finding myself wanting to tell you things I can’t anymore
I climbed to the bottom of the ditch
I dug you out of your hole
you smiled devilishly when we started to see the light
you cut the rope and dragged me back down with you
now you despise me because I kept climbing
when all you wanted was for me to sink further just so youy could have some company in the dark
I still have dirt under my finger nails
(you still make me feel guilty for not being able to save you. but you’re the only one who can do that)
oh, fuck, I walked across my living room today and I got a waft of your perfume. it’s been 4 fucking months and i have yet to find a detergent that rids the smell of you from my couch pillows.
my extended family saw the tears brim in my eyes
they watched as my mother took me upstairs with silent tears streaming down my face
they sat in silence and turned a blind eye
my mother sat and listened to my quick breaths
she saw my eyes grow puffy
she took me in the bathroom and covered up the red of my nose with makeup
she wiped away the black makeup smears from under my eyes
and pretended like nothing ever happened
she took me back downstairs
and my family smiled uncomfortably and pretended nothing had happened
and now i can’t stop thinking
about how we all kept fooling ourselves
and smiled and ignored the sorrow
and covered up the damage,
attempting to close a wound with a piece of tape and string
what a merry christmas it was
it’s Christmas of 2015 and I’m not feeling joyful.
I have not felt happy with myself for a long time.
so every writer is supposed to get better and better every year
but here i am running away from it further and further every year
the worst writer’s block is not when you can’t write, but when you don’t want to anymore cuz it hurts too bad
how can my mind be filled with a million ideas but completely empty?
and i’ll watch the same movie over and over and over
because none of it registered when my mind was only thinking bout
you you you
and my fingers will grasp and grasp the frozen grass in my backyard
& i’ll still feel nothing because you sucked all the warmth out of my body
a long long long time ago
I didn’t know what nonsense was until my uncle who’s liver was failing from alcoholism leaned over and asked me for a beer on his death bed.
so tell me are we just gonna keep hiding the art that seeps out of our every pore?
you can’t tell me “it ain’t apart of me no more”
when i know without it you wouldn’t still be here breathin’
“write what you know,” they said.
i laughed out loud at myself
all this time, i had been trying to write love stories
because i thought that’s what the people wanted to hear
now, i am older and wiser
i know that i don’t know a single thing about love
except for the fact that i am afraid of it
so that’s what i will write about
the loneliness of shielding myself from love
this is what i know
and so it is this pain that i will write about
as of 30 minutes ago, i discovered my writing journal from the 7th and 8th grade. and it is in these moments of reading through my junior high words that i am realizing that writing was such a monumental part of my growth and the tough transition from kid to young adult.
for one, there are so many words. i find it both astounding and sad just how many words graced the pages of these notebooks. i found inspiration in everything. i wrote down and documented the simplest moments that spun into inspiration. i am amazed at my younger self, but i also find grief in the fact that i am not so easily inspired nowadays, and how writing was like air for me back then and now it makes it hard to breathe.
second of all, i am again astounded and sad about just how deep i was for a middle schooler. some of the words i wrote contained far more feeling than i could ever muster today. i was just the age of 13-14 and i had the mind of someone who had gone through years of life’s heartbreak. i may have been underestimating some 13 year olds nowadays.
i remember being a very sad middle schooler, and i wonder if writing either helped me cope or forced me to feel it deeper. i have that same question today. this same question is what makes me write in sad times of my life but ignore that it has ever been a part of me when i try to be “happy.” i know now that art requires feeling, and feeling has simply become something i fear. i have been trying to overcome it, because although it is painful, art is also important.
we all have something that helps us to make sense of the world, and i realize without writing, i am lost.
here is are some of my favorite excerpts from my junior high writing journal:
“These were my words. They had come out, unearthed from the small and fragile threads of my heart. They didn’t mean nearly as much to them as they did to me.”
“I wrapped my arms around myself–it was something I had to do–the only thing I had was myself. It was as if I thought if I held myself together physically, I wouldn’t fall apart emotionally.”
“Maybe I was getting used to the pain. But it was hard to get used to it. There was always something that would remind you of what’s hurting you, then you’d start to feel the dull, aching pain welling up in your chest. And then you would remember. And then you would start to feel like you were going to cry, but before you do, you’d have to suck it up and put that smile on your face so people wouldn’t ask questions.”
“There were too many things to be broken about. And remembering was like opening up fresh wounds.”
(i even compilied a list of physical reactions to pain):
“aching chest, tear-threatening eyes, raw hurt, hitched, short breaths, pouding ears, unearthed emotions, unwanted flashbacks, tensed fingeres, curled toes, empty, emptiness, of feeling alone, clawing at your chest, chest feeling ripped, shuttered face, forcing your eyes closed tightly, clenched teeth, confusion, breaths like fire in your throat, breaths in gasps and gulps, choking on air, lumps forming in your throat, blurred vision, spinning head, holding yourself”