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Rowan S Jan 27
It's been long enough now
And enough has been said
Apologies and forgiveness passed back and forth
Like folded middle school notes
Yet here I am

"Ouch, I just bit my cheek."

As I let my rods and cones
Intercept the
Lies and smoke
The electrons radiating from my
Squared, glowing palm

I sigh
And attempt to release stagnant regret
As my mouth fills with the taste
Of
Metal
"Whoops, I just hurt my own feelings."
Sic semper tyrannis ad mortem
("Thus always I bring death to tyrants"
by infamous by John Wilkes Booth).

Trump’s tyrannical unsubstantiated
usurpation unleashes **** Uber vagaries,
venomous vitiating, viva voce vulgarity,
wakening warring wicked woebegone
wretched Xerses, yawping yelping
yipping zeal.

The Doomsday Clock lurched thirty
seconds closer to midnight. As conclave,
sans Atomic Scientists’ Science and
Security Board (advised by Governing
Board and Board of Sponsors – including
Eighteen Nobel Laureates).

Alarm bells clang; declaring emergency
fiasco grips hearts; indoctrination
jacked knifed kraal; linking mankind’s
nemesis; opportunistic Pandora; queuing
rockets; spewing torpedoing urchins;
Versailles visiting violation vis a vis
weathered wracked…xing yanked
Armageddon

If twittering Trump’s troubling trends
trawls toxic, then tinder testy testosterone
terribly tells tattletale taking atrocious,
burglarious, calumnious, disharmonious,
egregious, ferocious, gregarious, hellacious,

ignominious, injudicious, ludicrous,
malodorous, noxious, obnoxious, pernicious,
querulous, rapacious, salubrious, tenebrious,
unctuous, vicious, wamefous, xylophagous
yields zany zealous zippered zombies.

Prognosticators warn with more urgency
deleterious, dicey donnybrook dumbstruck
fatally feverish, fiery, foolishly frenetic, horribly
humungous, jaggedly jittery, jumbuck Kaiser
kamikaze Kant, kerosene kindling kleptocracy,
kneading lawlessness, learns lessons leaving

lousy luck, nurturing nattering nabobs, peevishness
provoking, puck, Quaking quickening quotidian
rabble rioting rousers, rogues ruthless seismic
spasms strike terror, tinder tomahawks torching
treasures, tidily trickily, troika trove truck.

Cobalt blue eyes per president; pierce panorama;
   pessimistic perception processed
decisions made heavily impinging lives, sans
   people across America,
   laser focus personal quest
quickly embarked, whence twitter feeds ***** riot
   with tweets hinting of political unrest
sprung from provocation fostering folks far and wide

   to speculate motives donned vest
Commander in chief wields iron fist foisting
   wharf air tumultuousness harboring ship of state
   foisting risky business viz electric cool aid acid test
sites set with “full speed ahead”, and
   “**** the torpedoes” fueling
   anarchy, chaos and enormous repercussions

   within sea of humanity wrest
in pieces slung with barrage on behalf of self anointed
   supreme ruler re: Stars and Stripes
   indulging angry rants foment civil chaos,
   where trumpeting hooligans dressed
as hooded lambs curry pandemonium
   proudly straining breeches qua exploits best
exemplified thru prophesies predicting schisms

   starting as faults hair brained baddest
dread locked bunched braids presaging
   deadly mortal Kombat inciting global Jihad lest
the reins of totalitarianism clutched tight
   by septuagenarian who covets ability
   to wield mutant ninja turtle warrior clout
   more precious and priceless than fine
   spun golden toys alas cooped in the attic,  
   or goodies in ***** trapped treasure chest.
In Americans,
nothing
Trumps emotion
like the Rock?
Who saw Dwayne Johnson's response to the DNC in Ballers this season?
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,


