It was a warm morning in October when I faced for the first time in my life how painful it would be being a shy person. There I was, nine years old, inside the classroom, right after my classmates and I had read a tale named “Malagueta Pepper John”. It featured the story of a kid who instantly blushed every time he was going through an embarrassing situation in his miserable life. The problem was that, on that morning, I had just gone through a kind of shameful experience too. Don't ask me what it was; I just know that minutes after it happened, a fellow student started calling me “Malagueta Pepper John” and everyone in that entire room of stone-hearted children followed his lead.
That opened my eyes. My perception about myself was so distorted and vague that I had never before realized this kind of reaction in me. I was exactly like the character, John, in that children's story; every embarrassing situation that I had ever faced in my life made me blush immediately. From that moment onward, I began to notice how the “process” happened. It was actually rather funny, in a way, because my ears blushed first and in a fraction of a second my whole face turned red exactly like a malagueta pepper, or even redder. Then I felt a heat wave that made me feel like my head was about to completely melt down.
In my naive mind, at that time, it seemed to be nice. Red is the color of my beloved soccer team, Internacional from Porto Alegre, and people used to make what I thought at the time were gracious comments about my blushing, especially girls, who would say “Oh, how cute! He is blushing!”, which brought me some unexpected attention and made me the center of my small world for at least a few minutes. It usually made me feel like I was important enough to attract the interest of people because of this unique personal feature.
But I was so wrong! As time went by, I realized that blushing was not really fun or cute. This is because we live in a hypocritical world. It demands that you hide your innermost feelings, in order to not be caught by others who could take advantage of knowing exactly...