Sent this to my sister after reading some of her old stuff. Kinda like it.
You aren’t what I remembered: the cascading beauty that I always longed for. My memory decided it was better to not know you completely. My memory was right.
I read those words again–the beautiful ones… the ones that were always on the tip of my tongue… never written… except by you. But you stopped and I started where you left off. But. It will never be you. It won’t be as good and as beautiful. It won’t be those short snippets of fireflies and truck bed dates. It’ll just be… me. A little rhetorical. Mostly holding up parallels hoping that someone else might find them interesting. But most will just laugh at the repetition. The apparent desperation for a certain point to be recognized. It’ll never be the words you wrote. It’ll never be the pretty snippets all creatively timed. It’ll just be me. And I imagine you reading “me” and cringing at some of it. I imagine you laughing at other parts. I imagine you crying at most. Because that’s you. And it wouldn’t even have anything to do with how your words form those perfect bits that I just dream of… it would just be the same reaction you always have to me and those same things I write… just the same as how your beautiful snippets inspire a despair in my soul because those snippets were only of despair.
We wrote everything different; you were praised by English teachers, and I was praised by Calculus teachers. I never wanted to step on your toes. And I never do. And I never will.
Sometimes here I think how I’m alright and you’re alright both in our own rights. Right now is irrelevant because this doesn’t even make sense. But, mostly, I look at some of both of ours writing and I think how different it is. How… how different… so you can’t really scale it. But personally. I think you’re way better.
Especially right now. I don’t have much on the side of creativity. I just have lists and facts and a book split into perfect seasons. There’s a main event each season, and, sometime, I’ll invite you to sit and watch, but, mostly, I’m thinking how the random snippets you have are what I wish I could send out.
And there’s that feeling. When your words are read, there’s that cascading. We fall, fall, fall into each new word and sentence and fragment until the sudden stop. But it’s always a perfect stop.
And I know if you read my snippets you’d say the same and you’d say how you hated all your endings or non-endings… but most of all you’d say how you hated that blank page you left on your nightstand when the pen was too heavy and the words wouldn’t come.
I’ll tell you how the words aren’t coming and it is awful and you’ll read the pieces that are full of cliches and laugh how I laughed when I buried them away. And then we’ll grow quiet cause we both know that when we started burying those awful cliche filled snippets we started burying creativity along with it. We started holding out for the right moment, the right feeling, the right words when we know we aren’t supposed to. We know we’re supposed to write everyday and write what you know and write… bird by bird. But we stopped looking out the window at the birds and became too absorbed in the inexpressible, all-consuming (and often irrelevant) emotion behind everything.
So. I imagine us in silence and I imagine all this and our un-had conversations when I put down the drafting pencil for a pen, CADD for Word, and I imagine how I pick up that pen again and I write about the cliche and I write every cliche and I write about the birds and their obvious colors and behaviors that everyone knows and I write the dialogue we’ve all had and I write and write and write, never feeling inspired or creative and I look back towards you… I look back towards you and you have a daughter who’s writing, a son who’s building, and a baby who’s listening… and I see that your heart came alive in a way our words never will and in a way our words never even could.