   “I know that this is going to be the last letter. Things have gotten worse, so much worse, and I know that I will disappear like I was never there. I never affected anyone much, really, I just got in the way, and caused people shame. I’ve caused myself shame. I’ve done all the wrong things, and I know that now I am a burden on my family. They have all gotten tenser since I was diagnosed. They have gotten angrier, now they fight more than they ever used to. I am such a burden on them. They don’t need me, all I do is disappear into my room and try to pray for God to **** me in my sleep or something, which obviously isn’t working. I’ve brought everyone's mood down. I’m sorry if I had seemed promising before, I will have never had much of a life at this rate and I know Sean can be”

   I don’t know what else to say. I believe in it all, except for the part about this being the last letter, but if I had written to you last night like I was going to then this is probably what I would have said. I instead used a crisis text line, which helped… for a while.
   I don’t like coming home anymore. I don’t think Connor, and the rest of them could understand, when it’s not abuse or anything, it’s just so unhappy here. Everything is tense, and it doesn’t feel like a home anymore. I am yelled at so much, and cut so little slack.
   I am eating again… way too much. And I’ve… found another razor head. After all that digging in my bathroom, I knew I would. But if I’ll use it… Oh, I know I probably will. Having my body hurt takes my mind off of my heart, which is why I also like P.E. Even know, with my hand wrapped up, I earn so much sympathy at school when Connor is really the only one who knows what really happened to it. Well, Connor, my parents, and you.
   I really don’t think my parents love me anymore. They had loved a tomboy, with long hair, extroverted, with skills at writing and drawing and who didn’t care whether people hated her or loved her. I am feminine, with a boy’s haircut that I don’t like to brush, introverted, with anorexic tendencies and no passion or skills at anything at all. And yet somehow my broken, hurting self-attracts people. Overall of my years in elementary school, three people had confessed their feelings for me. In this year alone, it has been five. What hurts is knowing that even those who I do like back I could never be a worthy partner for. The chance of my dying, lashing out at them, or simply deciding to ignore them as an isolationist technique to be happy is much too high, which is why only two of them like me now.
   I’m so tired. All the time. Even when I take naps (for instance today I fell asleep at Walmart) I am still extremely tired. I think I am just tired of being here. I want to go home. I say this a lot to myself, although I don’t really know where I mean by home. I think I mean this third dimension, one I’ve thought up myself. It’s the place I go when I sleep, or when I’ in my room by myself for a long time doing nothing. Sometimes when I say I want to go home I mean that I want to die, so that I could live in that third dimension forever. I would really like that.
   It’s called the third dimension because if my actual house is the first dimension, and school is the second, then that is the third. The rest of my world (Walmart, the castle, etc.) is just surrounding fabric of the first (and largest) dimension. But when I don’t want to be either at home or school, I want to go to the third dimension. Which is like death, and can be rarely mimicked from one of the other dimension. And even if I am homeschooled next year, I will not be able to escape the first dimension. So I need, and want, the third.


That is all I have to say, really, except that I am thinking of posting these letters on my Hello Poetry page, since I will never read them in 2020, and perhaps someone will find that I am relatable. Or ******.


