Here I am

Here I am

You see me in the everglade light a lesser man than those of walls and roofs. But I am a man despite what you might think. I am a man.

They are the words I say to myself over and over again. Sometimes I even believe them. Sometimes, but not often.

One undeniable detail of living in a swamp is the abundance of water. There’s just no avoiding it. Water is my enemy, or rather, the reflections it offers. A mirror of horizon-swamping dimensions, my face reflects back a million times over, each rippling image an aberration, a nightmare, a lesser me. The man I am is gone. The man I was is lost.

I would be rid of me if I could, but I can’t; life won’t allow it. Somewhere deep within lies the shade of a soul and the heart of a man. I am not the beast you see before me. I’m not!

But as I see you standing here feet wet, eyes wetter, awash in shades of green, I realise, I’m wrong. You see an unguent tongue lick elongated lips, smack against wicked teeth, an audible echo shivering through this domain. I hear it, see it, deny it, too. Yet here I am. Here I am.

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