Dear Self

Guest writer: Fatema Alka’by

Dear self,

It’s been a while since we’ve really acknowledged each other and talked. It’s been a while since I’ve felt your presence. I’ve been feeling like a faceless ghost; no name, no identity, no ability to express a god damn thing. I catch you so often in the middle of my talking, getting bored and stepping out like a busy father, and I’d realize after babbling too much —mid sentence— that this isn’t me.

I had frozen too many times, wishing I could vaporize at once, spoke of people I don’t know, and I’m not, or ever will be. I’m tired of this body, of this mind. Will we ever come to terms again?

I used to find you wandering in ancient streets, staring at the buildings, marvelling at the winter flowers, wondering if they bloom just for you. It was the time you felt the most alive, unlike the rest of people. Did they feel for you? Did they wish to applaud your ambiguous strength and reach for you so that you don’t burn out from absolute loneliness? Have I lost you to that loneliness? I never expected that to happen.

We used to be amazing. I used to come for visits. Maybe my pen dried and our letters stopped— I know how long it’s been, but I was fighting, forgive me. Life is not magical and I realized it’s no fairy tale, perhaps too late. You can’t satisfy all, and I thought you could’ve been more patient. I must’ve taken your strength for granted, haven’t I? I’ve never been as true to you, but I’m doing my best; come back.

I used to find you between piles of dusty old books, with messy pages of scribbles from me; I know they meant the world but I’m calling back and I’m trying, forgive me.

I used to find you soaking in the sunlight, collecting seashells, giving them compassion and a home, thinking maybe they’re tired of being an abandoned house and want to feel like home rather than like a home, for a change. Maybe we’re alike, the seashells and I. But I need you, to be whole, to find where I’m no longer just a lingering memory of something that used to fit, before I got worn out and can’t take those persons anymore. 

I used to find you listening to the waves, listening to their soothing sound in the morning and angry cries at night when everyone leaves. Maybe we’re alike, the ocean and I. Do you think the moon wants the ocean for himself that it forcing everyone to leave when it gets so dark and cold? Is this why it’s so upset? Is it angry at the moon or is it spilling it all to him? Have you ever thought about this? Maybe you did, maybe you know by now. 

It’s been a while since I used to find you.

Sincerely, and as truly as I can possibly offer, yours.