My Most Beautiful Illusion

Photo by Samay Cajas

Photo by Samay Cajas

I've lied, many times, throughout my life. I've pretended to be stronger, more confident, heroic. In reality, I was terrified of people, terrified they'd see me. I would've not helped me either – it was always easier to pretend being someone else.

I've been at the top and at the bottom; I've made people laugh and also cry, many times at the same time. I've been loved, hated, praised, despised; but even when others reviled me for my mistakes, I was pleased they'd never forget about me, that I was at least guilty of bringing them together even if only against me.

The first time I ran away I must've been 7 or 8, over some candy or not getting something my way, I can't remember anymore. Many nights, I wondered for how long I could keep my lies alive so I could keep a roof over my head. It was fun at the beginning, the allure of being a rebellious child. I'm tired of drama, my own drama, I don't want to fight anymore. But my body is my home: if you want to come in, you must respect my rules.

I've learned my place in the world, at the bottom, where I was born, where I've always felt more at home. I learned a lot of survival tricks along the way. The best tricks are the ones that keep you alive. This is the one I invented for myself to soothe me in my lonely nights. I call it my most beautiful illusion, it's me at my most honest but nonetheless still a lie.

My name is Carolina Brown, this is the woman I am.

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Image description:

The writer, Carolina Brown, is pictured crouching down, two black leather glove-clad hands touching the wooden deck she stands on. She wears red lipstick, a black pleather jacket, black sheer knee-high socks, faded red combat boots, and a black hoodie that's zipped with the hood up over her head. She has medium brown skin and big brown eyes. Behind her are barren trees with just a hint of green leaves.

About Carolina Brown:

Carolina Brown is a Nonbinary Genderfluid Transgender LatinX songwriter, lead singer of the experimental post-rock band I. M. Brown. Writer, spoken word artist, storyteller, fierce advocate for trans visibility and inclusion, Carolina's stories are raw, at times uncomfortable, but nevertheless always human, always beautiful.

Follow this link to get Carolina Brown's work: