What is hidden? Why, everything in this journal.
Everything I write here from the depths of my loss and sorrow.
Everything I write with loss and love.
You do not see anything but Southern courtesy, arrogance, quick offence and anger.
Perhaps a certain decadence, a selfishness and dissolution. Perhaps you see an ill man quietly playing patience.
Perhaps a dangerous serial killer with potential worrisome gun and knife-play.
Perhaps, just perhaps, you witness my fulfilling of civic duty. But that is all.
There have been some few to whom I have revealed such things as I speak of here.
I can count them on one hand - those into whose ears and eyes I have poured the wine of my soul as into glasses at the Last Supper.
I mean no disrespect. No blasphemy. A metaphor only, I assure you.
But that is what it is. All I am. All that will be left. "This is my blood... remember me." When I spoke to them, it was my last act.
Do you know what it is to be dying? To be dead? Every act is your last, and you must make it count.
And I am an ill man.
Oh, tears may form and you will see but my eyes watering from coughing.
A blush at remembrance is not so different from a flush of fever.
My condition could cause my hands to shake as much as nervousness or irritability.
Or, perhaps you might catch a glimpse, but I will never ever apologise, explain, let you touch it, let it touch you.
Neither do I have the time or effort to waste either to give that to you or keep it from you.
I always probe and challenge, searching and hoping for more in you: companionship, something to value.
I always look.
But oh, it is so rare!
So here is what you see:
A long-practiced and naturally slightly twisted smile. A twinkle in my eye, partly because I am
hiding so much.
And yes, the arrogance, because you do not
Not my pain. Not my love. Not my philosophy or wistfulness or melancholy.
Yes, always honour, but that tacit.
And yes, my quiet maddening competence and pride.
I am dying. And what have I to offer you? Not what I truly have to offer, for you would not understand.
Nothing, as you go about your lives.
Your shifting relationships when one person might be exchanged for any other.
Your trivial preferences that you think define you, and alas, you are right.
Your judgements on this and that circumstance you have experienced in your transitory day.
Your careful manoeuvrings to decide which ideological positions will allow you a feeling of collusion.
Your relationship to fashion and the popular trappings of the year.
And what have you to offer me?
These things? They are less than nothing to me.
Or worse? Condemnation? Pity without investing it with your own pain? Your redeeming me to convention?
I do not have the time to waste.
Do you think I am vulnerable? Perhaps, but not to you.
Hidden. Everything hidden.
But Ah! those from whom I need not hide!
Not even just this loss and pain, for them.
But all my love and wonder for everything I have cherished.
Perhaps even a flash of joy, bright musing, concern, care even. Reverence and loyalty.
Love, for they are so much more valuable for the freedom they grant me.Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Word Count: 585
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Nulli Virtute Secundus