Please Hear What I’m Not Saying

            Don’t be fooled by me.

            Don’t he fooled by the face I wear,

            For I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks.

            Masks that I’m afraid to take off

            And one of them is me.

            Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me.

            But don’t be fooled.

            I give you the impression that I’m secure,

            That all is sunny and unruffled with me,

            Within as well as without.

            That confidence is my name and coolness my game

            And that I need no one.

            But don’t believe me.


            My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask,

            My ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.

            Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence.

            Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear. in aloneness,

            But I hide this.

            I don’t want anybody to know it.

            I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear being exposed

            That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,

            A nonchalant, sophisticated facade, to help me pretend,

            To shield me from the glance that knows.

            But such a glance is precisely my salvation. My only salvation.

            And I know it.

            That is if it’s followed by acceptance.

            It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself;

            From my own self-built prison walls,

            From the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.

            It’s the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself

            That I’m really worth something.

            But I don’t tell you this.

            I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love,

            I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh, and

            Your laugh would wound me.

            I’m afraid that deep down I’m not much,

            And you will see this and reject me.

            So 1 play my game, my pretending game,

            With a facade of assurance without.

            So when I’m going through my routine do not be fooled by what

            I’m saying.

            Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying,

            What I’d like to he able to say, but can’t.

            Who am I, you may wonder. 1 am someone you know very well,

            For I am every man you meet, and every woman you meet.



         By: Dr. Ken Olson, pg. 26.

Copyright @ 1975 by: Ken Olson

Published by: O’Sullivan, Woodside & Company

2218 East Magnolia, Phoenix, Arizona 85034

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