How could it be that there is nothing
behind that face, unique as it is: crooked,
worn from the grinding years of tension?
How could it be that never was anyone
home when there was such throbbing,
such life force, to wear down his teeth
and twist his body? His stormy words.
His wild gestures. Such exuberance
as parent and teacher. How could it be?
Was it simulation, putting on a show?
But would not decades of simulation
have been to cover over his emptiness
(if not from others, then from himself)?
And would not that imply someone being
home? He figured the answer to be yes,
deep down. He figured that his attempt
to hide that he was no one was to prove
at least to himself that he was someone.
His being an actor, in effect, was his way
of proving to himself that he was no actor.
And yet this attempt itself is an acting role.
His feeling that he was an actor, simulator,
to hide that he was no one was also a way
to act, to simulate, that he was someone.
It was a way to act like he was someone,
just as was his friend’s expressive shock
to hear his confession of feeling empty.