I was home, alone. I pulled my lower eye lid down with one finger and traced the arc with a long, thick slick of black pencil. I ran my finger along and gently smudged it.

I stared in the mirror and looked past my eyes. I shivered. I can see someone I’m so proud of, so different from yesterday.

In yesterdays I walked up to Hyde Park cafe. I sat down and waited, hiding behind large blue plastic glasses. I spoke in hushed tones and it felt like everyone was listening and looking. I got a sore neck from keeping my head lowered.

I lost my glasses and squinted from the light. It took some time to adjust. I wondered if there were other eyes enquiring. There weren’t.

I smudged my other eye with black pencil. My eyes were piercing through the darkness, the rims holding back the black, contrasting the whites of my eyes. There is no whim to war on either side. There was black and there was white. I wiped the smudges away and fell asleep.

I walked up the street today, my back and neck upright. People met my eyes and I smiled. If I strolled or strode, I remembered how my neck was sore and I lifted my head, although it’s not always a natural response.

Can’t believe I still feel this way.

There are oversized blue glasses still somewhere on me, but I don’t need them any more. I’m at peace. The turmoil ended some time ago.

This weekend marks my fifth Mardi Gras. From the first fussy, glittery event to the cheeky stolen kiss last year, all have been amazing in different ways.

In reflecting, it’s not what you look like or how well you think you can hide behind your own facade, but how you feel about you that counts.

If your head is still down yet you’re wearing glitter pants, or if you’re in footy shorts and your head is up, remember one thing — your eyes will give you away.

Look up and take all of us in. Be proud of you, like you would be when there’s no one else around.

info: You can follow John on Twitter @daddydearest_

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