A car slowly crawling down the street, watched from 19 floors up. And the events that brought you so high are a blur when you try to write them in ink. Ink that smears onto the side of your hand, messy and shameful. You can’t write without wearing the story on your sleeve and everyone thinking that you’re childish. If you only held your pen a different way, or used a different ink, or wrote at a different angle. “Then you wouldn’t be so messy.” There’s a lot of opinions about how you can be less of who you are.
That starts to creep into you. It crawls slowly down your spine, collecting vertebrae as it goes; traffic cones that are no longer needed. Construction is halted. And you write at a different angle and no ink gets on your hand, because the pen never forms a single word. If you only used a darker, bolder ink, or a better quality pen, or just wrote on a tablet.
And now you’re 19 floors up and your story has never been written past a smeared paragraph. A paragraph tagged “cursory” by a boy that wasn’t invited to read it. Because it wasn’t ready. Because it was unfinished. Because you feared that it was cursory. And the confirmation sent you into hiding. In a city; in a crowd; in a home that’s not your own. Where you can live off of your own radar, unable to find and ridicule yourself through someone else’s words.
If you only used a method that you couldn’t apologize for. If you’d written on the walls in permanent ink, etching words into stone that say, “I am a person that walks through doors and not around them.” If you only took that word in stride and showed the value in what you had to say. If you only wrote it that way, before the confidence to do so became a blur on the side of your hand. Before your cursory stories lay unopened and unfinished, in an untitled folder on your desktop. Packed away in a home that’s not your own.