Sunday, 19 September 2010

Unmasked

“No,” you protest. “You’re missing the point. Listen to what I’m saying.”

My eyebrows vanish into the thicket of my hair, but you don’t notice. You’re too busy re-explaining the trivial point you used to cut into my conversation. I wasn’t talking to you. I’m not interested in what you said. So no, I wasn’t listening properly.

I look, and I see you. I study the flare of anger you’ve used to chastise me, and notice my friends have turned away, embarrassed at what they might be witnessing. I look closer still, and I see you with your wife, and your child. And I know now why they are so shy and meek, barely a word to say.

I look at you and I see right through that genial mask. You let it slip. And if you can’t hide your true self from a stranger, I don’t imagine you even try behind closed doors.

I see you, and I see what you are. Don’t try to speak to me again: I most certainly won’t be listening.

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