Tell Me Your Story

| February 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Hey, you.

I wanted to tell you to keep doing what you’re doing. I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry people don’t see how wonderful it is, how raw and honest and vulnerable you’re making yourself to the world by putting yourself out there. I’m sorry that after a long day of work, or of school, you bleed words and colors and music, and truths about yourself that only you could possibly know, only for it to go unread, unseen, unheard.

I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we live in a world of capitalism and pretentiousness where the only works that are revered are those of the Old Masters, their every whisper from beyond the grave somehow more important by virtue of them being dead. I’m sorry to them, too, because we didn’t realize what we had, what they were saying, until it was too late.

I’m sorry you’re ahead of your time, a cog built for a machine that people don’t know they need yet. I’m sorry that they would rather watch or read or listen to something safe, than challenge themselves and all the ways in which they put you down. I’m sorry that they refuse to confront it, refuse to confront anything that dares to speak out and redefine, reshape, remake what love means, what laughter means, what stories themselves mean.

All of those things belong to you, and your trademark perception of who we are as human beings. Most people don’t have the courage to own something like that, to shape their own meaning out of the love they feel for those they are taught not to love, out of the violence they face everyday from not only each other but also themselves, out of the hope that they know they are so naïve and so stupid to feel. Hell, most people fear it. But that kind of fear isn’t a luxury you could afford, is it? We all have something we want to say, but you needed to say it.

For every one person who heard you, maybe ten others didn’t. But for every loved one you let down, maybe ten strangers smiled.

I want you to know that you are not alone.

We are here, singing the songs that no one else will hear, the anthems of the freaks and the forgotten and those the world is not yet prepared to fight for. We are here, faces bloodied with paint and hands dirtied with clay, staring into a canvass that tells thirteen different stories beneath a surface people will not pierce for years to come. We are here, writing poems and prose that would make Proust proud on our best nights, and shitty fanfiction and even shittier blog posts that would make cooldemon69 from Reddit cringe on our worst. And guess what? We’re equally proud of both; both are us, both are human, both tell our story in a way that those they worship as More Than never could.

Here’s to you, the unsung singers, unseen artists, and unloved lovers of All Things Magical. We do not tell you enough to keep doing what you’re doing, so keep doing what you’re doing. Take your terrible idea – the one that’s a bit too raw, too personal for the Emmys, the Oscars, and the Pulitzers – and run with it. Own it. Become the pawn that makes it to the end and is reborn a Queen, the piece in the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit but still makes it more complete.

I’ve prattled on and apologized for long enough, Old Friend. Now it is my time to thank you, for being better, for being braver, for all that you do and all the ways in which you laugh, dance and sing, even when it hurts too much.

Now, tell me your story.

Featured photo credit: MrJamesBaker Pen via photopin (license)

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Category: Art and Literature, featured, Music, Poetry, Prose and Comedy

Aaraf Afzal

About the Author ()

Aaraf Afzal is many things, but he's not particularly good at being any of them. He continues to work towards this goal, among others, studying Film & TV and Economics at Boston University. An avid subscriber to the belief that all forms of media have their own sense of artistic beauty, he is particularly invested in writing fiction and recently released his first novel "Re: Revolution" in Bangladesh. Alongside his pursuits at Culture Shock, he's currently at work writing an online series called "The Chosen Zeroes." Fandoms and inspirations include Neil Gaiman, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank, Marvel Comics, and Culture Shock. Giggity.

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