Love always,


Hollin
I wrote this today
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,

   I was planning on writing you a letter that explained in my own words everything that happened this morning, but if you’ll please excuse me, then I won’t. I simply don’t feel like I want to relive such an experience through writing to you about it. I’m sorry.
   All that you really need to take away from this morning to understand where I am now is these things:
I started eating semi-normally again
Dad doesn’t understand/ believe in apps like Calm Harm and Breathe. He instead thinks that forcing me to work when I’m down works instead. He obviously has no idea.
When I’m really down, I check-out. (I will explain this in a moment)
Dad doesn’t really love me. (I know, I know. Obvious, right?)
School is now officially better than home.
I like ants and wish I had been born one.
Lo-fi hip hop is my new jam.
I forgot to take my medicine last night, and nobody cut me any slack. (My mom is supposed to remind me, but did she apologize? NO, she was just angry that I didn’t go to school today)
I didn’t go to school today but wish I had.
When I check-out my self-harm risk level rises dramatically
I don’t need knives or razors to self-harm.
My knuckles are greatly torn and the sidewalk is ******.
I can’t talk much when I check out, and self-harm makes me smile.
If I self-harm enough, I go numb.
I can’t remember clearly what happens when I check out and when I check out I lose track of time.
I think my dad called me an idiot.
I’m pretty sure that Dad likes Sean better than me and probably wishes I was more like him. So do I, lol.
I really don’t have any explanation about my knuckles. I don’t know at all what I will say to people at school, the doctor, or the therapists, or ******. My mom asked me why, and I just said, “I’m sorry.” (I was still half checked-out then)
The reason I was outside on the sidewalk at all is that Dad told me to go pull weeds.
After the knuckles, Mom told me to put on her gloves and I think I bled enough to ruin the leather forever.
My knuckles will probably be scared because they bled more than my wrist and that is scarred.
I never want to have a husband. I either want a wife or no spouse at all.
I am kind of scared of my Dad but hate him at the same time.
Dad acts like nothing is wrong.
I think Dad is angry because if it weren’t for me, he’d have a perfect, normal family.
I can never see men the same way again.
“Quit being an idiot. Do you feel better now, eh?”
About an hour after I checked back in, I had the worst and longest chest pain of my life.
I know I just basically told you what happened in the morning, but this way it doesn’t hurt as much to relive. Besides, If you're reading this then you probably already know what happened.



   Anyways, I cleaned my room. And I took down all the posters, art and stuff yesterday. I even turned my books the other way so that I don’t have to see the art on them. Sometimes seeing things with art is like a slap in the face, as if the book itself is saying, “Look what I can do, what you can’t!”
   The app called Calm Harm says that you should record when you self-harm and write what the trigger might have been. The first times it was because my mother was leaving. This time I think I was scared, angry, and suicidal, which are amplified when I check-out. I couldn’t get a grip on reality at all (hence being checked-out) and I guess this way brought (even if only a little bit) back to reality. But really, I don’t like talking about it at all. Especially not in person.
   I told Lauren this yesterday (from the 741741 crisis helpline) I don’t know how I would **** myself, but I know where. I would **** myself in the place that I used to go to be happy. I meant the place underneath the highway, on the neighbor’s property across the highway. Noone is ever there, so the police (when they went looking for me) would find my body, not my mother. And I think it is kind of metaphoric (Lauren called it philosophic), going to the place I used to be happy, so I can be happy one last time as I **** myself. But unless I brought my own rope for hanging, or gun for shooting or something, I could really only drown myself there (since it’s in the creek). And I’ve read about that, read that it is a horrible way to die and that it’s very hard too because your body is fighting against you and that if you fail, you could have serious brain damage. I am very scared of that, failing I mean. I would much rather use something I know would work, like noose or gun than something that has a significant chance of not working, like wrist slitting, drowning, of jumping. I’m sorry. This is a bit morbid, and I know I should write about them. But it is better to write to you about them, and get them out than it is to have them rattling around in my brain until I do them, is it not?
   I believe so.

With as much love as I can muster (which isn’t much),

Love,


Hollin Stewart
That day was ruff.
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,

