A Part I Was Conceived To Play

When I was in my mid-twenties, I wrote a lot of pieces like this. Positive affirmations that came from very dark places. Leave it to me to find cobwebs in the arch of a rainbow. There was a sincerity to being insincere. An acknowledgement of how I ought to think, had I not been governed by fear.

I’ve always been an introvert playing at extravert. This circa-2004 piece must have been written hung over, on the day after a party. I can only imagine what I had done to inspire it.

A Part I Was Conceived To Play

A walking introduction with a pocket full of handshakes
A living first impression entering every room like a casting call
Auditioning for the lead role in your daily planner
Wielding jazz hands sliding knees first into your calendar

The character they add to the cast during sweeps
Fluent in contemporary “Hello” speak
A sudden contrast to everyone you’re used to
A presence that makes familiar settings feel different

So many layers to peel
So many curtains to peer behind
Leaves an impression like an aftertaste
With a face you have to see to remember

Hitting the ground nodding
Living life to say the word “Yes”
All your untapped conversation starters green lit
Tiny thoughts given big budgets

Makes you feel like you’ve always been whole
Makes you feel like you’ve never been pent up
Like the seats were built for you to fill them
Like stage fright was a secondhand childhood memory

A wink in the rearview mirror
That makes you skip confession
Over the shoulder eye contact
That makes you forget your infatuation with the future

Makes you forget what words like “Decimated” mean
Makes words like “Pulverized” sound ridiculous
You’re reading from a brand new script
In voices you never get to use

You understand how people credit thoughts to their hearts
You find it funny that you ever found it funny
Your interest in someone else
Has rekindled your interest in yourself

Fun house mirrors loose their curves
Look into the monitor and see yourself for the first time
You’re ready for your close up
You were born ready

I’m studying the story boards
Memorizing the lines
Researching the role
Converting myself into something useful

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