This is the second installment of a ten part poetry/prose series I wrote a few months ago titled Hours. I wrote the series over the course of one night into the next morning as a project. Each individual part is titled according to the time at which I began writing the piece and makes for a kind of documentation of my thought process throughout the night. And after much editing, here it is.

11:13 PM

An ability I’ve acquired through all this reading and writing is the focusing of sympathy and empathy. I can slip on a skin and walk around in it, albeit for brief flashes. It’s well understood in developing characters, and I’ve employed the technique in my own pieces. I feel it isn’t too far of a stretch to apply it to this situation.

I’ve always wanted to see myself through another’s eyes. It’s why I secretly covet candid pictures and video of myself. It’s possible I pretend to hate posing for photographs as a construct to distance myself from this practice, allay suspicions of others, but mainly myself. Really, it’s not genuine. Candid shots capture a mind stripped of patterned behavior and costumed facades. It’s the closest thing I have to perceiving myself through another’s eyes.

See, I study things. The longer I have to examine and the more mysterious the subject, the deeper I delve, the closer I get.

To what?

Not sure.

But does it matter?

I’ve lived with myself for almost 23 years and have yet to exhaust myself. I keep changing. Obvious, I know, but I sometimes wonder if some of these changes were already there and I’m only just now discovering it.

The story I tell myself about myself is a kind of fan-fiction. I didn’t write the characters. I don’t know them intimately the way a creator knows their creation. I only know what I can surmise through gradual study, which includes my own character. I enjoy casting him as the protagonist in my story. He has his flaws, like any good hero, but he’s good.

I’d like to think he’s good. I’d like to think he does good and immediately rectifies his mistakes.

I’d like to think…


Photo by Paul Rysz on Unsplash

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