Apologies to the Person this is Written to


I should stop writing letters. It’s getting to the point where even I cringe at the idea that people read these. Public displays of emotion in this format are especially embarrassing. Does the whole world really need to know I’ve had a bad day, or that I’ve eaten for two, or that I have had some break-through in my own journey of self-exploration. No. But there is so much I have to say to you, and so few places other than here where the intimacy of the moment isn’t so mind-crushingly terrifying that I can’t get the words out. When I write here, I don’t have to wait for a response from you, because I didn’t technically write this for you. I wrote it for me. And I wrote it for them.

People say it’s brave to be so open, but it’s not, it’s cowardly. Being brave would be calling to say “I miss you”, or admitting that sometimes I turn the key in the front door lock and pause for a moment because I don’t want to see that the living room is different. I don’t want there to be paintings instead of posters. I want the cat sleeping on the chair to be the one we talked about getting. I want to go back to playing house. I want my forks back. I want my creativity back. I don’t actually care about the forks. You can keep them. But I haven’t been able to write for two months. I try. But I don’t care anymore, you see. 

I want to write. I imagine myself sending this to you, full of caveats and explanations, and I feel sick. I imagine sending this to the world, written as it was meant to sound, and feel relieved. But if I said these things to you, then we’d both know I’d said it and you heard it, and then there would be this awkward sense of accountability. If I send this out to the world, then I can tell myself that maybe you didn’t see it. You can pretend not to have read it. And if we happened to meet then we could pretend it never existed because only things whispered out loud have to be acknowledged. I could not send this at all. It could sit in the pile of half-written letters, but there are things that need to be said, they need to be said somewhere, and I can’t hold them anymore. I want my creativity back. I want to feel a sense of childish wonder at the world. I want my heart to feel like it’s hanging upside-down. I want to write. But the only things I have to say are that life is much clearer but much grayer without you. 


Ps. If you bring me my creativity I’ll return your red laundry basket. 

Pps. I regret logging out of Netflix but it felt weird to use it once you left.


One thought on “Apologies to the Person this is Written to

  1. Dear Lili, I personally know people (three women between 25 and 39, two men in their 40’s) who do boring part time jobs and retain high levels of creativity as artists and writers. You are at least as smart and creative as they are, so I’m sure you can do the same. Carry your notebook with you and write everything you see as you cross the bay to your job. If you want to write, then WRITE every day, even for three minutes only, and you will get your creativity back. Discipline is 90% of the battle in remaining creative, or for achieving anything in life. And exercise. It’s good for the brain, the emotions, and the body, and it will keep off the pounds you will gain if you have “eaten for two”!
    Love, Karen

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