Dancing Eyes

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Everywhere I went people were smiling at me and laughing. They had this look in their eyes, the kind of a look that lets you know that they know something. Their eyes were sparkling with the wonderful humour of it. Lights were dancing around in their eyes, little glittering lights. Their eyes were laughing. Laughing, laughing, laughing. Everyone I met had the same look, the very same look. They were all sharing a secret. They were smiling at me and laughing because they knew a secret and the secret they knew was that I wasn’t real.

 

On the two previous occasions in which I had become famous this had been a positive experience for me – a joyous experience, in fact. It had felt so good to be recognized, so good to see that amazed look in peoples’ eyes as they realized who I was. It had been good vibes all the way. I had been so at ease in it all, gracefully smiling back at people to acknowledge their recognition of me…

 

This time it was different though. The vibes weren’t good this time. Or rather they were good, but in a deeply disturbing, deeply unsettling way. There was the same knowing look in their eyes, the same smile, the same sense of occasion – if I may put it like that. There was the same sense of something Big going on, something that everyone was rejoicing in. I was meeting with the same instant universal recognition, but this time it was recognition of the fact that I didn’t exist, that I wasn’t real.

 

This was the big secret that everyone was in on – the fact that I wasn’t real. Everyone was in on in it, but I wasn’t in on it. Not at first, anyway. Everyone knew. Everyone was laughing about it. It was as if everyone had been talking about me, excitedly sharing the secret, but no one had said a word. Everyone knew, but no one had said anything. Everyone knew the secret and there was a real buzz about it. There was that look in peoples’ eyes – a lightness, a real delighted sparkle. Their eyes were dancing, dancing, dancing. It was the sharing of a great joke, a fantastic joke. Possibly the best joke ever. The best joke in the universe. And everyone was in on it.

 

As I say, at first I didn’t know what this joke was. I wasn’t in on it. I wasn’t in on the secret. I kind of went along with it all, the way you do when you see a bunch of people laughing and you laugh along with them. As if you know what the joke is too only you don’t. You haven’t a clue. You’re baffled, but you go along with it because you want to be part of it. Part of the buzz that’s going around. Because you don’t want to be the outsider. When you do this you get to feel – in a way – that you are part of it, that you do know what the joke is. You find yourself – in a way – feeling that you are in on it, that you aren’t out there on the outside. That you aren’t excluded. You feel that you’re part of the buzz, having the good laugh, sharing the fun. Only of course if someone suddenly asks you what you’re laughing about you don’t know so then you feel stupid. You’ve been caught out…

 

It was like that at first. I was feeling kind of OK about it, in a rather uneasy way. Going along with it though, even though I didn’t understand what it was all about. Acting as if I knew what the joke was, acting as if I knew what the secret was. Acting as if I was in on it when I wasn’t. Going along with the infectious good humour. The good vibes that were going around. But feeling rather uneasy too at the same time, as I have said. Because deep-down I knew I was missing something…

 

Then in a sudden dreadful flash of insight I caught on to what everyone was laughing about. What the great joke was. What everyone else knew but I didn’t know. The secret that I was pretending I was in on – the secret I was pretending to myself that I was in on.

 

The secret was as I have said that I wasn’t real. That’s what everyone else knew but not me. I was famous for not being real! Or perhaps I was famous for being unreal without knowing that I was unreal, perhaps this was the joke. Everyone I met knew that I wasn’t real and they also knew that I didn’t know it and this was what was so funny. This was why everyone was so amused. This was the big joke. And there I was, laughing along with them. Laughing like a big idiot. Laughing like a complete jerk. Not knowing that the joke was on me…

 

 

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