“While I am telling this man I want to live without him I am waiting for him to text me back…”

My mind is in a similar place now. I forgot that he had said he was going out to bring his cousin to her evening college classes. I have to wait for him to get back home, where there’s internet, so we can talk again. I don’t even have anything to talk about.

This is my problem, or our saviour:  I want to talk to him; I want to tell him things; I want him to hear me thinking out loud. Even though I can’t say the words “I love you”, I want him to hear me speak.

“But can you replace him as my closest friend though if I work up the courage to end it tonight?”

Except it’d be weird to have my closest friend swapped out for someone else. Except I don’t trust you that much yet. Except I don’t want to have to go over everything with you that he already knows. I’m growing rather tired of bearing myself repeatedly to one person after the other.

“Girl you can hit me up anytime.”

Joy and an aftertaste reminiscent of that hole Christians say everyone has that only God can fill.

  *   *   *

Today he gave me a compliment.

“See, and I like you for that.”

“You like me for what?”

I felt something like a 16 year old who had to tell her mother that she in fact didn’t want to be a ballerina, after her mother had invested money, energy and several years to her classes, recitals and shows.

I rationalised the complimented action, made it look like something I would have done anyway. I know it did nothing to alter his perception.

It’s been about an hour and a half; he hasn’t gotten back yet. There’s a student irritating me because she’s talking on her phone even though I told her twice to take the call outside.

Never mind that. This mindfulness thing, or whatever it is I’m doing, seems to be working for me these days. If no one else has disrupted it thus far, she will not be the one to break the chain.


I’m starting poems again,
Not finishing them, of course.
I’ve begun again
To build a scattered pile
Of pieces
Of stolen time
And broken thoughts:
Sheets of paper
Parts of an un-gathered
Of my unspoken words
Bravely protruding themselves
Into the world.

I have begun to return
To what is normal to me,
What my life was
Before formal education
Robbed me
Of my time,
Of the ability
To think
At leasure
Instead of on command
With the ever present,
Always impending deadline.

I am starting again
My abandoned relationship
With my words, ideas
And inner self,
Making themselves known
By pouring forth
On paper,
Forming their shape
With ink.


It’s not a novel I’m trying to write when I string words together in my head to describe the movement on my insides when I start to worry about my younger sister whom I think has been abandoned by the world. I’m not ready yet to publish a book about my life and how it was great in the beginning, but only ever got worse since December 2010 when I came to the land of opportunity. I never write these lines down; the ones that form in my head as I walk along the street thinking about the most recent argument I had with the man who wants to marry me. That is just the way my mind works. It makes my life into lyrics and poetic lines, distant, sepia paragraphs that I imagine would look nice in an old book to a woman crouched on the floor, sunken deep into its pages. The shortfall is that these lines never seem to develop into a full body. Instead they trail off and float away into the cool wind I hate because it always makes a warm day into one where I need to shiver.

From April

From April of last year. The opening words were said by the woman leading the singing at church on a particular Sabbath. I didn’t like what she said.

“We don’t deserve to live!…”

“Thanks for reminding me,” I said out loud. I stood unwillingly, with no intention of singing that hymn again. I hated when they did that. I folded my arms and kept my mouth closed and looked off to the side. Like I needed to be reminded. Like I didn’t know that already. As if there was any way I could forget that.

A miserable wretched sinner, yes I know. I was born evil and have no good in me and deserve a horrid death. And if I don’t deny myself and live completely for Jesus, I surely will die that horrid death. Never mind what I think. Never mind that I was dropped into the middle of a war that has absolutely nothing to do with me. But I have to make a decision anyway. I have to pick a side. Does that even make sense? You mean to tell me I was made so I could die? Love me or die. How on earth can you command someone to love you? And what if I just can’t find it in me to love you wholeheartedly and believe every word say? You kill me? Or leave me to die? Thanks a lot. That surely is unconditional love.

I was thinking this on my way to pick up my brother from daycare. I almost cried. I was thinking this before I went to bed last night. I shook my head and tossed the thought away. I’d been thinking this a lot lately. I’m being forced to do something I want nothing to do with.

I know I have the wrong idea about the situation. I usually do. I see things through my feelings, and that clouds my vision. But I don’t want to suppress anything more than I already have. I don’t want to hurt myself that way. I already hurt myself so many other ways.