   I don’t really have anything to talk about. I just felt like typing. And talking to you. I guess there is always something to talk about, really, just ramble on about. Especially when you talk as little as I do sometimes. Honestly, I think I say more to you in a letter than I would in a whole day!
   The thing is, I’m a little bummed about my Dad. I’ve never been a “Daddy’s girl” or as close to my Dad I was to my Mom, but things started to change in fourth grade. I realized, Hey. I don’t love this person. At the time, the thought of the perfect, loving family had been ingrained in me, so I thought I should just try harder.
   It was in fifth grade that I started to actively dislike him, and in sixth grade I had caught myself thinking, God, I hate him! Of course, I was embarrassed that I should think this and told myself that I didn’t hate him, I hated some of the things he did. In seventh grade, I now know that I hate him. And I feel bad. It isn’t really an active hate so much as avoiding him because I don’t like him and don’t want to talk to him.
   But I think today has changed that. I think today has seriously affected the way I see him, think about him. He has convinced me, through the ways that he treats my mother and me, that I never want a husband. I believe I shall look at men a bit differently from this day on. Because today was the worst day I have ever had with him, a day where seeing him triggered more gasping and crying.
    Because until today, it had simply been hate, contempt, whatever you want to call it. Until today, I simply dislike him and strived to be as far unlike him as I could. But today added a new emotion to my dislike. Today he added fear. He now adds to the stress in my life. I now try to limit to a number of words I say in front of him and carefully monitor how much emotion I show. I do not want him to come to my chorus concert tomorrow. I really do not.
    Because my friends have, on a good day, heard me saying that I do not want to go home. This is usually because I do not want to have to deal with my parents (with my father) and I do not want him to ruin the good mood I am currently in. They had asked why I didn’t want to go home, and I simply said that my father was an *******, and didn’t want to say anything more about it. And this is true; everyone who knows him, even his mother, would deem calling him an *******. Because he is. I just wonder what my friends, who have heard me use those lines those few times, heard me actively disliking someone when I dislike no one else, will wonder. I wonder what they will think when I come back after missing school, obviously injured and shaken. I wonder what they will think when they see me, dour and grim, dressed in black beside my father as we enter the school building for the chorus concert and rushing backstage as soon as possible to get away from him. Frowning when he makes fun of my friends, though they may be laughing themselves. I wonder what they will think.
   Perhaps, they will simply wonder if he is abusive. And I assure you, he is not. I simply think that he is just not a very good father. Or, perhaps like the teacher who does not work well with the student, perhaps he is a good father, just not the kind of father I need as a role model. Perhaps if our personalities had fit together better, like his and Sean’s, then things would have been better. Because I have to wonder if the lack of sufficient male role model (first, he stopped being at home, then we fought when he was) and instead overabundance of female role model (I am almost always by my mother’s side) is why I like both females and males, but females more.
   Haha, to think of how if my father read this, he would chuckle and completely disregard my words, unwilling to assume they hold any actual value. He would scoff at how wonderfully the apps that he, this morning, had dismissed as ridiculous were helping me.
   If I died, he wouldn’t blame himself. He wouldn’t think of the myriad ways that he could have been a better, more responsible, more caring father for me. He would blame me, and he would blame depression, saying that if I had simply followed his instructions more carefully, and perhaps not cried so often, that I could have easily been saved. He would blame depression and talk long and loud about how “nonsensical” and “absurd” it makes people. He would blame my mother, who has a line of depression in her family. He would blame everyone, everyone but himself, and mostly he would blame me, and weakness. Me and my inability to cope with the world the way he wanted me to. Instead of riding over the waves, like the apps greatly help me do, he wants me to dive straight through them. And I hate him for it, for I can see that when I check-out, for I know I will when he makes me dive, that I will keep hurting myself.
   I don’t want to talk about him anymore. It’s making me upset.



   Sometimes, I wish I could float away like a cloud on the soft Spring breezes that roll through. Simply glide away, like the dandelion puff that someone has made a wish on.
   In my good moments, I will usually wish on dandelions for things like happiness, or more good times. In my bad moments, which I think are more often, I wish for death.
   Sometimes I wonder if depression can **** you. I don’t mean suicide, I mean, can you simply drop dead from sadness? I think this is a silly thought. But I like believing in it. I don’t want to look up whether you can or not, because I suspect you can’t, but I like to believe that when I’m in line at McDonald's buying my fries and milkshake I will simply keel over and die. Seriously, I really want some McDonalds.
   I am in a pretty good mood, good enough to put little gluttonous plot twists on the ends of my morbid wonderings. I don’t even think dad could ruin my mood at this point, though I am probably sorely mistaken.
   And I’m pretty excited about tonight. There’s nothing new going on, I just really look forward to the time of day when I listen to the late-night lo-fi hip hop and chill in the pitch dark. Most of the time, it's the only thing I have to look forward to.
   Okay, so in The Fault In Our Stars, Hazel talks about how, a lot of times, she’ll get off easy for something because she has cancer. It’s because of pity, and how life-threatening it is, and blah blah blah. Sometimes, and I find this pretty funny (but it doesn’t work with my dad, big surprise there) my Mom will, like, be extra nice or help me out with buying something after a therapy session. Or when I’m having a low moment. I call these Depression Perks because I know my Mom feels super bad about how she cursed me with de-press-ion (dun dun dun) and how I’m like suicidal and all that. Anyway, I guess I’m just greedy, but I kind of like these little Depression Perks, because I really am cursed with de-press-ion and it totally *****. Haha.

