I had a wedding last Saturday. It was nice getting to dress up and everything, but it meant asking for a day off work. Problem is, taking a whole day off would bite off a decent chunk of my paycheck, so I signed up to work two extra hours today, tomorrow, and Thursday.
Anyway, it means I have two less hours to write up today’s post, so I thought I’d do something a little different. I’m going to post an old piece of writing and just let loose; I’ll write down whatever comes to my head; hopefully it’ll turn out well!
I Googled my old blog where I used to post essays I wrote for school, and found a story all the way back from 2007. Without any editing, here it is:
As he helped his friend climb a tree, he regretted having agreed to help her. She was so slow to climb and more than once had almost thrown both of them off the tree. He sighed. When they got pretty high up, she said she wanted to stay up there for a while. He found a good foothold, a strong branch and started the long climb down. He was reading and was suddenly interrupted by a high-pitched scream of terror and pure pain. Instantly recognizing whose scream it was, he tried to calm her down. She didn’t hear him and kept screaming her head off. He quickly climbed the tree as fast as he could. His shoelace untied, but he didn’t stop. He saw his friend had sprained her finger and was helping her get down when he steeped on his shoelace and slipped.
He frantically grabbed at the air and incredibly, managed to grab hold of a branch. He told his friend to try to get down from the tree and get help. She said she couldn’t. After arguing for at least 5 minutes, he finally convinced her to climb down. She slowly climbed down, being extra-slow because of her sprained finger. Finally, she reached the floor, she ran as fast as an 8-year old with a sprained finger can run. It was freezing and he remembered an article he had read saying the time it takes to catch hypothermia was 5 hours, he also remembered wet clothing can cause it to be a mere 2 hours. His shirt was wet with sweat. The sweat, besides increasing his chance of hypothermia, also made his hands start to slip on the branch. He quickly wiped one hand, then the other.
He started seeing things. Once or twice he saw someone trying to help him up, but when he reached up was met only by thin air. He saw his parents, following his friend’s lead below. Unluckily, he had hidden his book and his friend had no idea which tree he was stuck in. Thinking they were another illusion, he ignored them. But something inside told him, try reaching them. He tried to speak, but his mouth didn’t listen. It opened but no sound came out. It was then that he remembered his shoe. It was already loose, so he shook it and… it fell. Yes! It hit the grass, making no sound. Nooooooo!
He started to shiver violently and it started to become harder and harder to breathe. Every time he dried his hands, it felt incredibly hard to do, and it was so slow! He made a silent, quick prayer and let go of the branch.
Wow. I don’t know whether I’m surprised 13-year old me was morbid enough to write a story about a kid having to choose between dying of hypothermia or falling from a high tree. I was a weird kid, I suppose.
You want to know what’s really disturbing? There’s another story on the blog that has the following passage:
Then I start thinking of the barrel of a gun, and how it feels exactly like the candle I am holding. I know this realization has something to do with my memory, but for the life of me I can’t fathom what.
I later mention something about a drop of… something falling onto a yellow mat.
There’s nothing more specific in that story, but honestly I feel pretty disturbed.
So, 13-year old me was a bit disturbing. Wow. The writing’s not too bad. I was clearly misusing words from a thesaurus to sound more grandiloquent, but who didn’t at that age?
I do wish I could talk to 13-year old me. If I’m not mistaken, I was starting 10th grade around that time. I was so damn lonely and sad all the time. No wonder young me took out all that darkness they were feeling into stories. I wish I could tell them things turned out all right.
I often feel bad for previous iterations of me. My life is better now than it’s ever been, and it makes me feel a bit of pity for past-me. There was 13-year old me, a child in a crowd 3 or 4 years older than them. There was 16-year old me, surrounded by loving people but still unable to open up. 18,20-year old me, doing better but having to fantasise secretly about being a woman. Even 21-year old me was the one that took care of coming out to people, planning for transition, doing all the painful, difficult things I benefit from.
I wish I could write back to all of them and tell them one day things would definitely get better. As it is, all I can do is look at my old writing, snapshots of my emotional and mental state back then, and feel a bit guilty. Hang in there, past me, you’ll be fine.