The Mirror is Constantly Tilted at Forty-five Degrees


My birthday is coming up soon. I’m saying this only to provide some context for the state of my mind, not for any possible response this event might elicit. In point of fact if there are any birthday related remarks that end up in the comments section of any of the various social media this post might show up in those comments will be deleted and their perpetrators will be hunted down with extreme prejudice. I don’t really like to acknowledge my birth any more than I absolutely have to as I’m convinced that the fact that I manged to successfully not die for another year isn’t particularly worth commemorating in any significant fashion. That, however, is rather secondary to my thoughts of late.
Contained on this blog are roughly twenty years of my life. I started writing seriously, poetry in particular, when I was around fourteen and that very first poem can be found on here as well as every other piece I consider to be kind of good enough up to the present. I used to write as a young child as well, but never very seriously, mostly just heavily plagiarizing from the various fantasy series I used to read, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms specifically but I never really thought of writing as something I would want to do until I was a teenager. I probably never would have started writing poetry if it hadn’t been for a project in my ninth grade English class and the subsequent support of my teacher Mrs. Crossen. She really seemed to like what I wrote and I would often spend my lunch in her classroom, showing her each new piece. I wonder now though if I was ever really excited about the words or just that I found something I was good at, in fact, I think about it quite often.
All my life I heard the word “potential” used around me, about me, it was something I was apparently full of, teachers and parents and other miscellaneous family were always going on about how much I had or looking at me rather sternly and telling me I was wasting it. The thing is, I never saw it, this miraculous potential. I was average, I am average, just like the majority of the human beings on this planet. I would never say that I excelled at anything in my life or had any particularly outstanding talents. I’m alright in a variety of fields, but I’d never go beyond describing my intellect, physical prowess or appearance, social interaction, or any other skill or characteristic to go beyond general competence. Sometimes I wonder if that is really why I latched on to this idea of being a writer, because suddenly I was good at something and it was something a lot of other people weren’t. I question if I ever really had passion at all or if it was just another mask I put on to blend in, fit somewhere, even if that somewhere happened to be the fringe.
I used to write every day, but as the years passed I slowed down, until at times it’s been months between pieces. I’ve never seriously sought publication, I haven’t gone through the arduous process of submission and rejection in endless cycle. Twenty years and a handful of pieces have appeared in print, most of those in my high school yearbook mostly because I was the only other person to submit. This was supposed to be something I wanted to do, a direction and a path to follow, what I based a lot of important decisions around but if I really wanted to do it, don’t you think I would have actually done it by now, or at least tried?
I think maybe that what I liked more than the words was the recognition. Within a limited group I was “The Writer”, passionate, intellectual, iconoclastic, and I received a certain amount of respect. If I really tried to make this a profession, if I went beyond the comfortable circle jerk of local readings and poetry blogs I think I would find out that the thought lingering and nagging at the back of my brain was correct, that I am mediocre at best. That would then be the end, the whole conceit crashing down and I don’t think I could take that. So I have stayed safe, preserved this kind of fantasy by never leaving the little pond with all my little fishy friends, where I can enjoy this illusion of being big. If I don’t really try I can’t fail.
Hey, I chose the monicker of “Imposter” for myself right? Deep down I think I know that I am a fake. All the words are indeed mine, but the motivation behind them is just to project something that really isn’t there, the distraction a magician needs to make the switch before the “ooo’s” and “ahhs”. I feel some times like I pretend at everything, mask upon mask upon mask, until I am not even sure who I really am any more, or if there is a me left inside. At the last, maybe there’s just the empty space inside the smallest nesting doll and that’s it. It’s gotten to the point were mirrors are frightening, there’s this person in them and I’m not sure who it is any more, like the reflection is not even familiar. Perhaps writing is the illusion I show myself, to allow me to believe I have something remotely like a purpose, that I still have dreams.
Who knows? I don’t and I’m not even really sure if I could stand up to the answers. Truth has always been my greatest enemy and I really don’t think I’m strong enough to really take it. I know I am not writing this for any insight. I’m writing just to get this out. It has always been a very ironic occurrence that these little personal ramblings always elicit the most comment, mostly in the form of fairly useless self help platitudes I think are more for the commentator’s benefit than for mine. That being said, I want to close with this, I am not writing this for attention or sympathy or pity. I can hear the scoff of disbelief as this is being put up on the world wide web, the thing is, I don’t see it as the crying wolf everyone else probably will. I put this personal shit out there not as a shout but as a single tiny voice in a crowd of billions, a tiny single raindrop in an ocean of constant information that is then consumed by all of the other opinions and confessions and sound bites and memes or other effluent that clutters up the margins of the information super highway. I make these little confessionals with the same intent as someone going out to the middle of the woods to scream out their frustrations, not to be heard but just to do it. So, just to nip any thoughts of offering your two cents in the bud, I wouldn’t waste your breath on this piece. Seriously, I am The Beautiful Imposter, so how can you believe any of this?

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2 Responses to “The Mirror is Constantly Tilted at Forty-five Degrees”

  1. hot under the collarless t-shirt Says:

    You call for comment with every post. To deny their intent is an insult to the reader. You could just as easliy relieve yourself by scrawling on asswipe – and keep the screams to yourself.

    Try coughing up a turd and I’ll be the first to call it shyte.

    Easy to whip yourself about all the things you are not. You, son are guilty of issuing these works and NOT accepting the fact that they tell your audience something about who you, in fact, are.

    Consider your ass kicked (in absentia).

  2. Average? Are you kidding me? I would LOVE to be so average. Ask any of your acquaintances and friends as they had to work hard for tests and you just sat down and wrote to get an ‘A’. Don’t deny this. Even on your GED, you didn’t even crack the book open to review and you got in the 98 percentile in English. Math is a different animal. You just take what you know for granted. Soooooo many people cannot remember things they way you do or inform themselves as you do. People like you, Emily and Chris are in the same boat, so comparing yourselves to each other may make you seem average, BUT believe me I am not being prejudice in saying you are NOT! Ditto Hot Under the Collarless T-shirt.

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