Friday, 1 June 2012

He stopped smiling

When I was growing up, I loved looking at pictures. Pictures of myself, pictures of my family, pictures of where I grew up. I loved taking pictures. But over time, that stopped. I stopped getting pictures taken of myself, because I never really approve of what I look like. I never want to stop time for an instant, because I don't want to "cherish" a memory for that given point in time.

I don't really look at myself anymore. I'd go through pictures of myself as a young kid and smile. Now, when I think of some of those pictures, I don't even know who that was anymore. There's something so deep, so hidden in those expressions. In some of them, I'm smiling, but I know deep down inside, that it was forced. Other times, you can see just how forced that smile is. Most, though, have a rather lost expression. I don't quite know what I was thinking, what was going through my head. I know that there's been a degree of unhappiness in my life from a very early time. No child should ever feel that way.

I'd really like to meet that boy. I remember a few things about him. A few things that really make me smile. But there are a lot of things about him that make me very sad...that make me really want to cry. Sometimes, some vague smell, or a little flicker of sunlight, or the way the wind blows, reminds me of him, and I start to convulse, to choke and gag, to panic.

That boy...what can I say? He had such dreams. He wanted to dance, to sing, to act. He wanted to be funny and have lots of friends. He wanted to explore the world, to learn about new cultures, and to meet new people. He loved to cook and experiment with new tastes. He loved to draw and paint. He was fascinated with science and religion. All of that curiosity, those dreams, those aspirations, gone.

He was afraid of people. He couldn't talk to anyone. He played by himself, or with kids who were "weaker" than him. He was constantly picked on. He stopped nurturing any means of "talent" that he had. He stopped dreaming, instead, he started criticizing himself. He didn't have many friends at all. He kept to himself. He started to sabotage himself; if he were ever curious about something, or if he ever started to do something that he enjoyed or thought had merit, he'd destroy it, or stop in the middle altogether. He became self-destructive. He lashed out and fought with those close to him. Most of all, he stopped smiling.

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