We are ourselves only when we forget. It might only last a minute, but I’ll forget I’m not supposed to slouch and rest my boobs on the table. I’ll forget not to toss my head back with my mouth open and laugh. I’ll forget not to point my finger at the person across the table. Then realization will come, like remembering two steps after I walk out of the house I’ve forgotten my keys. I’ll say, “wow this isn’t like you.” It’s so sad to recollect, I’m not being myself. I have to sit up straight again. I see the same self-catch in my brother. He’ll let go for a moment, and be the little kid I remember who used to eat mashed potatoes with his fingers and not be self-conscious about his bulk. He’ll tell me a story he hasn’t recognized as embarrassing or inappropriate. And I love him for it. I have to be careful, then, to keep him in that crooked-shoulder state, and not become my mother. She would make you remember instantly. “It’s so nice to see you smiling again.” That’s what she’d say.
It means, I can’t control when I get to be myself. I can’t consciously turn the filters off. What happens when I don’t turn the filters back on? I think that would be the true test of strength in myself. If I ever became confident enough to not hold back my tongue, oh God the filth would fly. It’d be fun to watch, from a spectators standpoint. I would be a god to myself.