Fuck you. I would have ended the letter there but that would indicate I’m a lady with few words. Perhaps I’m a lady with few wholesome ones but I can assure you that I am never short of vile ones. The thought of you squirming while reading fuck you brought a tiny splash of delight to my day. I would have left you with those two fine words -words I cherish, words you despise but then that would give you a reason to reply and frankly I could give a shit for lack of a better word. You’d prefer “care less” but I could give a shit about your haughty uptight appreciation for clean words or your mundane use of them. And while you take a gander in your safe cluster of words I will go ahead and pick pocket any insidious, undesirably yummy word I can think of just to ignite the ball of fury within what you consider a skeleton with vital organs- one being a heart. Do you have one? How do you feel? I prefer soulless, blah blah boring empty carcass. It has a better ring to it. You may not think so. You’re dead inside and so are your words. They don’t have passion or an appetite. They’re not voluptuous or sensual, nor do they drive one to sink their teeth in them. They’re not filled with lust. They’re not thirsty. They haven’t got balls or an urge. They don’t chase you until you’re out of breath. They don’t ache, desire, or tempt. They don’t penetrate the mind with emotion. They haven’t got vitality nor do they bounce about with pizazz. In fact, your words shrivel up the moment they leave your mouth because they lack life. I suppose the only way to save your words from dying is to pop your bubble wrap containing them. I will free them. I will expose them to a tongue, which isn’t afraid to lather itself in shock and disdain- a tongue which pleasures itself in getting dirty.
The girl who plays with fire
Do you ever wonder what life would be like without me? I often wonder what life would be like without you. I try not to, but it’s all I ever think about ever since you asked me if I would be okay without you. And when I asked you what you meant, you told me you wanted to leave. And when I asked you where you wanted to go, you said somewhere else, somewhere far away from here. And when I asked you where, you cried. I asked you why and without much hesitance you told me you wanted to go away forever; you wanted to die. That night, a part of me died inside because I felt like I had failed. All of these years I was trying to keep you alive, to give you life and there you were, on the phone, telling me you were tired and didn’t have the strength to go on anymore. I felt helpless. The sound of your voice crumbling on the phone mirrored the crumbling sensation of my heart. I begged for you to come home because I was scared you might never. I got on my bike and rode to you. Although I didn’t know where you were, my intuition guided me. It guided me all the way back home, to you, where you sat on the porch steps and cried. Mama, I know you wish life were different. I often wish it were different too, just for you, so that you could stop being sad and be happy instead.
It wasn’t always this way. I remember those days where you were happy, where you’d pick me up from school and catch me with open arms when I ran to you. I remember those days where we sought comfort beneath trees, soared to great heights on swings, and talked about dragons and princes and princesses in stories you read to me. I remember bike rides, picnics in parks, and our infectious giggling. I remember those days, but those days are a thing of the past. It was always this way, until the day you got sad.
Too young to understand why, I took your pain and internalized it. I thought that if I internalized it, it would take some of the pain away from you and you would learn to feel again. You would start to feel better. You would learn to smile again. You would learn to be you, again, but again never came. I was afraid of the day you would forget to walk, love, and be happy. And so far, you have. Sometimes I wish you would remember. All I have now is a memory of how you used to be. Sometimes even I forget.
Do you remember when you came to pick me up from school that day and Mrs. B spoke to you about me? I’m sorry, Mama. I was too afraid to tell you that I was sad because you were. I didn’t want to hurt you more than you were already hurt. When Mrs. B asked me why I looked sad in class, I couldn’t lie. You always told me to tell the truth, so I did. I told her that I was sad because I had to be, because you were. She asked me if I wanted to talk to someone about it. With bright eyes and a naïve heart, I looked up at her and asked her if the person I could talk to was a magician. When she told me that the person to talk to wouldn’t be a magician, I politely declined. “No that’s okay, Mrs. B,” I said. I explained that the only person, who could fix what was happening, who could fix my Mama, would be a magician. I later learned that a magician couldn’t change things. This is when I started hoping, dreaming, and wishing.
I remember I was often a child that dreamed of happiness, not for me, but for you. Do you remember those pictures I painted for you? Those pictures of you and I with red painted smiles on our oval faces, beneath the sun and among trees and flowers? I wanted to be like the other kids. They were all painting pictures with happy faces and so I wanted to paint one too. You see, I was only painting it because it’s what my imagination wanted me to paint. It didn’t mean it was true. The teacher took my painting and stapled it to the wall with all of the pretty paintings, except mine wasn’t pretty. I hated looking at it, so at recess I snuck in the classroom and took it off the wall and when I got home I gave it to you. I wanted you to see what I wanted for us. I wanted you to see what I wanted for you. That painting was a glimpse of what I wished our life would be. You didn’t understand.
When I would go to sleep at night, I’d shut my eyes tightly and try my hardest to dream of a place where we had a white picket fence, a home not of straws but of bricks with a strong foundation which didn’t have walls for you to hide behind. I wished for a home painted with happiness and love. When I would dream beautiful things I hoped that they would have the power to move away from me and consume your mind, just so you could dream again; just so you could believe in dreams, never too big and never too small.
I often wished upon a star, on birthday candles, on a penny I tossed in fountains. I never told anyone what I wished for because I was afraid it might not come true. They always knew I wished for something great because I’d shut my eyes and squeeze my eyelids tight, hoping that my wish would make its way out of the chaotic world and rearrange itself in the universe and find its way back to you. It never did. When my dreams and my wishes didn’t come true, I was sad. I wanted to give up. When the world weighed heavy on me, I crumbled to my feet. I was unable to pick myself up and so I fell back on my knees. I knelt there and refused to pray because I hated speaking to God. I hated what He had done. I hated that He took my Mama away from me. I knelt there and pleaded for Him to bring you back. I wanted Him to create a miracle and transform you into the person you used to be, and if He couldn’t do that I wanted Him to empower me with the strength to carry you. Mama, He did. I am here and I always will be. I have always told you that I will never give up on you. I never will. I believe in magic and I believe that there is magic in people.
I often imagined you as a happy and fulfilled woman- a woman who hadn’t dreaded turmoil, in which you had to build tall walls to keep away. I imagined you as the symbol of liberty who had built bridges between beautiful places with rolling hills, beautiful sunsets, and skies blanketed in stars; a place filled with magic and possibilities- the magic I wish this world had to fix you.
I have always wanted to conquer the world. Well Mama, you are my world and I’m going to take all of the bad out of it and conquer it. I want to make it spin again; to have you orbit around the sun to feel warm again, so you can feel alive. I want there to be rain for the flowers that will grow within you, as beautiful as you are; to have those admire you, like we admire the beauty in flowers. Mama, you are but a dandelion, who has grown between cracks, to be ripped and torn out. But you didn’t die. You grew back again. Just know that you are not different. You are like a dandelion, whose flower withers and transforms into a thousand seeds. And when you do, I will pick you up, gently blow on you and make a wish in the hopes that all those little seeds will get carried out in the open world, landing somewhere to start over again- until you grow back again. And I will be there, to pick you up and protect you. I will blow on you like the wind, which gently whisks those white seeds from the dandelion and I will always make a wish, until you are better again.
Dear New Year, Old Love:
We’ve begun another new year. I without you and you without me. I promised myself that I would forget you and if I couldn’t forget you, I promised myself that I would seek a way to. I often break promises with myself. This letter is probably an indication of that. Perhaps if you didn’t still hold such an important place in my heart, I would be able to forget you. Not all things in life are easy to erase. You are one of them.
I took a drive tonight. In a whirl of subconscious freedom I found myself driving down the road, which led me to the place, our secret place, where everything we experienced there was nothing but a great memory. Despite that I was aware of where I was travelling to, I couldn’t fathom the thought of turning around. I had to face it. I had to face the place where we shared greatness in us. You’ve always known me as brave and mostly stubborn and when have I ever been afraid? You’re right, almost never. I put the car in park and climbed out of the driver’s seat. I leaned on the hood of the car and took everything in. It was a little scary, being there, without you. I’m not sure if it was because it was dark, but it seemed as though a lot had changed about that place in so little time. The trees are much bigger, the grass is much taller and everything is grander than it used to be. They’ve even started building houses nearby. Everything has become bigger, grander, except our love. A lot has changed. So have we.
