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You are not who you seem to be. I’m not sure that I’m prepared to know you. Your bravado upstages that part of you waiting silently in the wings. I watch each flamboyant gesture awe those who sit at your feet to drink in the drama of your presence. I, too, am drunk with awe. My eyes drink, . . . mouth dries, . . . palms sweat. Last bows . . . finally. We’re alone . . . almost. Your charade continues . . . falters. I caught a glimpse behind the curtain. We’re both uncertain . . . awkward. Our timid smiles crash between us. Too cliche . . . look away . . . *sigh* There is no prompter . . . no next line. When next you speak, I hear an unexpected softness as your voice cradles each word as it slips from your lips. (Is this a personal performance? . . a private show? . . . Is it for me? . . . Or, is this you?) I search for clues in the brown velvet of your eyes. I find hopeful expectation and . . . fear? I seek conformation in the measured movements of your hands’ choreography. . . . a tremble. I watch silently as you slowly strip the costume from your skin to let me in. Bits of your childhood tumble onto the carpet to roll deliriously at my feet. Your fears creep out to cause compassion. I see sorrow haunting the hidden corners and prop rooms as the curtain is cautiously drawn ever wider. You are even more beautiful without the make-up.
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