On character

(And / or the inherently unquantifiable nature thereof.)

Of diamonds, flair, millions, bleach white teeth smiles, linen robes and endless miles of red carpets,

of 4 out of 4 GPAs and thousands of references, athletic prowess, spectacular extracurriculars,

of shining silver eyelids covering black eyes without irises, pink fonts on top of chopped moments describing what to see, and short sentences feeding you the need for more,

of fame for the sake of being famous, instead of for something that you did not for the sake of being famous, but because it was par for the course, whatever course that you have otherwise clearly set on yourself,

of comfortable people walking through life like a Markov process, no past queues, nothing in their past to draw pain from, and cry and learn, yet always a persistent avoidance of pain,

I’ve seen thousands.

Of pairs of piercing eyes, mouths that seldom speak, yet say so much,

of silence screaming, iterative self-doubt, pain-shaped cheeks,

of rebirth through disappointment, of mistake after mistake braved, regretted, braved again

of soccer cleats kicking dirt around on a dry May day, alone

of cigarette smoke emanating towards a purple August night sky, huffed from powerful, powerful lungs

of genius homeless dropouts with collections of pirated math texts

of cores that guide and give purpose, hearts that are armed and ready to get scraped

I see way too few.

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