I walked to the spot where we sat that night in the cold; where you and I had smoked our last cigarette; where we witnessed the smoke from our mouths get carried out into the distance through the translucent air. I sat there tonight, between frosted blades of grass and buried my head in my arms. I shut my eyes tightly and revisited that moment of moments we shared, once upon a time. I remembered how we sat and stared at the moon and the stars, and breathed out the warm air from our lungs. I rested my head on your shoulder. You wrapped your arm around my left side and held me close. Neither one of us said a word. We just sat there in silence and allowed it to cloak us with comfort. I remembered how beautiful that silence was. There was something about it, which I relished and felt possessed by. The words in this letter wouldn’t be enough to describe the effect it had on me; the effect you had on me. Time stood still and so did we. We didn’t need words. Maybe it was because we couldn’t find the right ones or maybe our love for each other was important enough that it was able to exist without words. I don’t think we ever needed words to explain it, we just knew. Silence was enough. Sitting in the cold beneath the moon and the stars in silence, was enough. We hadn’t even kissed, yet inexplicable electricity between us, was there. Most would have considered it overzealous and silly to contemplate an unstated love as deep as ours. Perhaps it was, but that’s what made it shameless and beautiful. I remember how anxious I was. I remember how butterflies filled my stomach and danced about with excitement. And that knot in my throat. That knot. How I wish I could feel that again.
Tonight I touched my lips and closed my eyes. I tried to remember how kissing you felt. I tried to remember how seamless each brush stroke of your lips was against mine. I remember how you looked at me, how you looked into my eyes and held your stare. I remembered how you placed your hands on both sides of my face, pulled me in with assurance and confident strength, and kissed me. I remembered how deliberate your intent was. After I reminisced about that moment, I opened my eyes and I placed my hand on my chest to feel my beating heart. A lump formed in my throat, different than the one I had felt years ago when I sat there with you. All I felt now was sadness. That lump in my throat was the result of tears being held back. Panic electrocuted me. In that moment I realized I was there, alone, without you. In that moment I was afraid that I would probably be alone forever. I fell back and lay there and although I wanted to cry I felt an overwhelming blissful sensation of joy. I lay there with my arms behind my head and smiled. Although I was sad, I was interrupted by happiness. I suppose what they say is true: you can be sad and happy at the same time. Bittersweet moments seem to strike us in the most magical of ways. It’s finding happiness in sadness which makes a memory, a moment, very significant. When you can miss someone and smile at the same time it demonstrates true victory over a broken heart. It demonstrates that wonderful memories have the strength to last a lifetime.
So, I write this letter to you with tears and a smile. This bittersweet feeling I have is not a force to be reckoned with. If you’re wondering why, I’ll explain. I wrote this letter to come to terms with what I felt tonight. If this letter ever finds you, please read it with an open heart. Every word hangs from emotion. Every word is a glimpse of our past. I have always hated clichés, I have, but I couldn’t help but imagine a senseless, bold me, who had the guts to run outside in the gently falling snow, all the way to you, just to tell you how wrong I was, what a big mistake I had made and how much I wanted to recover what we had and how much I wanted to bring it back to life. Every New Year’s Eve, I pictured our reconciliation like this, but I never followed through. My pride always got in the way. I suppose the abolisher of fairytales, in me, always interfered. I sometimes wish we could go back to that moment where you and I sat on that hill, in the cold, where we didn’t feel cold. We felt like ourselves. Now I don’t feel like myself anymore, because you’re gone. Perhaps one day we’ll find ourselves on that hill where things would be different just to be the same, in the way they used to. If that day never comes, just know that I’ll be fine. I will forever celebrate a new year, an old love.
Your past love
I like words. I much prefer them in poetry, in songs, in stories. This is where words live beautifully and safely. They grow happy together and we, we grow fond of them. I don’t know what happened to words. When they became ugly. When we stopped believing in them and in their beauty. The words, which roll off our tongues and are formed by our tender lips strike, impose, and come with malicious intent. Often words tend to lose their beauty, especially in conversations between two people, who discuss hatred and cruelty.
I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation in which words reflected catastrophe. You spoke those words loudly. Why did you? Words, which are beautiful, must be spoken with pride, for everyone to hear. Not words which are brutal and destructive. When did it become apparent to you to use such words so openly? I suppose you have no idea what it’s like to be betrayed by words. To have them used against you. To be pinned up against the wall and forced to hear them; your mouth covered from speaking words in defense.
In ill repute, I write this letter to you. Everything has been shed above. Perhaps reading them will do more justice than hearing them. I fear that defensive words, which are spoken, sometimes do not do justice. They are said and then they flutter away into dismay. Words, which are spoken ferociously and not gracefully, sometimes lose their importance. I have choked on your words and have wanted to throw them up. They made me feel ill; however, what those words mean to me will eventually fade away, as do the effects on a person. I have learned not to allow disgusting words, like the ones you have spoken, to impose on the beauty language can be. I do have one request: in the future, please do not taint them with anger, violence, and humiliation. If you so choose to, please confine them to your mind and not to the open world. Words are meant to be beautiful. Seek beauty in words instead.
A disgruntled listener