Heroes/ Villains

You are both the heroes and the villains in your narratives. In your stories, you are the good and the bad at the same time. Like Janus, you exist in a central place, two beings, creating and experiencing worlds that only you fit in best. Looking forward and backward, you see the good and the bad only you want, respectively.

It would end here. It is neither a good nor bad thing. However, since we are talking about the stories of humans, we embellish, censor and silence. You paint Yourselves as colourful or as dreadful as it suits you, caring nought for objectivity or truth, or you altogether eliminate Yourselves from an occurrence – by avoiding responsibility, by casting blame on everything but Yourselves.

There is a mode of talking about Yourselves that attempts to hide pain and make light of poor judgement. You paint Yourselves in a self-deprecatory, sarcastic and ironic way to avoid seeing Yourselves for what you are/ were. Often, you come across as cartoonish buffoons, unaware of your actions and pushing the consequences aside with the proverbial “Meh.” and “Ha ha, we were so silly.”

It is lazy and beyond getting a few laughs, it is the literary equivalent of white bread. Tasty and ultimately unsatisfying and unhealthy, for the reader and you the writers. Speaking openly and honestly, for writing is a form of talking, is hard. It is hard mainly because you have to look Yourselves in the eye and admit that maybe you are not as good as you like to think. You should have handled things better because you knew better.

In this way, you come out as villains, well-meaning, confused and sad villains. Not-too-bad fellows. And, in this way also, not-too-good fellows. Lukewarm, boiled unsalted potatoes. You are on a fence, unwilling to admit to a side. To claim you are good would be a lie, yet you do not have the courage to say you are not good. You hem and haw. And mediocrity follows. Your words taste insincere, even to Yourselves, but you do not want to change your diet.

But, one day, you do change your diet, and do you glow! Your past becomes a shit pile from which you mine diamonds with which you adorn Yourselves. “Look at what I made of myself from the muck.”. You polish them and show them to the world. And not a whiff of yesterday remains. However, the more you scrub, the less shiny your gems become. They turn to rocks. Dull and scratchy. You persist, hoping to reclaim some glory from the bloodshed you left behind. There is something missing. You are unfulfilled.

Then it comes to you, slowly at first, like a shy hungry kitten. You ignore the sensations, the faraway-sounding gongs of your conscience. Then, a mistruth rapid knocking on your mind. You never said you were sorry. You never admitted that you were wrong, that you were despicable. This mistruth is what was shining through, rendering your words just words. And when you embrace the thorny sides of Yourselves, piercing Yourselves, your stale insides finally breathing, by way of reparations hurting Yourselves, your words leave you.

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