Dear stranger,

Were I to ask you to come, sit beside me, and tell me where I’m headed… would you? Would you know what to say? You probably would do a background check. You might start with the blogs I maintain, the words I scatter here and there without even bothering to remember that the Internet remembers.

You’d do well to draw a checklist of things I am and things I am not. Tick off what you find (missing) and then tally it all together. Weigh the positives and negatives. You’d do well to start with the good side – the part of me that everyone claims to cherish. That’s the part which I’m remembered with kindness. And then you’d go on to the darker, grayer area. You’d try to hold it up to the light and see if you are mistaken. But you aren’t mistaken. Rest assured. The darkness exists and like an x-ray scan, you’ve done well to try and spot where it is harming me, where the bones suffer.

I’m not asking you for a lot, stranger. The truth – that’s all I’m looking for. Kindness should not prevent you from being honest. Politeness cannot be the only basis of our sharing what is unarguably true. But if you wish to consider yourself kind or polite by pointing out my strengths and sharing my weaknesses, I would consider you honest. Truthful. Most importantly, brave.




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