“Dying Unread”

I had always been forgetful, but I always forget the things I shouldn’t and remember the ones I should.

I couldn’t remember why my grandmother kept on hitting me with a hanger when I was a child. She kept on telling me not to lie but I was sure, at that time, I wasn’t lying.

I was that hateful child who took another whip because she cried. I could no longer remember why I was on that floor counting one to five, maybe it was something I had done or something I hadn’t. My grandmother warned me about being a bad child. But I didn’t have weapons, all I had were scars.

I learned to write suicide letters before poetry. I was eleven then, when I wrote it for sympathy– sympathy that had never reached me, sympathy that I no longer hope to reach me.

Now I am not writing for sympathy. Believe me even if I hadn’t been an honest child. Why I write?

Because I’m a liar.

Because I still want to be that child who lies– about the places she had been in and the people she met, about the things she had been through and the things she hadn’t.

I had read about a famous author who was sent to a mental institution when he was younger. I thought I should be sent there too since we both wanted to be writers.

I had read about another writer who walked into a river with her overcoat pockets filled with stones. It was more romantic than jumping onto train tracks. Tragedies inspire me, I want to capture its beauty. I had always been a fearful child that even my own thoughts sometimes fear me. Why I write?

Because of these words inside my head. I just wanted to let them out–to keep me sane, with them inside, I feel I will go crazy.

There was a time when I lost my job, my heart, my home and hope, my stories didn’t leave me  but neither they fed me.

I let go. I let my stories go like the bubbles popping or the water draining, like raindrops drying before my eyes. When they walked with me in the morning, I ignored them like a man sick with his lover.

“What are all these stories doing inside my head if I’m not meant to be a writer?” One day, I asked myself.

“What are all these stories doing inside my head if I’m not meant to be a writer?” I asked myself back.

I turned back and it was waiting for me like a faithful wife who kept the door unlock. I had read about another writer whose body was found decomposing in her apartment.

I could die unread. But what else can I do if that’s my fate?

I don’t write to become a writer. I write because I have these stories. I don’t know what will happen but I should keep on writing–just because that’s who I am and that’s what I want to do.

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About Penn House

I am a freelance writer from the Philippines who had a collection of poetry published by Eastlit Magazine.