You

You.

Are not you,

But a mirror of oscillating opacity.


Inconsistent in its core ability,

In altering form,

To reflect,

Pass through,

Or stand unmoving as a wall.


In youth,

They prized you,

For your unparalleled propensity to reflect.

For they,

They saw,

The flowering tree,

Of the seeds they so graciously embedded.


Now,

They question you,

For they see not the tree they wanted,

But a stunted shrub and some weeds.

Not a mirror of perfection,

But a painting of erroneous methods,

Sloppy handiwork,

And inconsonant colors.


And so was birthed,

The most perfect paradox in creation.

You,

Who can reflect;

Reflect,

But seldom out of reflection,

And oft sheer gullible reaction.


And the mirror that can hold it's own,

Gives into temptation,

To be the other.

For otherwise,

Would it not turn into a wall?


People stare longer at mirrors than at walls.


In this vanity of company,

You lose yours.


Ah, but time,

A fiend when unknown,

A friend when understood,

It is your You.


And soon,

An ageing mirror,

You have spots,

Patches of foggy clouds.

And they can see more of you now,

And only that part of themselves,

They truly want to treasure.


But,

You're still indubitably fragile.

And once you break,

They seek other mirrors,

They,

Who's You's are

Forever caught in reflection.

As it always is, conversations with long-lost friends oft lead to epiphanies, and yesterday was a perfect instance for me. Did you know that the most difficult word to translate to other languages now doubles up as this prose's inspiration and namesake?: You. This is because of the "T-V distinction", a sociolinguistic term, wherein a language, unlike current English, has pronouns to distinguish differences in politeness, social distance, familiarity, or insult toward the addressee. The name interestingly comes from the common initial letters of these pronouns in "Romance" languages like Tu and Vous in French, Tbl and Bbl in Russian.


This fact is literally the most perfect metaphor I have come across. Isn't that how you exist? Defined often by circumstances, relevance, importance and other extrinsic factors rather than perceived as who you truly are? And so, what is you for others, but a sum of all that's around you? And of course, like the classic chicken and it's progeny, you play into this definition of you with complete devotion thereby lending truth to a fact that is birthed out of this truth. Ah, but let me not take away more from the prose, and leave you to discover You.

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