“Show me yours and I will show you mine.”
My hand flies up to my face to conceal the redness blossoming on my cheeks. There is a strange mixture of extreme uncomfortableness and subtle excitement stirring in my stomach. Am I ready for this? This is a piece of me. Part of my soul. Can I really just give it away like this? I know how these things start. It starts slowly. Showing more and more with each passing minute. No one can really stop once they have started. My body is on fire. Shaking from nerves. He is looking at me with all of his focus, his attention hinges on my next word. No one prepared me for this. This isn’t a class offered in high school. There isn’t a tutorial on youtube. Even though my fingertips are crackling with nervous energy, my answer escapes from my lips.
His eyes light up. A smile creeps slowly across his face as he reaches down and grabs his notebook. Then it begins. He delves into intricate passages he wrote about his life, his thoughts, his innermost workings. It lasts much longer than I expect. Truthfully, I don’t want it to stop. His voice floats around the room, splashing bright color on the dull walls, creating beautiful murals of love, pain, loss. My eyes close, allowing me to focus on the purity of his sound. He stops. The notebook shuts and he sets it down on the desk. His eyes are brimming with expectation as I reach for my notebook hidden in one of my desk drawers. My hand attempts to smooth the fraying edges of my book. My fingers silently search the pages for my favorite writing. The pages feel different when someone is watching. I stop at page 12. This is it. I breathe in deeply. In through the nose, out through the mouth. My heart is racing. My mouth opens as I gather the courage to utter the opening line to my soul.
“I am the shadow of the eloquent adolescent, painfully aware of the mundane synonymity plaguing the optimists and the given identity forced upon those left with the antithesis: cynic.”