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Justin On The Razor's Edge

I dont know who I am anymore. The past 4 years have molded and defined me so much, that if I could gaze into the mirror of my own heart Id hardly recognize the face peering back at me. It's broader, no longer bespectacled. Its leaner and weathered, stoic, some would say intimidating, with a constant hint of rough facial hair. The eyes, once ebullient, alight with innocence and ablaze with enthusiasm, have tempered, the once unbearably bright fire behind them having been relaxed, waning over the years into a steady, smooth tempest. My body has thickened and widened, muscles appearing where they were once absent, both for the sake of vanity and necessity. Often they would be my only friends, the one thing I could rely on as sure as God's grace. Tattoo's have sprouted, each bearing significance and meaning. The left arm represents God and Family, while the right represents whatever makes up my psyche, my spirit. Virtue and vice, if you will. Ive spent so long denying that Ive changed, that each incrimental experience has combined with its precursor, eternally preparing me for who I may become. The past I held to so vehemently has become my jailor, my baseless fear my warden. But Ive gradually cast off my shackles, using them as ropes to climb, continually ascending to new heights. We are but the sum of our excursions, our stories. What I fear, personally, is to always grow without abandon, only to behold my reflection and notice a stranger locking eyes with me.

I dont believe in coincidence, I believe in Fate. Choice cannot be an illusion, because, like free will, it is a gift ordained by Almighty God. Therefore, we are not just mindless automatons merely existing on an assembly line, unconsciously fulfilling some group of senseless, automatic actions and calling the result "life". However, that doesnt mean that we have free reign. It is said that nothing can stop God's plan for you, especially man. We are all ordained a path from birth to death, and whether we want to pursue it is irrelevant. David was a shepherd boy, but the Father saw a King. To say that he wasn't terrified at certain points along the way however, would be an egregious understatement. This is how I feel. I had this preconcieved notion of who I was, of who I am. It was a culmination of what I had been told and what I felt. But Ive changed, we all have and all do, and we will continue. Ive discovered, observed and endured the capacity for apathy and cruelty that strangers can be capable of. Ive beared alienation for no other reason than the opinion of one person, and found the ironic comfort afforded those with their backs to the wall. Ive witnessed the complete breakdown of one young man, screaming hellaciously as he gripped his bloody nose and nurtured his fractured ego, shouting that I should throw myself to the mercy of the sea and be torn apart, left to freeze and drown, because no one would miss me if I was dead. I spit in his face and raised my hands again, the only 2 friends Id ever need. And you wonder why Ive become who I am. I relish a good fight, yearn for the sight of blood when a prospect gets too cocky, and thrive on the blunt, barbaric, primal thud of bone meeting bone. I smirk when violence is in the air, and my reaction, involuntary at this point, scares me everytime.

Sometimes an involuntary shiver caresses my neck, shocking my back ramrod straight as frostbite slithers sinisterly down my spine. My nightmares carry a demonic cold, reverberating off of solid, echoing metal walls, nearly palpable in the harsh, industrial light. The cold grasps me malevolently, permeating every pore of my exposed skin, possessing and controlling me. I long for the warmth of family, true friends, and long lost love stained by betrayal with terrible permanence. Instead my pathetic yet earnest pleas are answered with silence, an aching, all consuming dread that penetrates my defenses, shaking me to my core, sapping my will to continue on for another day. I rise from my rack, aching for reassurance, some semblance of companionship. Im met by isolation and desolation, a wasteland devoid of anything familiar to me, forced to watch my melting heart harden and calcify as I turn inward, secluding myself from a harsh, uncaring reality. I will eat by myself, train by myself, and live by myself, a scared young man in need of friendship, of connection, of life. I will grow stronger. I will make new friends. Gradually, the ice will melt from around my being and my true personality will once again reassert itself. But I will never forget. Ever. If youre reading this, you know who you are. All of you. Fuck you. I will never regret breaking your nose. I will never regret nearly detaching your retina when you jumped me below decks. I will never forget nearly collapsing your trachea with a guillotine held for too long. I will never regret, with well placed words coated with vitrol, proving to you what a shallow, evil bitch you are, grinning contentedly as your illusions about yourself evaporated before your panicked eyes. Ill never forget the moment I realized all my tears had been shed, my well had been worn out and an emotional drought had set in. I will never forget who nearly robbed me of my humanity through alienation, consternation, and degeneracy. And I will never forgive you.

You need darkness to allow the light within you to shine brighter. I will never let anyone feel the way I have felt, regardless of what theyve done. Life is too precious, and no one should ever feel abandoned. There will always be a shadow within me, implanted by the world itself educating me out of necessity. And thats fine, I can use it to my advantage, to amplify the brightest parts of myself, those that survived the ordeal. But the shade, the grey, will always be present. I like it, and that scares me.

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