I do not like to breathe, it is one of the numerous things I hate about being alive. I was told to stop doing what I don’t like by a friend, I tried it with breathing but my resolve wasn’t strong enough. So I found myself stuck to the chore of breathing, zombiecally take in oxygen which is a waste rejected by plants and spurn out the other rejected gas.
I thought breathing was the only thing I did not like, then I discovered words and it’s been hard work trying to find out which I hate more. I would not say I love to write neither will I wear the writer’s tag. I just loved seeing words together and there is a certain feeing when I discovered I was the one who actually arranged them. I do not know exactly when I started dragging unrelated words and forcing them into marital union just as I do not know exactly when my nostril decided it has to form a coalition with my lungs and their neighbors to breathe.
The day I dragged in the first gust of air into my lungs I didn’t know it was a trap, I would have chosen an alternative, but there were no options and my permission wasn’t even requested. It is the same with my relationship with words. One day a blank paper was before me, there was a pen and at the end the paper was no longer blank.
“This is magic,” I had said to myself but I was being fooled again and the shame was certainly on me. I thought it would be smooth sailing, a happily ever after story. I figured all I needed was just another blank sheet of paper, a pen and words would fall from wherever they came to fill them. The words did come but soon they would get lost in my head even after I gave each of them a map, it seems someone just swapped the map while they were busy admiring the words in a neighboring head. When they finally found themselves out, the wrong ones did because when placed side by sides they were no longer beautiful. The right words would be hanging out in the wrong places, probably drinking themselves to stupor, hiss when they see my number on the caller ID and basking in the glory of being the right words.
The first time I tried to stop breathing I didn’t set out to not breathe. It was a medium sized pool and I was to learn how to swim. But first I have to develop gills because the best swimmers are under water. So I went under and saw the other end of the pool. My feet still touched the ground, Jesus walked on water I could as well walk under it and off I went. I only took few steps before my feet gave way and I was sinking. I finally stopped to breathe but it wasn’t as fun as I had imagined. And the whole thing couldn’t have lasted for more than ten seconds, I found myself scrambling back to what I hated most, gasping for air. Why didn’t anybody tell me you would die if you do not breathe?
Lessons learnt; breathing is something you have to enjoy to endure, it is one of the perks of being human. But it turned out I was not excellent at learning lessons as I tried the same thing with words. Why struggle to show them the way out of my head when they are busy playing hide and seek or admiring the ones on other people’s head?
But these words ain’t loyal, it was as if an altar call was made and they were all sinners. They came screaming to be let out, day and night, in the middle of conversations, every time, anytime and whenever there is time. When I finally agreed to let them out, they merely shrugged and went into hiding.
Who do these words think they are?
They can go to wherever words go when they die and die there, not stay in my head, refuse to pay rent and refuse to show up when needed.
So I have decided to choose the lesser of two evils, since breathing is too essential to living, words certainly won’t be and I am done using them. And to think they stoke their ego by calling a situation where they are rebellious writer’s block is even more sickening. Words and block, how are they even related? You build with one while the other is never available when you need it most.
The height of my annoyance even got higher when I heard a friend say she is short of words. You are never short of words, it is a myth just like writer’s block. The words are just proving stubborn, send them packing out of your head just as I have done. When they are homeless and life have dealt with them, they will come begging.
I am done with words, that is one less complicated relationship in my life. You might be wondering if I hated words so much why use them here? These are not words, they are just alphabets placed side by sides to form sentences, you can have my words. I will stick with the letters, they have not found a fancy name for when they abandon you yet.