Roman Newell
2 min readJan 30, 2019

People always ask me what it’s like to be me. How I can speak to someone I’ve never met for 2 minutes and see their life and pain and everything they’ve spent a lifetime hiding with such ease. How is that possible? How do you understand and see people like that? How do you see through so easily to soul and core? What is that like?

It’s like watching American Beauty. It’s like watching the characters of that movie and seeing everything the script decides to show you but 5 years sooner. It’s realizing those characters aren’t rare. It’s realizing they aren’t them, but us; not they, but we. It’s realizing those characters are us.

It’s becoming so acutely aware of the pain inside people…. so infinitely aware of their stories that words no longer matter — no longer hold a place. Once you learn to see souls instead of smiles, souls instead of frowns, souls instead of gesticulations or devotion to party or flag…. Once you learn to hear souls instead of argument, hear souls instead of explanation, hear souls instead of the lies spoken everyday to hide masquerade and façade — you can’t go back.

It’s realizing that we are bound so much closer than any of us would like to think. Bound to murder, bound to sadness, bound to hiding, bound to shame, bound to cheating, and that none of us are much of any unique kind of magic.

The magic is in realizing how similar we all really are…. and what we decide to do with it.


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Roman Newell

Author of Unapologetically Human and several books of poetry. Actively working on my novel: 20XX.