You blinked. Blinked again and rubbed eyes. Then You smiled and was met in return with a raised eyebrow. You looked around at ack at it. You watched its lips moving telling you No, you're not dreaming! Am not? No, you're not. I must be going insane then! No, you're not. I just thought it was about time the two of us had a little conversation.
I've been observing you. You've changed. You never used to give a care about me. Now, you spend too much time looking at me. You and I both know you're having a problem. We even read about it last week remember? You actually didn't want to but I found it out and made you. How I knew? It's the first section we'd page to when you buy the magazine. Only, this time, you didn't. So, I made us. And you didn't like it. But I did. What it said is that spending too much time looking at me is a sure sign of lack of self confidence in one's exterior image. That's didn't worry me much. What got me worried is that I noticed you keep on repeating things to yourself before saying them out loud. Don't deny it. You did it in the bus last week. You just went on “Port Louis” in your head as if you were afraid you'd forget your destination or say the wrong thing. You, you never acted this way before. You weren't afraid to make mistakes. We learn from mistakes You said. And we did. You used to laugh at the mistakes we made. Self derision is what I loved about us. But now, I don't like what you're turning us into.
You look away. You raise you hand to your mouth. You're going to bite your nails. Then realise there's nothing left to bite anymore. They're almost bleeding. You look at it and sad sad sad eyes look back at you. You tell it that you've met some people. New friends you've made. They're so sophisticated. They know so much. Have been to so many places. Seen so many things. Done so much. And You? You feel that you're going nowhere. You feel that tomorrow and the day after you'll be where you're standing today.
What total nonsense it shoots back at You. Having le cafard is good from time to time. To keep you emotionally balanced. Now do me a favour and get over it. I know you can. Remember all we've been through together and where we are today. And you have only You and Him to thank for. Don't you think that those friends you made might be thinking just the same thing about you? Wishing they had the life You have?
You thought about it. It was true. You remembered something, read somewhere. It said: “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. (*)”
You looked at it and smiled. It returned the smile. Your reflection.
[*Henry Van Dyke]
[*Henry Van Dyke]