It’s a Monday afternoon. I am on my way to the library. I just ate a huge lunch: 3 plates of taste good, feel bad food and 2 cups of coffee to offset the lack of sleep and food in my system.
I am reading my agenda. A midterm lurks around the corner, deadlines for papers and tests flash before my eyes, and the pile of laundry in my hamper stretches so high that it topped over this morning, like a castle wall crumbling in defeat.
My texts are road-maps plotting out family troubles, friend troubles, boy troubles. My stomach is convulsing at the thought of always having somewhere to be, always having something to do, never pausing to look out the window and see the colors change.
My nails are red and raw, picked at until they bleed. I’m trapped in a pressure cooker, being squished and suffocated. My fingers reach for something to hold onto: the rung of a ladder, the knob of a door, the hand of a friend…what they touch is a notebook.
They call writing an outlet, but why? The only place the words go is down into the paper, intermingling with letters and text from days past, when deadlines were fuzzy and intangible instead of lines of death looming closer, threatening to slit my throat, and life was going at the rate of a casual stroll on Sunday afternoon.
The stress starts to flow out of my body through my fingertips and into the pages, as I forget about 1″ margins and theses and drop quotes and 12-point Times New Roman.
I forget about deadlines and bullies and pressure-cooker priorities and the stinging in my cuticles, and the abuse that they’ve endured.
The only thing I remember is the way a pen feels between my forefinger and my thumb, supported by the strength of five fingers, tortured till raw, and the freedom these words allow me, to say whatever I want to say, to feel whatever I want to feel.
Uncensored, unrestricted, unfiltered. Pure. Not from concentrate, 100% natural.
Tell this notebook your story and it won’t judge. It has an impenetrable poker face. It won’t raise its eyebrows in disbelief or dodge painful truths. And most importantly, it won’t interrupt you to leave because it has plans in an hour.