I was born Jonathon Aaron Steel, to the parents of William and Elizabeth steel. I am a Leo, born under the sign of the lion and I was raised in a lower middle class family with only one brother Michael whom I love dearly. He was five years my senior. My father’s nickname was Red which I could never understand why because his hair was sandy blond. Nevertheless, the name stuck. So when my brother was born my father became Big Red and my brother Little Red.
I should have known from the first time when I realised their special connection, that I just didn’t fit in to my father’s plans. And as I grew older the constant comparison between my brother and myself left little doubt who was the image of perfection in my father’s eye. To him, my brother could do no wrong and I became The Invisible Boy, the proverbial ‘black sheep’ and I soon figured out that red and black don’t mix. The beatings I received became
more and more frequent to the point where I would ask my father “Am I the orphaned son you would never need”? But oddly enough I worshipped the ground my father walked upon.
My brother and I were a strange mixture, as different as daylight and dark. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine we came from the same parents. I sometimes wondered if we had the same father, but I always dismissed that idea as my mother was far too religious, my father as well, to ever even think of such a thing. But my brother who had always sensed my parent’s instilled insecurities tried his best to encourage me. For I was born different and he knew it. He often told me when I was born an angel flew over my bed and christened me with a magic wand and said “You shall be the one.” And I had no idea what ‘The one’ was, but as I grew older I began to understand. Most boys put their mother on a pedestal and worship them like the Virgin Mary but with her too my relationship was different and not for the good. She was opinionated, uneducated, sometimes prejudiced, overbearing, believed everything she read, true or not, and when it came to religion was over-zealous to say the least. A mind boggling combination but she was pretty, very pretty and I would often wonder, bordering on complete confusion, how a person of this description could rationalise life.
This was a series of characteristics that many times in my life I would look back on in bewilderment and the women I sought after when I was older would be nothing like her. In the pain of youth, the misery of my neglect, would manifest itself in many ways; depression – my enemy, fear – my friend, hatred – my lover, and anger – fuel for my fire. These four characteristics of my personality would become the guiding force of my life and would control everything I did or was to become. I shall explain later in the story about them which I call my Four Doors of Doom.
The mirror, the great plaything for man’s vanity. The mirror was to become, at times, my altar of refuge and other, my alter ego and its magnificent obsession with a relentless pursuit of attention. It served as a chilling reflection of my own wretchedness and my greatness. It was the one place I could go to see inside myself, to find love, in an otherwise loveless household where I could be great, where I could be anything or anyone I wanted to be – one hundred percent pure escapism until I discovered its precious secret. The mirror lives, it breathes, it talks, it lies, it has a personality all its own. It is a genie that grants all the wishes you could ever dream, at least in my case – all except two.