Every time I think I have found myself I look over my shoulder and see me doing all of the horrible things I did to get where I am.
The ground quakes
My knees shake
And I fall to the ground, begging a God I do not know for a forgiveness I will never attain.
Because I will never give it to myself.
I can’t write those wrongs. I pray that those I have wronged will forgive me. I am sorry. Please know, I am sorry.
Through this hall of mirrors I walk. Shadows and light reflecting memories playing tricks on my mind.
I look at my reflection, still hating what I see though I have learned, in some way, to accept it.
I am not a dragon, here to conquer. The dragon is the one who has my heart. The me that is not me. The devil that I hate.
These mirrors that reflect me as I pass distort the image of myself, I know this. What I think I am, I am not. My reflection in these funhouse mirrors does not show the real me. But still I believe the lies they tell. And so these distorted images become me. I feel powerless to fight it.
But I am not the Devil. I fight him every day. I fight the devil inside and I lose more than I win.
In fact, it seems at least in the moment, that I have never won.
Still I must fight it, for how much worse would I become, if is succumb to the sickness that stalks me each day, and lies beside me each night as I toss and turn in terror.
I smash the mirror that looms before my face.
Fragments fall to the floor, crystal shards of a person who does and does not exist. And what is left behind is a broken nothing. My hands are cut, my knuckles drip blood onto the broken glass littering the floor.
With one last look into the fractured image of what I hate, I move on.
Into an endless maze of mirrors, each reflecting a different image of what I am, where I am, have been, will be.
Do these images define me? Or are they simply lies I tell myself? A reflection in the stillness of a summer’s pond so fragile, broken with a toss of the smallest stone.
To me it is real. In the end reality is defined by perception for us all.
And I will never know how I am perceived. I have only the perception of myself.
Behind me now, a trail of broken glass. And blood drops soaking up the dirt. Before me, a future I cannot predict, but only hope to guide.
The reflections are snapshots of a person who was. They do not show the world outside of their frame. They do not show the person I can be.
The past may be a teacher, and lessons I can learn, but it will not define me.
The dragon may be real, his presence palpable in these empty nights, when the search for anything real may take me back to the only things that were ever real.
But I am stronger, separate from the devil on my back, different than I was. Though I find it hard to believe, I am not the child I was. Nor am I the man I should have become.
And that’s all right.
My name is not George.
I am not Bruce Lee.
A saint I could never be.
Scars I have to prove.
And many years bad luck.
This is what it takes.
To kill that devil dragon.
That stalks me every day.