I was a freshman like you were
a freshman like you are
full of hopes and dreams specifically and eagerly deceived.
And then I was on fire skin peeling burning for release.
I was a freshman like you were alone with my flames
that even though it tried sometimes it could not melt my soul.
And there will be times when you walk through campus blazing flames
begging to be seen or heard and no one will give a hot turd.
But other times you will find others on fire –friends
and you all shall blaze joyfully content to have chosen UC to be.
Blazing blue you shall laugh…. Smoke? Drink? Party?
Maybe run naked through hallways…. And in between it all pick up some knowledge.
I was a freshman like you are.
And it was beautiful-
blue flames that licked away at what you now think is an eternity of endless nights
endless ice endless tree endless credits endless life.
Well a few years down the line you may look back and realize
the exact moment your blue flame began to die
your blue blood began to thin and reality came stealthily creeping
hard and bold splashing water cold on your hopeful soul.
-Poem for the Uconn Free Press “Disorientation” issue October 2012
Have you ever really watched people? I don’t mean creepy stalker watching. I’m speaking observing them. Have you ever seen the one with the loud laugh and the bright smile and realized it doesn’t quite reach their eyes. Have you peered a little closer and seen a sadness so deep it made you want to cry and when you ask their walls raised so quickly and they closed up just as fast. Those are the ones who hide in plain site.
They hide behind extravagance and false joy because it is easier to get by day to day on a lie than have to explain the truth to anyone. Would you like to hear that everything is wrong? That they are so completely and devastatingly alone no matter how surrounded they are by people. These people do not understand them nor do they make an attempt to for if they really did they would notice the pain. The glimpses of despair that every once in a while slip out of their carefully crafted chains and dance around the eyes and pull their brows a little closer together before they are wrestled back into submission.
They hide behind laughter so deep it quakes the soul but if you really paid attention you would smell the hints of melancholy that echo in their silence. If you really paid attention you would feel the dark shriek shrouded beneath those loud bells of laughter. These are the ones who hide in plain sight. No one ever knows because no one really cares and EVERYONE would much rather deal with fake joy than a broken being who has already decided that they are far from salvation. No one wants to put in the effort of healing torn souls.
This is for those who hide in plain plain sight. I see you. You are not alone. I spot the cracks in your carefully constructed masks, with your elegant displays of perfect content, and I see that your eyes don’t shine as bright and your joy doesn’t run as deep as everyone else thinks. This for those who hide in plain sight as an attempt just to function because you believe that if you pretend enough it will become real but in reality all you get is the ghosts of things you used to feel or should feel. This is for those who bury things deep and pray that they do not reach from their graves and pull you down into the dark abys. I see you…. you are not alone.