It’s like I said, once she says what she has to say she’s fine. She moves on with her life and doesn’t think about it anymore. She probably disapproves of my behavior, but doesn’t think that she should stop relating to me as her sister. Whereas I am upset that she spoke to me the way she did and I am still hurt by it. I haven’t told her this. She probably doesn’t know. Her tone with me on our last phone call was very different from the way she spoke in the texts. I was very surprised by it. She sounds very calm right now. I don’t understand that. I’m in turmoil. I wish I wasn’t. My life is always like this. There are things that I am thankful for and things that I am worried over at the same time, and so I can never be truly peaceful. There is always something that causes me to be anxious. There is always something that I dread, or fear. At the same time, there is something I am happy about. Something that makes me smile. I thought before that these things were cover ups for how I truly felt, which was depressed, or unhappy, but maybe it’s that that’s just the way life Is. When am I going to be happy 24/7? Never. But I’ve never been sad or down 24/7 either. It’s that yin and yang thing, although I don’t think there’s perfect balance, but in my happiness, there is sorrow, and in my sorrow, there is happiness as well. It’s a push and pull kind of thing where my being is fighting to be at peace, to be balanced. Sometimes I am too much on the side of sadness and I seek for something that will provide some way of escape for this. This is where I find temporary pleasure. Sometimes when good things happen in my life, as they have been recently, I wonder if I should be happy with these things. If it is okay for me to be happy. Not whether I deserve it or not. I’ve never thought that. But I wonder if…I wonder why. I wonder why these things are happening to me when they are the result of a negative incident, when someone else may be hurting as a result of that incident. Can I be happy now, even though I was miserable before. Is it okay for me to happy now, when someone else was hurt in order for me to receive these things, though I didn’t hurt that person intentionally, and though that person got hurt because that person may have been trying to hurt me. …

From the Notes on My iPhone

The alone thing isn’t something I can’t pretend is not there. I have never seen it with my eyes actually, but it talks to me. Isn’t that strange? Something I can’t see talks to me.

I imagine it as a thick fog surrounding me and pressing against my body. I look around and no one’s there, but something is touching me. Oh, it must be loneliness again. I slump, becoming comfortable with the familiar presence of my unwanted friend, knowing it won’t be leaving soon. Not that I mind, really. It’s better than nothing. Right?

I exhale, open my laptop and go back to the episode I was watching. It’s right where I left it. I soon forget my friend as I fall into a whole other world. I laugh at all the funny stuff, and get mad at the bad guy who’s always overhearing things that can help him. I get mad at the good guy too, because he’s too stupid to realize what’s going on. I keep at it until I can’t anymore and then I close the lid of my laptop and turn on my right side. Music. I find a station and play it, adjust the volume and then I try to settle down again. How many hours before I need to get up? Whatever.

I Wish

I’m an “I wish” person. I wish I could speak seven languages like Maya Angelou. I wish I could dance like that. I wish I was brave like her. I wish I read a lot, like him. I wish I had a flat stomach like hers. I wish. I wish I knew all that stuff. Wish I was as disciplined to teach myself or read about it or stay up to date on things like that. I wish I took better care of my hair, of my body. Wish I was vegetarian. Wish I was a strong person. Wish I had a strong will. Wish I wasn’t so interested in what other people had to say. Wish I didn’t have to do this. Wish I didn’t have to deal with that. Wish things were different. Wish none of this had ever happened. I wish.


I wish and then I remain as I am, not doing a thing to change my situation or my thinking, not doing a thing to get closer to the thing I wish I had. I don’t study the languages. I don’t practise dancing. I don’t try to think positively and go out and do things. I don’t try hard enough to read. I don’t work out so I can have a flat stomach. I don’t push myself enough to do any of these things.


All I do is critcise, and berate. I put down and shame. I do this to my own self. The self I am supposed to love and take care of. Sometimes, from somewhere within myself, I tell myself it’s all fine. I’m just going through a phase right now. I’m trying to “find myself” or something and I’m going to feel like this. It won’t last forever and I need to go through this as a person. Besides, those things I want won’t come easily. They won’t happen overnight. That person who knows that one other language has been at it for seven years. I just started! Of course I’m not there yet. Calm down. Everything will be fine. I’ll get there one day…


I keep wondering which one of these voices I should pay more attention to. Should I listen to the harsh one and do something, or the comforting one and take my time? There is a problem either way. The harsh one makes me feel like crap and that I should just die, but I think if I continuously listen to the comforting one I’m going to become a bum. I’ll always relax and just wait for things to happen and then nothing ever will.


