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I have on a white shirt. I bought it for 12 dollars on a day where I skipped lunch because I told myself I didn’t have the budget to warrant buying lunch. I’m really happy with the purchase though, I feel that on a day where I feel like the skin on my bones isn’t enough to make me feel good about myself, this shirt might put me over the edge. I buys things like this often because days when the skin on my bones doesn’t feel like enough are plentiful and I need an arsenal to fight that. The only problem is that 12 dollar increments eventually add up, and a debit card can only go so far. I begin to wonder if my self-esteem is worth voluntarily walking into a sea of debt. And so, struggling to stay afloat and before I become fully submerged I’ll look up to the sky and tell the world “I just wanted to look good”, cause those 12 dollar shirts don’t float.
Because image issues are something I’ve dealt with for a long time. I remember a close friend of mine moving away when we were kids and when he moved back a couple years later the first thing he wanted to talk about was how I had gained so much weight in the time he was away. Which, admittedly, he wouldn’t be the poster boy for a good friend but how was I not supposed to go home and ask myself the same question in front of the mirror? It wouldn’t get better though, because eventually I’d meet people that weren’t my friends but for some reason were still really concerned about my weight. And so came the name calling, the harassment and general reminders that there was something wrong with the way I looked. And even though I did find a way to avoid being the punch line, which spared me from outside harassment, I still had to go home and face myself at the end of the day, and still do today. I wake up to a reflection that thinks it needs work and go home to one that wonders I did a good enough job of body snatching myself and posing as someone more confident than I am. Sometimes the answer is yes and other times the answer is something like, “Nah, but if you had a dope gold chain it might have worked”.
And again, these days add up. I apologize for everyone who’s ever had to take time out of their day to talk to me about finances (Sorry Papa). One thing I can say is that I’m trying my best to win the fight against my reflection or at least get him to lower the bar a little because abs are not going to happen anytime soon and I can’t afford the Gucci that’s going to make up for it. But also, maybe it’s less about appeasing my reflection and stepping away from the mirror to find somewhere else to establish a sense of self-worth. Like the people that love me and would ask me how I am before they ask about my diet after moving away for a couple of years.

Balloon Boy Daydreams

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