Some process through speech or silence or art. My heart thumps on a page, it bleeds in ink. As a young girl, I prayed to be a published author one day. I wanted a voice worthy of being read.
Most of my childhood was lovely and cheerful, but it was also complicated. There were scary moments- between conflict at home, bullying at school and supporting my older sister through mixed eating disorders. I turned to poetry when I navigated my co-dependent relationships and anxiety. My bandages gathered in brown paper bags under the twin bed- collecting dust for warmth and suffocated by the containers of buffalo chicken wings my sister hid in the darkness for a moment when she needed to binge.
One day, in a feverish fit, I unearthed all my heartaches and re-homed them, relocated to a place for keeps- one with more respect. I peeled the layers of caked on grime and unfolded the crumpled edges of the pages that absorbed my still crimson thoughts. Orange letters scrawled across the tiny screen of our very first computer. It's unreal to think about how awful and wonderful something can be at the same time.
It whizzed and popped, gulping down my life- dozens and dozens of vials- poems from my veins. The machine was a vampire. Not much after I fed the beast, I finally recycled the hard pages. Moments later, the little, wondrous orange eyed savior became my enemy. Our first hard crash - and we didn't have anything like Google Docs or hard drives. We hadn't even figured out the floppy disc yet.
That was the first death of my writing. If I could have held a funeral for the pages lost, I would have. It felt like an amputation. I cried myself to sleep multiple times- not even sure what I was going to do with those scabs from my past but sad to bury them in an empty and cold box anyway.
Of course, a girl in this day and age who cuts her flesh would receive counseling. I cut mine with a pencil and page before it was cool to see a therapist. The blue lines and red margins were my counselor. I eagerly poured myself into them. I opened up and looked at my insides with interest. It was the safest pain as it left no outside marks. I couldn't bleed out. There'd always be more. And every drop made room- just a little bit for something more beautiful to grow in the space it left.
Have you ever cared about something so much that you felt this way? Have you ever been so real and so raw that it was as if you were giving away pieces of yourself? Your inner world? Your truth? Putting it in front of a magnifying glass, looking it over and hoping it's something interesting- something moving- something real?
That was the first death of my writing... you haven't even read about Peter yet.