I heard something last night. A song probably. It said “it’s a dangerous thing; dreaming”. Not sure if that’s exactly what it said, but it was something like that. I held that line in my head and let the rest of the song play. It was talking to me. I told my class the other day, while we were having our wrap up session, that I hope, but I don’t expect. I have what I think are big dreams. I don’t ever think they’ll happen, but I would love it if they did. If I could. This may be a self-preservation thing, but it saddens me as well. I’m such an in-the-box person that anything too far outside I look at as impossible. I only see them as things that can happen for or to other people. Not me. Never me. When people tell me go ahead, I say I want to. And I do want to. But it’s likely that I never will.


And these are the things that swirl around in my head. The whispers that my memory has made of the things I used to hear. That I couldn’t sing. That I was ugly. That I should do that. That I can’t. The laughter. The other children together. Isn’t it weird how I keep remembering things from my primary school years? I mean, I’m twenty-one. That was a freaking long time ago.


And I keep thinking I’m too old to do anything. To learn to play an instrument. To learn ballet. To take drawing lessons. People who do that start when they’re four. It makes no sense for me to even think about that now. Never mind that my family will laugh at me if I ever tell them this, and then ask who will pay.


That’s why I’m just wishing for now. And not actively either. I leave my wishes in the back of my mind. I’ll leave them there until I see a way for at least one of them to come true. Then I’ll work on it, I hope. I hate being a wishing person. I want to be someone who does things. If not for myself, then for my mother at least. She would have been happy to see me travel and learn languages and dance and eat healthily. She would have been happy to see my wishes come true.

Lost Scribbles

I found this today while going through some papers in my room. This is how I kill time at work.


Writing my life on pieces of paper and strewing them across the earth. Wishing them well and hoping they won’t be found, but that they find what they need. Post-it notes carry my heart. The back of used letter sheets have my mind printed on them. Torn apart and thrown away in the blue recycle bin.

Who Am I???

I am…upset. I am lonely. Mad at the world. Mad at myself. Thinking about the future. Thinking about now. I am missing my mother. Missing my home. I am crying inside, and wearing a scowl. I am talking to a friend. Missing him very much. Sitting with one foot up, and the other folded underneath me. I am listening to music while typing on my laptop. I am wondering if I should think or not. If I should let it go, or not. Trying not to be upset, to breathe and not stress. To remember what my mother told me. To be like her. Live for myself and not let people worry me. Not let anything worry me. Because people will always have something to say. No matter what. That’s what her grandmother told her. I love her grandmother. I wish I had met her. Wish she hadn’t died before I was born.

I am going to a funeral, on my sister’s birthday. I don’t like that. But no one else seems to notice. That it’s my sister’s birthday. And my grandfather is going to be buried on that day. No one has said anything. I am…in love. With something that doesn’t exist. I want to be in love. To live in dreams that are real. To like reality.

I am black. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I am Jamaican. And I want to go back there. Though I’m scared. I’m a coward anyway. I scare easily. But sometimes I just don’t care. I am twenty, soon to be twenty-one. That is, if I live that long. I always think like that. Where do I see myself in five years? I could be dead in two weeks. I could die tomorrow. I want to be a social worker. That’s it. I don’t “see” anything else. Married. No. Children. No. I don’t care one way or the other. It may or may not happen. And I won’t mind either way. If it should happen it will. If it shouldn’t then it won’t. Not a big believer in fate but…que sera sera.

Sitting in the Dark

Yesterday at work while I took my break in the back, the lights went out after a while. A sensor thing. I was sitting in one spot for a while and I guess my movements weren’t large enough so the lights went out. I knew from previous experience that in order to get the lights back on I’d have to get up from where I was sitting and probably take about two steps or wave my hands frantically for about two seconds. I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t need the lights anyway.

I was eating oatmeal from a mug and scrolling through my Facebook news feed. A librarian’s office was right in front of me too and light was on in there. It was enough for me to see what I needed to. She was busy though, and she had earphones in. She didn’t notice when the lights went out in the main area where I was. I was surprised then when I suddenly heard her say “Excuse me, but you’re sitting in the dark!” We laughed. She’s funny, so it’s hard not to laugh when she talks. I told her the lights went out. She knew then. She expressed the same thoughts I had about having to move to get them back on. I told her I wasn’t doing that. I was quite fine. She then laughed again and said something like “Okay, because I thought maybe you had some issues you need to discuss.” We laughed again. She had no idea.

I’m sitting in the dark right now. This time on purpose. I just finished writing in my journal, and crying. I turned the lights off in my room because they were too bright and they were offending me for some reason. Music was already playing on my phone and I brought it next to me and used the flashlight from it to see what I was writing. Then I got my earphones, put them in, and turned the volume all the way up. It just wasn’t loud enough and that was offending me too. Now I have the music on full volume without the earphones. I don’t need them anymore.