Hi, Life – A Short Story

Hi, Life

You didn’t kill me and so I love you.

I was very afraid of life. I used to sit up hours in the night, in cunning darkness, thinking about a lot of things that never mattered, contemplating and driving my energy away. It would tire me, and I would slump back to bed, only to do it the next day; all over again. Thank god that has mostly stopped. I’d have lost all my black hair of gore. That same ugly hair you now love.

I’m not afraid anymore. I am breathing, curling, expanding and closing like a flower that blooms at 2 in the night.

I used to mope around all day. Like Bella Swan, I’m afraid. I had hollow eyes, I’d stare into space with a wall separating my vision and my sight. I’d make people feel sorry they talked to me. I didn’t make any efforts to be lovely.  I waited for people to leave me. I sat alone and when I felt someone approaching me, I’d take out a grave from my bag and bury myself in it. I wore headphones that played silence like a requiem.

I looked like a person but I was actually a stick covered in flesh. I was an empty shell. There was a lot of depth about me, but none of it was deep or meaningful. I was a bottle of water with openings that leaked. The dark under my eyes only became darker each week and looked more like me.

I was bitter all the time. I felt like a fallen superhero. My life was a big tragedy. I needed change but never wanted it. I had become comfortable in my pale skin. My clothes hung around me like beggars around a fancy car. I never got excited about anything other than having the home all to myself. And as soon as everyone left, I’d switch off all the lights and write “Hi, Life” on my skin.

Then I’d fall asleep after thinking a thousand things that were like a shovel upon my soul. I’d wake up in the dead of the night, have a can of coke while surveying the 50 missed calls on my phone. I’d left my family waiting outside the door until it had to be broken into. Once again.

Life was fed up with me, but I thought it was the other way around.

I laughed when girls swooned over love songs and Johnny Depp. I thought Larry King Live was an old man taking his Monday Night Club too seriously. Harry Potter was a writer and J.K. Rowling his mother.

I was convinced I knew everything. I was convinced I had the world figured out all on my own and that everyone else was living it the wrong way. I knew I was right and during my moping sessions, I’d grrr about how people had no idea what fools they were. I was right and they were wrong and I was unhappy.

One day I picked up the scissors and made a doll out of my hair.

Then I walked right into you. Kind of bumped, actually. I swore at you, asked you to mind where you were going and said some other nasty things. Then you moved to the side to let me pass. I was facing a blank wall.

I don’t know how that bump in the corridor grew into a laugh on the swings. You told me my awful hair was nice, and I told you smelled like mice. You told me my quietness made me a poet, and I told you I wish we’d never met. You told me you loved me and I wrote you a note that went something like this.

Well, I’ve forgotten what I’d written but I remember you told me it was the nicest thing you’d read. My life was a silent, shaky town, but now I’m good at holding hands and the upside down frown. Many days have passed, and I still have my ugly hair and the terrible pale skin, except it blushes around you. Often my nights are spent in the dark and you write on my skin, “Hi, Life”. You changed me but you didn’t kill who I was.

I wrote you this terrible poem that looks like a story, or maybe it’s a story that reads like a poem. But somewhere in the beginning there is an end and in the end, a beginning. Well, we’re at the end, so let’s begin another story.


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