Music, My Stories

Eyes Of A Stranger – Queensryche

Eyes of a Stranger is another Chris DeGarmo special, that he co-wrote with Geoff Tate. In the Operation Mindcrime story, it is an introspective on Nikki’s character. Throughout the story he was surrounded by death and depression. He was brainwashed into becoming a sleeper political assassin. He was triggered into action by the words Mindcrime. He was a drug addict and he was a lover. In Eyes Of A Stranger Nikki is looking into the mirror, and realizing that he doesn’t recognize the person he’s become. He is broken and alone, trying to find some form of redemption. The beauty of this song to me is that even though it is a song in a greater story, it also stands alone on a song on its own and it gets me thinking.

And I raise my head and stare
Into the eyes of a stranger
I’ve always known that the mirror never lies

There is a saying that there is no more honour left in life. Looking at the meaning of honour, I came up with the following words; personal integrity; allegiance to moral principles.

When we do something regrettable, like talk to people we don’t really care for, about a person that we know very well and care for behind their backs or betray someone so that we can get ahead in life or in the work place or take credit for someone else’s work, can we then look into our eyes and see the same person there.

I have experienced all of this. I was first the betrayed and then I was the betrayer, because I started to form the viewpoint that is how I need to play the game in order to survive in this world. I have broken a lot of my moral principles, that left me questioning my integrity and my self-worth. That is why the scene/chapter in Game of Thrones, when Eddard gets his head chopped off, is such a big moment in literary and visual circles, because everyone is led to believe that the honourable man would win and become King and everyone lives happily ever after.

Is this all that’s left
Of my life before me
Straight jacket memories, sedative highs
No happy ending like they’ve always promised
There’s got to be something left for me

They don’t teach you this kind of stuff at school. They don’t teach you that life has it’s twist and turns, ups and downs, wins and losses, success and failures and most importantly happiness and sadness. Even our school teachers are damaged, but they always turned up to school, smiles on their faces, ready to mould little children, while at home their marriages are crumbling and their kids are doing drugs.

From the outside looking in, people are led to believe that our lives are just wonderful. We surround ourselves with pictures of fun times, good times and full of laughter. We film ourselves doing things that we love. Where are the photographic memories of the bad times, the times that we cried, the times that we raged and broke stuff. We don’t record these memories on some form of media, we keep them inside, as mental scars.

How many times must I live this tragedy
How many more lies will they tell me
All I want is the same as everyone
Why am I here, and for how long

Isn’t that what we all want in life. Why are we here and for how long? We all want the same as everyone, and all those everyone’s want the same as us. There is never a perfect life. Whoever tells you so, is a liar. To use a cliché, life is a rollercoaster. It pushes and shoves you in many different directions. All of these thoughts and emotions, the song Eyes of A Stranger put there in me.

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