I was here.

Today is one of the bad days.

Today, I spend an hour over the page, spelling out my name onto paper, over and over and over again until it’s all I can see.

A curve here. A line there. A dot. Repeat.

A tear drops onto the ink and leaves a speckle of blue that wobbles when I exhale.

I feel my pulse steadily rising, my heart beating faster as I take another breath.

It’s all wrong.

It isn’t me.

The paper cackles as I crush it, mocking me.

 


I feel like a mirage, as if I’m made of smoke, fading into nothingness.

A cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’d be gone, only two sets of nails and thirty-four teeth swirling in a spiral down to the ground.

And then, just as quickly, they’ll turn to dust and ash, blown away in a gust of grey.

Maybe someone will look up as I billow past them, a look of distant incomprehension on their face.

Maybe another will mouth a perfect ‘O’ as my hand fleets right through their arm, grasping for a berth.

The moment will be forgotten as quickly as it came.

I’ll be forgotten.

I could have never existed.


On the desk I write on is etched three words and a date.

S.R. loves J.D. 2007.

If I close my eyes, I can look up and see two pale, shimmery shapes rise up from the letters, hands clutched together, eyes shining, a tender glance, a subtle kiss.

I love you. 

No one can refute that now. It’s evidence. Evidence that they existed, that they lived, that they loved.

I would like to have that, I think.

Decades later, I would like for a hand to run its fingers over my carving, sharpen the edges, perfect the letters. I would like to become a part of the wood, to live forever through it.

And if my name is on the page, if my name is scrawled on some distant pillar, I tell myself: I can’t disappear.

I was here.

See?

I told you.

I told you I was.

That’s my name, I was here.

I rip the page and start over.

The paper cackles as I crush it.

 

 

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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118 thoughts on “I was here.

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  1. As I sit by my mom’s bedside awaiting her imminent death, this writing you offer today is a deep insight – mom’s feeling too.
    “I feel like a mirage, as if I’m made of smoke, fading into nothingness.”
    Your writing is a lovely expression of our bodily mortality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That really means a lot to me, Jandvig. I can’t possibly imagine what you must be going through and I really hope my piece was of little comfort to you, if any. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here ❤

      Like

  2. Good morning, Natalie. This is powerful stuff, and captures something innate to all of us, the desire to leave a mark, to be remembered. You speak in your bio of “blurring the lines;” here in the age of instant publishing, many writers speak of their “special skills” without actually demonstrating them. This is as perfect a demonstration of the art as I’ve seen in a good long time, and I thank you for sharing it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m honoured you thought so, Jack. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot to me ❤️

      Like

    1. That’s really a beautiful thought… thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤️

      Like

  3. Beautiful writing. Taken aback startled at the depths to which you have waddled. As good as one can get with “just words”. More than a decade now since the etching. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That really means a lot to me, John. Thank you so much! ❤
      No plans yet, though: I'm afraid I have neither the patience nor the discipline for it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That was really a beauitful way to put it… thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts here! It really means a lot ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    2. hi again-’tis a… new approach. My Ways and Training are not so socially adept at these Times and Places. Yet and much. Is appreciated. So you should know. What you write. You write well as. As well as any of Our World Legends. Till next…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm that was such a beautiful piece.
      Especially that last line: “The meanest flower that blows can give- thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”
      For some reason, it really struck a chord in me…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Loved it, you really know how to bring the reader in and feel exactly what you intend them to. Nice, it made my wheels turn and want to rehash any old emotions i have locked and put away in the corners of my mind. But if I go searching for it… I don’t think I’d like what i would find. The past is just that and I put all of it away to save my sanity. I don’t think I could handle all of the bad thing that has been done to me.. See you have me blogging in your comments.. Great job

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank gods I found you again. I was so stressed when the darkest tunnel was gone! Your poems really touched my heart and brought alot of feelings to me. Thank you for making things better again! ^_^ To become part of the wood, to live through it. Nicely written! Never have I felt the fear of disappearing without a trace, maybe I should start leaving marks! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you so much! Really touched you feel that way ❤
      And I have a feeling I'm here to stay, so you'll definitely be seeing me around for a while. I truly appreciate the support, thank you so much for that. This comment just made my day ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice! Reminds me that within my creative life I’ve found it helpful to remember “focus on what you’re doing instead of how well you’re doing it.”. Helps me to just “get it done” – I can tweak it later. What matters is that we keep going!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I’m very glad you are here. Tonight… I became glad that I am here also. I’m etching the proof that I was here by leaving this comment. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to linger in your words. However… I am wondering… if perhaps… when I press the “post comment” button… my laptop might cackle.

    Hope you have a most beautiful day, Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Natalie…. Beautiful as ever…. Going into oblivion is a fear all of us have deep within us… Though it’s a fear it can bring out the best in us that can not be matched with time or let’s say travel through eons of time in the form of art, music or a post like yours….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Another superbly elegant piece. The “cackling” paper is a stroke of descriptive genius. I will note that “The paper cackles as I crush it, laughing at me.” might sound better with “mocking” in place of “laughing at.” Also “Like a cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’ll be gone, only two sets of nails and thirty-four teeth swirling in a spiral down to the ground.” I’ would remove “like” and change “I’ll” to “I’d”: “A cold squall of wind could hiss my way, and I’d be gone…” Also, while I’m talking about this line, I think it’s great – direct, physical, atmospheric, and slightly esoteric, with the specific, numbered references to teeth and nails. I hope these comments serve you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First off, thank you so much for such a constructive comment! I’m truly grateful that I have readers like you around here. ❤
      Oooh, I'm loving the "mocking me", though I can't believe I didn't think of it. Definitely a bit jealous. 😉
      I love the other change you've suggested as well, I feel it would help heighten the evocative aspect of the piece, and I'll update it shortly.
      Its surprising that such small tweaks can transform how that line reads, isn't it?
      I just hope I can learn to identify these changes myself, before I publish, though I guess I'll never be able to replace having a reader's perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow!!! What a stunningly awesome post!!! I love your title and have that thought often myself. Especially, these days with my three score and ten approaching at the end of the month!! Really a super!!!
    Bellisimo, Natalie, Bellisimo!!
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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