this caricature has haunted me for two years.
today i carelessly dropped my phone beside my bed, only to have to bend down and shove my hand underneath, blindly groping in search of it. the first thing i grasped was this.
i remember the embarrassment, shame and self loathing that accompanied receiving this picture. i remember sitting there prior to its completion, wondering how it might turn out. people walking by would stifle a laugh in passing. one gave me thumbs up and shouted that it looked just like me before giving his friend a high five and hurrying off.
mostly i remember the shock. it was like reality giving me the brass knuckles to the stomach. I thought, “so this is how the world sees me.” I bit back a flood of tears. it was like looking into a mirror for the first time.
i’m hanging it on my wall beside my desk in peterborough. here’s hoping it serves a motivational purpose to me now. 2 years ago i cried for hours when i got home and shoved it under my bed.
i hope i’ve grown enough to accept it. but who knows, i might end up shredding it.
OR MAYBE i'll look back on this picture somewhere in the future, and instead of the sting of tears, i'll recognize a different feeling. perhaps it will be pride. maybe happiness. maybe freedom. maybe it will feel like finishing a chapter of my life.
i'm not going to let myself forget this.
it seemed almost masochistic, paying the young artist for this.
smiling and thanking him was excruciating.
but who knows? one day i may have genuine gratitude for it.
it may not have been the wake up call i wanted, but it certainly was the one I needed.
i'm counting on that.