I haven’t written in a while. I’m not sure if this is something I should be apologising for. Part of me feels that I should, as I am sorry for most of the things that I do, or in this case didn’t do. The other part of me feels as though it doesn’t matter if I apologise or not because nobody actually cares. My apology will float away and get sucked up in some black vacuum as though it never existed in the first place.
A few months ago someone lashed out at a piece of writing I had published. As much as I tried to understand their reaction and their perspective and why they wrote what they did, it didn’t hurt any less and I allowed them to make me question myself and whether or not I had the right to feel the things that I feel, let alone write about them. I write so other people can feel less alone because I know how terrible it is to feel lonely. I write so I too can feel less alone. Maybe that’s selfish of me but I will keep writing all the same because it might be the only thing that saves me.
It’s been a long time since I have felt safe. Since someone has made me feel as though I am making some kind of difference, as though I’m making some kind of permanent dent on this earth. It’s hard to imagine that when I go I will leave some kind of legacy, some kind of mark, especially considering I feel so undeniably forgettable in this life. As I walk the Sydney streets, people push past me, bumping my shoulders as I try and creep by unnoticed. Nobody sees me and I try not to see them. I keep my head down, my eyes focussing on the pieces of chewed up gum that have been there so long they have turned black. As I walk, I scream in my head. I yell and I scream and I’m surprised that no one can actually see or feel my simmering hatred that surrounds me like some kind of devilish halo.
It was four years ago that I stood quietly at the nurse’s station when a fist of a stranger flew by and knocked me clean to the ground. I remember the white,hot pain and the infinite bewilderment that struck me as I sat, crumpled on the floor. Four years on and I pass the homeless on every street corner. If they are sitting down with their empty coffee cups, my heart breaks and I linger in confusion, wondering what to do. Most times I walk away without doing anything, ashamed that I’m lucky enough to have coins in my own purse. When they are standing up, when they walk past me, I imagine they will lash out and hit me square in the face, making that thunderous smack that still echoes for miles and miles in my head.
I am at work now and I will smile a brilliant smile, feeling myself push a sparkle to the surface of my eyes because I want to save everyone. I will dive into the water without hesitation and with complete disregard of the fact that I myself have forgotten how to swim. I smile because I want to make it clear that no one should feel responsible for my loneliness, even out of obligation. They say to me ‘you’re always smiling’, and I will smile for them for as long as they need me to though my insides are screaming for them to turn and walk away so I can at least find some peace in my loneliness. Though it seems that their inadvertent insults bounce like rubber off my skin, in truth these invisible-insult-spores seep in through my pores and blacken my blood with their toxic waste. I walk back and forth from my desk to the kitchen, making cup after cup of tea in the hope that it will somehow shorten the hours that I spend here.
I make no plans for the future because I may disappoint you and I feel as though I am already disappointment enough.
Please don’t mock me or tell me to calm down or cry you a river. Just let me write so I can at least find peace in my loneliness.