Shadow Play

How do you cope with the pain of being overlooked, of being forgotten, of being seen but not as who you are, of being misunderstood, of being forced into mental cages, of being nothing more but a screen on which other people’s projections land?

You don’t. You let that part of you shrivel away slowly, briefly perking up at a morsel of attention, before realising it’s just someone testing out their kindness muscles. People like to do that to reassure themselves that they are, in fact kind. More projections.

Till one day you will realise that projections are just shadow play. Shadows don’t hurt and neither does light. That’s the day the part of you that needs love the way the stories define it, dies.

How do you want to be remembered, the self-help quest went. Me, I don’t want to be remembered. It’s hard enough living with the expectations of people right now. I don’t want to leave behind legacies that take years of karmic cleansing to dissolve. It’s so unclean, so limited somehow. I’m glad for forgetting, for growing irrelevance, for shifting spotlights & even for shadows that let us practice fading.

I like reading stories alone. It’s almost like borrowing a life to live, that I can control. And when it gets too painful, I can close the book & linger in the shadows for as long as I wish while the story waits for me. Real life isn’t like that of course, but it’s nice to pretend it’s possible. I guess we need our projections as much as we need our brutal realities.

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