believe me, this is not what you think it is

Little has changed from a few years back, but what has had rippled outward, slowly, eating at the color of this place.

I remember then, not too long ago: when someone called us out, we called them out too. We knew that no one was perfect, that we were all flawed pieces walking on the same floor. And we embraced this: our flaws, the flaws of others, the way we embraced their talents, because there was, to our minds, no way to do one without the other.

And so our flawed thoughts were spewed forth in flawed words, to which were added even more flawed words, until, little by little, all the color that was in between the flaws could do nothing more than burst through, and fill the rooms with life, an iridescent electricity that passed through the flaws and made things appear perfect, even if only for moments at a time.

Nowadays, though, one cannot spit out a flawed word without anyone retorting with something no less flawed, but black and colorless this time. One color against a torrent of black, swallowing life and leaving nothing but ennui. Said in jest, but in truth spewed to protect flaws that, through years, perhaps an entire life of concealment, have become stigmata, never to be seen through leather gloves, long sleeves, and half-true-mockeries at the entitlement to be offended.

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