We are in the middle of a fight. Harsh words are heavy between us, they fill up the space that we’ve created around each other, they creep into cracks and settle. I am angry at Husband, I am angry at myself for allowing hurt in again. Husband hands me a rectangular box, the weight of it tightens my throat and forces tears that I will not shed into my eyes. The weight of it feels like a promise somehow. “I made this for you a few weeks ago,” Husband’s voice is small but hopeful. Refusing to make eye contact, I open the box and slide out the single, thick padded book it contains. “What is this?” I ask, my throat constricting with emotion and my hands delicately caressing the front cover bearing my name and a picture of me. “I thought you should know what it would feel like to have your first book published” Husband replies while I open the book attempting to still the emotions screaming beneath my skin. “It’s my blog” I say when I mean thank you, when I mean I love you, when I mean I sort of still hate you but I don’t know how to anymore. Husband sits next to me as I flip through the pages that remind me that he believes in me, that remind me that I am capable, I am funny, I am talented. I am a writer.
I write for myself mainly. I write to find release, release from the conversations I have with myself, release from the frustrations of life and to release my favourite part of myself, the part that creates. I am a contradiction, I love to use words to shape, to form, to give meaning but I could never give shape to myself by calling myself a writer. I tried it once with Boss Man, maybe it was the warmth or laughter in his voice, maybe it was the fact that he always saw the best in everyone, including me. Whatever it was, saying to him “I am a writer” was like unfolding a love letter, a love letter that I had written to myself. The child in me had written it, she had had drawn inspiration from the wildness of her hair and from the stubbornness she would never outgrow. She wrote that letter with fire in her heart but with each passing year, with each perceived failure, she added another fold and soon the letter was forgotten. I wonder what she would do with me now, knowing that I forgot her, that I forgot to believe in her. I wonder what she would think about the fact that I let my fear control my voice, that even to myself I could not admit what it was that I really wanted. I wonder what she would think when she learned of what an unsupportive, destructive friend I had been to myself.
Sometimes I can no longer read that love letter, sometimes it feels as though whoever wrote it played a cruel trick with me, asking me to believe only so my fall would be that much harder. But sometimes, I realise that the trick does not lie in belief but rather in the absence of it, sometimes I read the letter by writing, sometimes I rewrite the letter by writing. Sometimes, I truly do believe that I am a writer.