Cliff Notes

Sometimes I can't help but climb into someone else's skin and walk around in it for a while, out of pure curiosity about what made them the way they are. I tend to unintentionally see right through people and their facades, an addictive, inadvertent, socially-hazardous skill. I can sense a fake from a mile away, and I can always tell when someone is hiding. And typically when someone is hiding, it's because they don't want to be found, much less truly seen. But this makes me want to understand them even more than before, to read the stories etched into the lines of every face. Who were you before? Who were you before you were afraid, before your pain defined you? Who were you before someone painted that pain into your features, the agonizing smile your mouth still strains to remember but your eyes have long since forgotten? What are you hiding under the skin that made you wear it as a mask? Are you hiding to try to save the rest of you or merely because you're ashamed of being broken? And what happened to you that broke you into pieces, then sewed you back together again, forever leaving the lines? And even though I can, should I be able to read between your lines? Should I be able to see each turning point, closed door, fork, or roadblock of regret drawn into the map of your face, or should I turn away from the pain and try to see the flat black and white world of our gilded invented reality just like everyone else? Should I see what is truly there or should I see what the world wants me to see? And the way I see it, the only difference between people and books is that people do not sit still and patiently on the page for you to analyze at leisure. Maybe real people don't want to be picked apart like literary ones, even if they have just as much hidden dual meaning as their allegorical counterparts, if not more. And maybe they just shouldn't be picked apart. Maybe real people are not meant to be seen in their entirety. But still I can't help but see. I didn't choose not to be born blind, but since I know what it is to see, I will never be able to close my eyes again. I can't help but read people, because what the spaces between the lines have to say is louder than words. Because somewhere between the lines are the answers. Somewhere between the lines is the truth. Who broke you? Who drew your lines? And are you still there? Between the lines.