Privilege

I would like to say I realized very early on that I was born into privilege.
But that would not make it true, my wanting to say it.

I WAS born into privilege.
I did not realize it until I was all grown up and acutely aware of the world around me.
I did not realize it until the precious child I was stepped back and the undeserving adult I would be surfaced.
I did not realize it as I wasted time trying in vain to reconcile the me that was and the me that was going to be.

But I was going to be nothing but wild, grabbing attempts at reliving a childhood that most people don’t get to live
even once.

If that is not the definition of privilege, I don’t know what is.

I realize I am privileged. I am still processing this.
It’s alarming in that hazy, slowly-yet-steadily uprooting way.

I would like to say that having realized how privileged I am, I started to actively make something meaningful
out of my life.
My wanting to say it, mean it, do it, does not make it something I said or did.
Sometimes, I wonder if I ever mean it.

But between the thinking and the doing, all I have going for me is blind, desperate hope.
Maybe if something is repeated often enough in words, the essence of it will start to bleed out of and beyond the resolute lines of black and white.

I have bled into my creations.
So much so that I expect them to right themselves on their feet and totter off into the sunset any moment now.

But I spared my words my privilege.
I spared my words all my good intent.
I spared my words the ache for meaningfulness.

In much the same manner I live life, numb, mechanical and disconnected, I poured myself into my body of work even while I spared them purpose.

Now there’s two of me lying around, equally lifeless and spent.
When I get to death, if there’s to be a headstone, that’s what they should put on it:
buried in wasted privilege.

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