Love,



Hoolin Occupation
I really liked The Fault In Our Stars as a book, but the movie wasn't that great...
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,


   I never want to leave my room again. I’ve gotten lazy in a way that is extremely difficult to describe. Taking a shower, eating food, leaving my room, going to school, getting up in the morning, putting on clothes, talking to people, it’s all gotten much harder than it was last week.
   All these ****** meds, all the ****** appointments, and I’m just getting worse. I saw Machaela this weekend. It was great, amazing really, but leaving has made it all bad again.
   I’ve gotten really bad about expressing my feelings. I don’t show them at all sometimes. Sometimes I hold them in until one tiny thing makes them all crash down. But mostly, I just pretend they aren’t there at all.
   Just like how, right now, I quite angry about the fact that I am constantly feeling bad, depressed, down, and don’t get more attention about it from others. People are always doting on people like Elijah, who shows his feelings of depression OBNOXIOUSLY loud and stubbornly, and no one seems to care how I feel, even my Mom because I don’t show my feelings the way normal people do. But, do I do anything the way normal people do? Not anymore. Not anymore.
   I’m so boring. I literally do nothing interesting on my computer anymore. Nothing that could start a conversation. I mean, I start conversations about the things I used to do on my computer, but not the things I do now. I mean, does anyone really want to hear about how I listen to lo-fi hip-hop, write to you, look up reasons not to **** myself, and on very ultra rare occasion- take a typing test or write a chapter in my book?
   I’ve gotten angrier lately. Not in public, of course. Most of my friends can’t even imagine me being angry. Because before now, the only reason I was angry was my Dad. Now, I’m angry about everything. I’m trapped in this world that I hate, everyone is trapped here, and there’s no way to free myself that doesn’t have a chance of hurting one of the few people I care about more than this terrible world already has.
   I hate this world. It lies. It seems beautiful and peaceful and tranquil, but this world is lying to you. It is horrible and I hate it and I want to leave and I don’t even know if I’m even angry but I want to complain because I’m hurting on the inside like that baby bunny who was crushed underneath the barrel by the dogs and died from injuries on the inside of its body. The bunny is me, and no matter how alive we may look, we are dying and we know it and you might as well just look away. Because I didn’t even have the respect for that bunny to watch it die, and no one here is having the respect for me to watch me die. They are all turning, they are all turning their backs on me.
   I actually. I don’t know what I’m yelling about. I told you that I wrote a chapter of my book, but I doubt I will be able to do so again. And ever since I stopped being able to draw I’ve just started hating everything I ever drew or that has any art on it at all. I want all of that stuff to go away, stop reminding me of how I used to have two things I was good at.




