A dog barks, the clock ticks, the keyboard clacks as I type. The sink hums as my dad washes the dishes, and the passing cars can be heard, the wheels going whoosh. You can hear the neighbor’s kid’s crying every so often. A door creaks, and a light breeze dances through the curtains. These sounds are the sounds I write to, the quiet that isn’t really quiet. These sounds are hushed, but if you really want to listen, you can hear it.
I sit there, in that beat up chair, and I write. It’s not really writing, it’s scribbling, it’s thinking, it’s the breath that comes in and out of my lungs, it’s the smudging of ink and lead on my fingers and hands. It’s me.
The beat up chair, and the stuffiness of the room, all things I can feel beneath my legs, on my forearms.
My life is ingrained in ink. The ink of newspapers, of my pens, of the words I’ve written.
The pen in my hand, clutched between my middle finger and thumb, with my pointer finger resting on it. The only form of comfort is felt in my hands, my companion [com(pen)ion haha], we communicate in our own language,
Writing is different for everyone. Some people sit for hours on end and cannot think of anything to write, and others don’t stop writing until their hands cramp up, and hurt too much to continue. I’ve been both types of people, but either way, I love writing. I love the feeling of a pen and paper. My pen bleeds onto paper in the ways that I cannot. It seeps, and it satisfies, and when times get tough, I can always go back to it, and write what I am feeling, not as a way to preserve my sadness or anger, but to let it out, to prevent myself from feeling hopeless, voiceless. There is always an audience with a notebook, and I don’t have to reserve a time; my notebook will always be there. I can speak how I feel freely, with no judge ruling over me. It is the only sense of freedom I get sometimes.
My room is 10 feet by 10 feet, with my creaky bed in the far right corner and a peeling table across the room. Funny that it’s called room, when there isn’t a lot of it. But I don’t really mind, this is the only home I really remember. There are shelves on each side of the room, one over the bed, with 10 hollow ribs just like in a skeleton. This area is filled with ideas. Those ideas are books, a Scrabble box, and an empty camera. Another shelf is lined up on the far left side of the room, containing old text books and headphones that don’t work anymore. These shelves sandwich my mattress on the floor.
I lie on my mattress, wide eyed, heart beating, as my thoughts begins bouncing in the walls of my brain. I have a habit of writing them down now, so I can get them out of my head and onto smooth lined paper. The only sound in the house is the pencil scratching the paper I cannot see, and the occasional sound of a cricket's chirping. Night after night I sit up in bed, staring blankly at the wall, taking my thoughts from my head and onto paper. This has been a comfort ever since I was young, being able to express myself another way than speaking. I’ve discovered that spoken words come difficult to me sometimes. My lips may fail me, but my hands won’t.
“I just want to sleep. Just let me sleep.” It’s too late for that, my thoughts tell me. Ironic isn’t it? It’s 12 in the morning and my thoughts won’t let me sleep, which is really needed. Instead they decide to keep me up, constantly bothering me, asking me questions I cannot answer. These thoughts have always been there, just suppressed, silenced. But now, they’re waking up, stretching themselves. When I need to sleep, they need to keep me up. It’s just how things are now, they live in my head permanently. It’s their full time job they take quite seriously. They constantly tap me on my shoulder and tell me things I don’t want to hear. They constantly whisper things I block out. And more often than not, they’re negative. What does that say about me as a person?
Have you ever seen a person slapped? I have. It was in a movie, in slow motion. My brain could not process the speed at which it was executed, as her head snapped left, the back of his hand made a loud thwack, followed by heavy breathing, and quiet crying, the kind where you tremble, and I cried with her, as she held the side of her face, tears dripping down her trembling lips, as he advanced towards her again, preparing to impart another blow. All I could hear was screaming, I was screaming for him to stop, he was screaming, and I’m sure we woke up our neighbors. And then silence. Too loud, too heavy. And I’m back in my roomless room, door closed, breathing hard, breathing shallow. Not the first time, and definitely not the last time. There is that feeling again. Helplessness. It eats up my insides, twists me, treats my brain like clay, pushing, molding, spinning me until it’s hard to breathe, hard to see. I don’t know what to say, what to do. What are you supposed to say? What are you supposed to do?
[Someone who does not have the same experiences that I have will not know what I know, it’s a given. But there’s a lack of empathy that I feel. Excusing my experiences because yours are not similar to mine does not make your experience more “right”. There is no right, no wrong when it comes to experiences. There just is. ]
We all wear different masks, some we make, others, given to us. We are told to play a role, by ourselves or by the people around us. We are to act as expected, as a stereotype.
I write. I write and I write until my pencil led runs out, until my pen is warm in my hands, until my crying has stopped, and until the pages are full of wobbly scratches.
Looking up, through the railings of the stairs of my apartment, all I can see is a heavy blanket of fog, clouds so heavy, I can feel it in my lungs. No sun can be seen, but it’s still bright, just cold. I’ve always enjoyed the rain, the way you can see it drip from a leaf, clear, calming, quiet. The way you can see it fall in sheets, in lines falling fast from the sky, and how it creates dots on the cement, how it stings when it hits my skin, cold, sharp. When I walk, it doesn’t mind walking with me. It likes blurring my vision through my eyelashes and my glasses, it likes getting in my hair, and it likes my smooth skin, it is the only thing that doesn’t mind my presence. With the rain, I don’t feel so alone, I don’t hear myself, and instead I hear it, hitting different surfaces, telling me the same thing. It’s a constant sound, whispering it’s secrets to those who are willing to listen. I love spending time with it, because it will never be disappointed, and it’s touch is comforting, it’s cold matching mine.
an essay i wrote about writing