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The Prodigal Prince of Doubt by Dhee Sylvester

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The Prodigal Prince of Doubt

I’m the prodigal prince of doubt. And making you feel uncertain about me is what I do best as a writer. One moment I’m writing a poem about the girl I love, and the next minute I’m writing a story about how my boyfriend was lynched by an angry mob. This is what I do best. I’m the Christian who wakes on Sunday morning telling you how much all atheist need Jesus in their lives, only to tell you on Friday night how having sex is the most pious act of worship a man could ever put himself through.

I want to die wanting the people that think they know me feeling like they never did, because even I myself still don’t know me. For you to tell me you understand is me is for you to suggest I’m normal. And god knows I don’t want to be normal because normal to me is boring.

Normal is me conforming to a routine, and me being true to whatever stereotype the world has placed on me. Normal is me admitting I’m ordinary, and accepting I could never be something different. But I want to be different, because I know it’s the only chance I’ll get to gain something better. Although better to me is a concept as subjective as the beauty of a girl on makeup.

Sometimes in my quiet moments, I like to ask myself if all these things I write would ever lead me to where I deserve to be, or where I want to be; and often I say no to that question because it’s hard for a self-professed cynic like me to believe people are genuinely reading me for the sake of posterity. It’s hard for me to believe that these words would linger in your mind when you get to the end of it, because to you this musing is probably just another “timely read”.

Timely, not in the sense it’s something you felt you needed to read, but in the sense you just stumbled on it at the time you wanted to read something. And that’s why I have to constantly have to switch and twist the perspectives I write from, because I’ve come to a conclusion that most of those who read me are one narrative tourists. The few who read me because they think they know what to expect from me are my true loyalists; and it’s for them that I put color to my thoughts in a way that they can see through my art and find some level of beauty in it.

It’s true that I’m a ugly man with a beautiful mind, and perhaps the best I can be is to keep changing till I find myself a body that fits. If I’m able to succeed in doing that, then great; and if I fail, who cares so long I’m able to pretend it doesn’t hurt. And pretending I’m so indifferent to life that nothing can hurt me is another thing I’m good at, because it’s not true that I’m as cynical as I want to make you believe I am, and you’ll be wrong to think I’m also as I stoical as I speak. Because underneath the authority of my words is the insecurity of a man who isn’t sure where his life is headed.

I’m the prodigal prince of doubt. It’s an assertion I would repeat out of belief for its validity. But then, maybe the joke is also on me because you would think the sense of uncertainty I exude would have certain limits when it comes to my own personal expectation of myself. Perhaps the joke is really on me.

Coin toss!

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