dreams. Like Leena- he didn’t have that
twisted many-faced guile of the city that we’d imbibed- like it was the most normal thing on Earth- to survive- to keep ourselves, to stay true- with that many-faced-ness- so we lived-we couldn’t have lived any other way-we still can’t-
We shocked him with our barefaced shamelessness and led him on the beguiling dance of always lauding the other side- so we said- and laughed the heck off when he’d take the bait- but then he’d do other-side stuff we’d never do- (but don’t ask just then-we’d have given a long complex answer in the opposite direction). He wore a topi at times and talked endearingly about faith- but he wasn’t particularly practicing of particular things- not others- and so we fit right in- us with our many-faced, staying in the practices- him with his simple sincerity- outside them. And of course, when he crossed the unseen lines that we lauded the crossing of, but secretly despised- we tore through his soul, and his pieces, we tossed to the winds and let them fly-not knowing what we’d done-
behind his back of course. Cuz y’see it was a dangerous game we’d played- and we’d lost. He won.
I just need to be free. SO I’ll say what I should’ve told you then:
I am sorry for saying those things about you behind your back and I’m sorry for being insincere and not showing you who I really was (I am glad you saw through that) and sorry for being mean and treating your mistakes with disdain and cruelty. Sorry for everything. I am glad that you live so happily in that new city. And I wish you well. Forever. Goodbye.
*Marqus is not his real name.
this picture was made using red, blue, green and black pens, and yellow highlighter and paint (both dry and wet) and pastels 🙂