At this point I’m honestly hoping you are dead and someone else is reading this. Because no matter how many “why not to **** yourself”s I read, scars I leave, tears I shed, Meals I skip, no matter how many times I try to do what I used to do with ease, It doesnt cease rthe PAIN THAT i FEEL ON THE INSIDE LIKE THE BUNNY AND i’M SCREAMING TO YOU IN CAPS BECAUSE I SCREAM AT MY SELF IN MY MIND AND I WANT TO DIE AND I WANT TO DIE AND I SAY THAT EVERY ******* DAY i SWEAR I DO BUT IT DOESNT HELP I WANT TO DIE EVERRY DAY FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER AND NOTHING HELPS JUST **** ME P[LEASE I DONT CARE IF I HURT THE FEW PEOPLE I HURT YOU won't FIND MY BODY ILL **** MYSELF IN THE PLACE THAT WAS MY HAPPY SPACE WITH HER BEFORE SHE HATED ME AND Befor e my DEPRESSION AND MY ******* ANXIETY AND MY ******* ANOREXIA TOOK OVER AND I CANT ENJOY EVERYTHING YOU won't FIND ME THERE BECAUSE THAT WAS ONE SECRET I KEPT5drsy i,uers7ujojw3lki8wiuirweuijweruhjkrewhureDSFWJKDWQUFEWQOUBWQKBJWQ­BKFWQBUFSCQBEHKWCKUBSEUOQBTGVO3NFDBIG73QUHJDSNLI3BGUJRBHT4ILWFEQK­HDUILREHNFSDKJ
I don't like the way that this poem ends, but I don't like the mood I was in when I wrote this poem either
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,

    I don’t really know why I’m writing to you today. Technically, I could talk to many different people. There’s Mom, Bonnie, and the internet suicide chats. Honestly, I don’t think any of them would understand what I would say, though. Mom is best at hugs, Bonnie likes to tell me to read papers, and I don’t think the internet suicide chat is right for me, because they wouldn’t be able to fix me. So I thought, if its okay, then I would talk to you again.
    If you listen to the song on Youtube called Her Last Words, then you might notice how similar that song is to these letters. That's because I like thinking that when I die- No. I just thought, The people who love me will find and read these, but that's a lie, isn’t it? Because if I really thought people loved me, I wouldn’t be here writing to you about my own suicide. So no. If I **** myself, I will probably just upload all of these letters onto Hello Poetry.
    I’m just feeling really down. Nothing is working out for me, as usual. I don't hate anything anymore. I’m just really, really tired. And I don’t want to be here anymore. But unlike school, and people, and nature, I can’t escape my mind and this world. No matter how much I want to. I’m trapped here. I can never escape unless I die. And as much as I want to, I can’t.
    I never want to leave my room. I don’t care if I starve here, I have water and would finally be skinny, right? I never want to leave my room. I never want to go to the doctor, take my medicine, see anyone in person. Because I’m actually sick of people, as much as they scare me. I can just text them, or whatever. People always like me better over text anyways. And I’m so sick of these doctors and grownups trying to fix me. Have you ever thought that maybe I’d rather just die myself, then live on as some drugged-happy maniac, some distorted version of me?
    But, I mean, who the **** am I anyway? I’m not even dead yet and everyone has already forgotten me. Even myself. And I’m falling apart piece by piece. I feel like at any second, I could simply fall apart at the seams and tumble onto the ground.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.
    I wish I would die.


I realized I’m not even writing to the receiver of this letter. I’m not really writing to myself in 2020, am I? No, I’m writing to absolutely no one, and hoping that someone will read this because I am dead.
    And this weekend, I’m not going to be able to be who Machaela wants me to be, am I? I’m just going to a pre-skeleton, sitting there quietly, thinking of all the wrong things, saying too little, and feeling too much. I’m sorry, I don’t really know why I started writing this letter to you. It’s been completely pointless, and I don’t really have anything to say. I’ve had to talk to so many people, saying the same things so often that I have completely run out of anything new or interesting or surprising. I don’t want to be with others, I want someone. But I Don’t want to be alone, I want to be by myself. I want a hug, but I want a specifically perfect best-friend, one who’s always there for me and would have no idea what to do if I was gone, to be the one to hug me.








I really wish I could die.








I really
Really
Really
Really
Really
Really
Really




Wish I could die.

