“I wish I could.”
These are the slithering, hissing sounds of absolute words that protect me—from me.
Conformity is a harness that holds me up, preventing me from falling off roofs, off buildings, or down cliffs and is my life preserver that keeps me alive. But a harness is weighty: my feet drag along the roof as I fumble to manipulate the line while scouring for the tools I need to place the next shingle down. After some time, physical fatigue sets in and I misjudge where I’m placing my feet and hands; I slip and start sliding down off the roof only to brace myself lace minute before going over the edge. The harness provides protection, but is not absolute. I’ve heard stories of people who’ve died while wearing such a device.
When I finally unstrap the harness from my waist it’s a release and I glide down sidewalks as if Tinker Bell has given me fairy dust to move. Once my body is able to move freely, the fairy leans in and sings-whispers Shakespeare’s words from Hamlet into my ear to unclog the gutters of my mind:
“To Thine Own Self Be True.”