Seeking Sincerity

Seeking sincerity has become
such a chore.
To accept
mediocrity has its own
attraction.
Optimism begins to fester and
slowly rots
until it becomes a
physical weight
in my chest.

Suffocating.
We drown ourselves in
cliches until they
leak through our pores and
create a sheen
of self-deception

Restart. Reset.
Overandoverandoverandoverandover
again.
Expect disappointment and rebound quickly;
no longer assets, but necessities.

We try to convince ourselves
this time will be
different, but
how long until
depleting reserves of potential
and possibility
run out?

How can I decide the
amount of time to
spend searching when
I’m told by
almost everyone
that I’ll find something when I least expect to.
Something;
someone.
This is all
counter-intuitive
when every success story both
emboldens and makes me
question what it is
exactly
that I’m doing wrong.

How many times must I be lied to?
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
“You’re so great, but…”
Is there some sort of conspiracy
that they’ve all agreed to play the game?
To see if I’ll
chase? If only it
were that easy.

How long before they
begin blending into variations of
the same carbon copies? The same
university-branded drinking photos, the same
vacation spots, the same
pursed beaks, flexing facades.
How long until they start
to run together and I  start
to wonder if there is
anyone
worth getting to know?
Plastic permutations of
the same theme; a blueprint
with minor tweaks that
don’t improve,
just diversify

Soon I parse out and
MAGNIFY
parts of my personality to
try and find some common ground
to make things work;
only when things fall through do
I realize how
unimportant they are and that
I was only injecting air to
fluff them up.
The temptation that maybe
this time will be different, maybe
I will finally
break through
if I stay here a little longer.
But after five years of
disappointment, why would now be any
different?

Over-analyze every aspect.
Was I too interested?
Not interested enough?
Did I talk too much? Too little?
Did I focus too much on
one topic of conversation?
Am I too shallow?
Was there something I
fixated on
in her appearance that
I didn’t like at first
so that’s all I could see,
which in turn soured me?

How much is
my fault?
Is that even worth asking?
All of it.
Why does it seem to be
so easy
for others?
I know I don’t see the whole story,
but
I can’t help but wonder.
I see and
feel and
know
my worth;
why can’t they?

by Erik Shinker

6 thoughts on “Seeking Sincerity

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