Sincerely,
H. R. S.
I noticed that there are many unoccupied spaces in this poem, did you?
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,

     I’m really sorry. I don’t totally remember what I said in the last letter, but I know it was ridiculous. No one is born to die. The future can always change.
     The idea of being “born to die” is an idea from Dragonlance, Dragons of the summer flame. One of the characters asks another if his brothers, who had recently died in an epic battle, were born to die. The reader can easily see how this would be because their deaths help the story move along the way it should. And the reader sees how impossible it is that the living brother is the only survivor of the battle from his side.
     But what I said is ridiculous. I’m sorry. I can’t believe I wrote something so ridiculous in a letter to you.
     I had a good time today. Better than usual. But there was still that aura around me, that dark cloud that darkens everything. If I had had a day like this in the Before Times, before everything went spiraling downward, I probably would’ve had more fun than I did today. I’m sorry. I sound so ungrateful. But I’m not. I really enjoyed myself.
     Last week the doctor asked me if I was still thinking of self-harm. I said no. I guess I panicked because the doctor and my mother were right there, but I still think that was a lie. I don’t often take actions for my thoughts (well, sometimes I do. A few days ago I admittedly tore through my drawers in my bathroom, looking for a razor or razor head. I don’t even want to really think about what I might have done if I had found one) but I have certainly been thinking about self-harm. I think about it every day. Sometimes when I am setting my goals for myself, I will think, you have to eat less. If you don’t stop eating, I swear I’ll cut you. Yes. I know it's kind of ****** that I would talk to myself like that. But when the doctor or the counselor asks if I’ve been thinking about self-harm again, it is always incredibly hard to answer them truthfully. It is awkward and hard to explain the way I think to adults, and giving off the wrong impression in this kind of situation can be a really big deal. Like how I gave off the impression that thinking about my past didn’t bother me to my mother. She once asked me about the Harm Times in public. I was stunned, appalled, mortified, and paralyzed. It is extremely hard for me to talk to others about these things.
      But I like talking to you. Because you are a better me. A wiser me. In a strange way, I guess I look up to you. Which is good, I guess, because there really isn’t anyone else that I can look up to.
     For someone reason, for about an hour my face has felt really flushed. Like I’m blushing, or something. But I’m not, and I haven’t been doing anything except playing games.
     I think to myself sometimes. I think I am such a messed-up person, aren’t I? I probably am.
     Lately, I’ve been really tired. I think it’s just from life. It’s also a symptom, so maybe that's it. I also have been forgetting things a lot. Like how I think I’ve talked about being tired of you before, and said that it wasn’t really from staying up late, but I don’t remember.
     Sigh


     Hey. You know why I start every letter by saying that you might not exist; that in 2020 I might be dead? It’s not because of pessimism. It's not because I believe some accident will occur or I will be murdered. The accident has already, occurred. That is me. I say the things about you not existing because I can’t see the future, especially not like I used to. I used to be able to plan out every little thing about my future. Now I don’t even know what I want to be when I grow up. I can’t see very far into my future, because I genuinely believe that before I am very old I will simply **** myself, and all of this will be over. I am so certain of this that when people ask me about my future I think about how I know I will die soon, and simply tell them whatever comes to mind. I am so certain that I will die soon that sometimes I feel like I should live my life to the fullest as if I have no control over my own suicide. I am so certain of my death being soon that sometimes I used to feel excited as if it were coming soon. I am so weird. By the way, there is no ‘living your life to the fullest’ for me. There is nothing I want to do. Except maybe feel happy, loved, genuine. But blasting happy, nostalgic tunes can only do so much.
      I really, really cannot see myself very far into the future from now. I can only imagine myself being a recluse. Honestly, if things continue like this and I am still alive, I really cannot see myself in college. I’m such a mess. I’m sorry for telling you all this. This is the kind of useless **** I keep telling myself I need to keep inside.
     sigh
              Sincerely,
                              Hol­li
Hmmm... I think these letters are definitely the kind of useless **** I need to keep inside... But so is my blood, so I guess I'd rather spill my feelings than my innards
Tana F Bridgers May 2018
Dear 2020,

