When I think back to my childhood, I instinctively run to the happier moments. I see me, my mom, and my brother at the park on a summer afternoon, rollerblading and hanging upside down on the monkey bars. I see the rest of my family all squeezing into my grandmother’s cramped, ugly little apartment on Christmas, all opening presents and listening to Christmas music. I see my brother and our friends playing hockey in the street or trying to build a dam at the creek for whatever reason… Those were good moments, when everything was as it should’ve been–even when it wasn’t. But no part of life is all good. Things change. People leave. Memories fade… Nothing lasts forever.
“I used to be a little boy, so old in my shoes. What I choose is my choice. What’s a boy supposed to do? The killer in me is the killer in you, my love.”
-Smashing Pumpkins, Disarm
Our experiences shape us–like water across a rock or a ball of clay being molded by getting tossed about so carelessly. Better yet, like a piece of paper; after it’s been crumpled up, it’ll never really lay flat again. Those wrinkles and creases will always be there, making whatever is written on it that much harder to read.
Some believe we begin life as blank canvases, and it’s our experiences through life which add the colors to make a picture of who we are on that canvas. In the beginning, the colors seem so bright–don’t they? They paint pictures of innocence and purity. But as time progresses, and life does what it does best, those bright colors fade. They’re washed away by the rainy days and covered over with the dark colors the world gives us.
What I worry is that some of our portraits may already be painted by our first breath. What colors get passed down to us? What strokes of the brush have already been made for us without us even knowing?
“Disarm you with a smile. Leave you like they left me here, to whither in denial. The bitterness of one who’s left alone. Oh, the years burn.”
I’ve already done terrible, horrible, unforgivable things in my life–most of which have been committed senselessly and without regret. Most of which no one knows of and I’ll take to my coffin. As a child, I never imagined I’d grow to be this. A lot of what I am today is exactly who I swore I’d never become, back when my bright colors weren’t so weathered away.
And I don’t even know if my portrait is done yet. I guess what I’m ultimately trying to say is…I’m terrified of the colors to come, of the full picture. My abusive biological father just recently killed himself. What colors did he pass to me?
“Inside of me is such a part of you. Oh, the years burn.”
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