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July 27, 2014 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

I’ve Never Been Madder

I wish I was a little older, because “in the heat of twenty-thirteen” does not quite roll off the tongue the same way “in the summer of 89”, but instead I am young. And foolish. And not able to open my god-awful poetry with a pretty phrase. So instead I will start withIN THE SUMMER OF MY 17TH YEAR. Yes, that makes a good hook, something to falsify the preconceived idea of me in the minds of the few who read the deepest parts of me.
Poetry is just dishonesty shrouded in the beautiful cape of well structured prose and copious amounts of unnecessary adjectives. Poetry, I have discovered, is the poor man’s heroine. I like to inject the filth of the word into my blood so they will not have to, as if turning pain into prose and suffering into syntax, I can make sense of everything I cannot fix. But the summer of my 17th year was the year I paused in my discomfort of feeling the weight of resentment creaking in my bones to write about the boy made of sunshine. In the summer of my 17th year I fell in love with a boy who disliked the summer, and preferred rain over sunshine, but still remained warm. And kind. And beautiful. His eyes burned if you looked at them for too long, a temporary blindness to the bitterness of the rest of the world sweeping over you if you weren’t careful. He gave life even when he failed to understand his own warmth, as if the sun had forgotten it was the sun for just a breath. He met people in their darkest places and he was light. Uncomplicated, unconditional, light. And though sometimes he himself needed to disappear every now and then, to hide behind his own discomforts, he was always there. Somewhere behind the tangled nostalgia for the past, and somehow the future, and everything it had every capacity to hold, lay the boy who would come back when you needed some more sunshine. Who would love, and call you nick names when you were sad, and would make you whole by the pieces of himself.
Poetry, I have also discovered, has a habit of romanticising the people you love on your behalf. For even the sun itself is burning up.

I wish I was a little stupider, so that, for one, I could be satisfied with stupider for a choice of word, but second, so I could be at a loss for words to describe someone. Preferring to write someone into an extended metaphor instead of telling them how wonderful you think they are certainly has its downfalls. I am worth so little to him, so helpless towards all of his suffering, and his bitterness towards his past and himself and his self-created expectations. I wish I was a little younger, so I could think that the boy made of sunshine was magic when I realised he painted with silver and it came out red.

Remember that you can spend money on bus tickets to get from point A to Point B. You can travel and make new friends. You can find an escape from all the cacophony and noise. But please do not forget that there is a place inside of you at all times that you can go to for free. This place is full of love and curiosity and understanding. This place is where you visit when your friend tells you they don’t want to wake up tomorrow and you selflessly drop all of your plans to explain to them their value in this world. This is the place where you need to run and go crashing to.

Forget the part of you that says there is no love in your heart but only self-loathing. Forget the part of you that says there is nothing to love. It is wrong. Go to this place inside of you when love is deficient. Go there when you are anxious or worried. Go to this place when someone calls for you to love or listen or care. Go to this place when you are alone or even in a busy street or surrounded by people you love. Go to place when you are happy and content with life. Visit this place so many times that this place becomes a home.

Forget what you “know”. You are not defined by your mistakes. You are not your body. You are not your past. You are not your future. The essence of your being is love. Your spirit is always waiting for you to remember that. So go to that place in the center of you. Let the deep love swallow you whole. Everything is always okay, even when it’s not. Let go of the brain’s need to remind you of everything that weighs you down.
You are love. Now breathe.

Em is a first-year double-majoring in English Lit and Modern Language Studies with French.


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