Better Days by Don Bernal
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Iíve seen better days, when the sun didnít stalk me from behind
and girls wouldnít care whether or not I was looking at them. Those
better days when I used to be able to walk down a hallway and all I would
care about was where my classroom was. When I could stand in line
to buy food and look like a guy standing in line to buy food. Waiting
was no problem because I could just look dumb and, well, look dumb.
Life was full of better days. Life is never going to be the same.
Now I notice the sun stalking me, following me from
behind. My shadow races me home while the back of my head burns by
sunlight. I see only an empty horizon, never a sunset, because the
sun always hides behind. I turn around and the sun disappears, like
it was a note someone stuck on my back. Iíll never be able to see,
and Iíll never be see why someone would do that to me.
And Iíll never look at a girl again with having her
look back. Itís the looking back that I canít comprehend. Itís
the looking back that makes the whole thing not worth it anymore.
I look at people, I look at girls, I have to because I write and writing
means putting down what you see and what you know. And looking in
the mirror feels dumb, stupid, and ultimately pointless. I have to
look at other people, at other people doing what other people do.
Other people do a lot of interesting, amazing, disturbing, violent, curious
things. When left to their own devices. What other people donít
do is look at me. Thatís not part of the plan, not part of the routine.
Now I canít look at somebody without that somebody looking
back. Looking back is destroying my writing. I canít write
if I canít see, I canít see if I canít look, I canít look if I get looked
back on. My better days have left me, the ones when I was invisible
to the world because the world didnít care.