Sunday, November 12, 2017
An Act of Revolution. At the age of 43, I performed a revolutionary act today. No, it's not steeped in leftist politics that I’m used to. But it was a simple thing for me to do...very simplistic. I have a naked lip… I shaved As an actor we play our parts, we learn our lines and hope that we don’t stumble and mumble on the stage. But the stage of life! The lines that we recite are not written on paper. “But we are given them!” I say...staring at the brown-skinned man looking at me through the mirror. We are given lines to perform through life's myriad acts that we find ourselves in. We don’t come through unscathed! “But I have a scar though something that was not my fault!” I say...you're given lines to recite… ACT ONE SCENE ONE Setting: Elementary school playground Stage left: enters the kid that uttered the phrase ‘flatnose’ Stage right: enters the recipient of the phrase. Close up on the kid who receives that phrase for the first time in his young life. Register the look of stoic bewilderment on his face. Center Stage: Enter the kids' grandmother of whom he told. She hugs her young son and told him that ‘I love you, Robert’ ...she loved me. But I did not believe her. All those words became seeds that were planted in my young heart and mind… The weeds choked out the wheat! Though various acts and in various scenes words like that were played out. Actions were translated to words… ...you’re really not wanted… I love you Robert ...you're a faggot!... ...you're going to Hell... I love you nephew!... ...you're a nigger… ...you're too fat… ...you're not good at sports… ...why can’t you be more like your father?... I love you, Robert, you're worth being around… During that season..the negative won over the positives. The pain was too great, so I hid as best as I could! I hid in my room as a kid. Humiliations endured… Friends none… I never tried to stop those lines running in my heard on a daily basis, because I did not know how to. Slowly, ever so slowly life circumstances began to change. Though stops and starts I got a new script...but the new lines I could not seem to say and recite them. Vestiges of the past were with me...we cannot seem to escape them. My mustache was the glaring reminder. It was grown to hid the reminder of who I was. Every time I looked at that brown-faced, flat nose, nigger-boy in the mirror, I fell under the shadow of shame, and denied myself even trying to recite a new script… However, enter the last five years of my life… Changes have been made… New thoughts… New feelings and ideas. New locations...new opportunities... But new losses… The last one to die was the final page being read and closed, the final chapter of the old book. My friend Ryan... Mama… Jason… Dean… Mrs. Young… Wes… Their past lives were interwoven throughout that book. How precious were those strands of silver interwoven throughout my life that has lead me through these pages. Yet my mustache remains. The fear and shame still palatable The night ends..my journey continues. The day comes...newness arrives New family masquerading as friends arrive, my lessons are learned. The baby food is consumed, I’m ready for meat now. The shifting has occurred. The new book, of a new life and a new script. The old shame is gone...it’s power removed. The final act is needed. I shave...with tears in my eyes I shave with the echoes of the playground scene comes up...I shut that book, determined not to read those lines...not to accept those lies about me. I shave to no longer hide my scar, I display it like some scarlet letter...it’s now precious to me. I look in the mirror, To the brown-skinned man whom I’m becoming more comfortable with every day. ‘Hello’ I say to him ‘I see you...and you’re beautiful!