     I’m sorry I write to you so much. It must be pretty annoying, having to go back and read all these. And maybe I’m writing to you when you don’t even exist anymore. Hmmm.
     Even if you aren’t alive in 2020, I still like writing to you. Like I said last time, it kind of gives me a little hope. And if you aren’t alive, then I guess Connor might want to read these… I mean they are kind of depressing sometimes so maybe that's not the best idea and I know he probably doesn’t care this much about me, but if he does care about me like he says he does… Then I think he might want to read these. It might help him better understand why I had to go.
     And if he reads these, he might know that I was never angry with him, or the world, or anybody really. I was just angry with myself for not being able to live up to everyone's expectations, especially my own. He might understand then that it didn’t matter if he did care for me, I am too paranoid to think anybody ever could. And even if I knew he cared for me, it wasn’t enough. I’m sorry, but the world is just not the place for me. I can’t handle it. I’m not strong enough. And if I hurt you by saying this, then I’m sorry. But it’s the truth. I’m not trying to make you upset by saying these things, I’m just trying to be honest, and honestly hurting you right now won’t matter because whether it’s in a week, a month, or even a year, you’ll forget me. And that's okay. I’m not trying to tell you that you should remember me. I don’t really deserve that, in a way. I’m the kind of person who just needs to be forgotten. To disappear. And I know that.
     And I know fully that saying what I’m about to is either going to be too ****** or too late, but… I always wanted to be buried in the Lower Pasture, with the dogs. But I guess… Unlike them, I don’t really deserve it. So maybe not.
     I don’t really like thinking about what happens after you die. I mean, I had of course always wanted to go to heaven, as we are taught we should want to do, but I don’t want to rely on hopes like that. I have learned already that living on hopes doesn’t work out for me. And of course, I don’t want to go to ****, either. I just like thinking that after death I just get to stay in that comfortable third space forever. That… sounds a lot more enjoyable than staying on this planet. I don’t like thinking about my funeral, either. This is because I had always pictured people being sad about my being gone, bringing casseroles to my parents, and crying half-heartedly at my funeral because let’s face it: only Connor and my mother ever really knew me. But then I think to myself, oh Holli, you know that people didn’t know who you were. You just said that. And yet you still believe that people would be saddened by your absence. You still think that people would cry at your funeral. You still think you would be remembered, and that you would linger in the minds of those around you. But that's a little selfish, a little rude, isn’t it? To think that after being who you were, and admitting that only two people got even a glimpse of who you really were, after you lied to all the rest, that people would still care about you? You know, don’t you, what happens to people who die after not being very well-known. You know what happens in the hearts of those who attend the funerals of suicide victims they did not know very well. You were one of them. You, yourself, did not know very well Jackson’s father, and you yourself, knew that his death had affected Jackson. You knew and cared about Jackson. You hated his father for doing this to him. You hated him. You know, now, that it was not Jackson’s father who did anything wrong, but the world, and you only know this because you, yourself are also being crushed underneath the weight of the world and living in it. But the others will not know that. They care about Connor, and they care about your mother, and they will hate you for hurting them. And Connor and your mother will hate you, too, for doing that to them. Do you hear that, Holli? The only people you know you love in this wretched world will hate you, hate carrying around the burden of you in their minds, hate you, hate that you existed, and maybe hate themselves for being near you. And I ask you: Do you want that?
     And I start to cry. Because I don’t want that. I do not want them to hate me. But I am helpless; there is nothing I can do anymore. I am doomed. I was born to die. That’s why I peaked in second grade, why I had always lived my life to the fullest and was true to myself. I bet that somewhere in the back of my mind, I always knew that I was born to die. I know it is my own fault. And yet I want deeply to believe that it is not. If they end up hating me, then I am sorry. I hate me too. But I was born to die, wasn’t I?
     I apologize for this letter being as dour and grim and ridiculous as it was. Haha… I really am a pessimist, aren’t I? Oh well. None of this will matter in the end, anyway.

            Love,
                     Holli
I often regret things I send in letters after I've sent them... but that's just how letters are, aren't they? And you shouldn't change primary documents...
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