in His Eyes

Sometimes when you look into the mirror, the man’s eyes you’re looking into are not your own. They are the eyes of the person you must be to live your day-to-day life. A father, an employee, a hard-ass, a friend. All covered in the kind of manicured veneer that no one questions, that everyone knows not to question. But if you look deep enough, right into his eyes, you see the truth. You see yourself.

A little boy in brown eyes, sad and discouraged by the routine stresses. He looks back at you longingly, with all the hope you once had, urging you to follow your dreams and not clock in for another day of relentless boredom. You’ll drag him there again, won’t you? Driven by the honor and the dependability with which you have advertised yourself as capable.

It’s what makes people trust you, it’s what pays the bills, it’s what drains the happiness from that boy like honey from a bee’s hive. Out it drips, slowly pooling on the ground, collecting dead insects and soil until it’s no longer worth noticing. If you’re lucky, someone will step in it and nod at the potential it once had, before moving on.

It’s what makes a man a man. It’s what they call success and responsibility. It’s what you watch smother the child and do nothing to stop. It’s what you ignore like everyone else, until you find yourself in front of that mirror, looking into a stranger’s eyes, wishing the boy could come out and play.

Before you know it, those eyes well with tears, and the boy drowns in the sorrow.

about the author
Tomovi Keoni has had a head that won’t quit thinking for most of his life. Eventually, he learned to write and started putting it all down in text. Tomovi writes essays, op-eds, poetry, and short stories. When he decides to write something, he describes it as his mind being like a hallway full of broom closets.  When he opens a door, all sorts of stuff falls out, then he writes about what he sees. Sometimes there’s nothing, and he writes about that. Tomovi has a website with dozens of pieces, which he updates weekly. He’d love for you to go there and leave some comments.