An Open Letter to Loneliness

It’s a few minutes past midnight and I’m on the bathroom floor, hugging his jacket so close to my chest just so I could somehow fill this empty void. I am okay, I tried to force myself to choke in between sobs. I feel like vomiting your entirety so I could finally be clean. There are butterflies crawling their way out of my throat and into my hands as I type this: I am so much of chaos and destruction that I can’t even blame anyone if sometimes they don’t understand. You are simply there with me.

How do you breathe when you’re drowning? I close my eyes and wonder when will you ever leave.

I honestly think we go way back, you and I. When I was a kid I would refuse to go to class and instead would play alone in the sandbox. I didn’t want to be around people, I wanted to be with you. Even when I was a little bit older and surrounded by people whom I had the audacity to call my friends, I wanted to be with you. Alone. Perhaps I had grown fond of your company so much that I would miss you when you were not there. I would feel incomplete. I would even feel that I was incapable of creating something out of my hands.

I once thought you were maddeningly beautiful. What a lie I’ve lived.

You have become everything that I am throughout the years I’ve spent with you and I didn’t even realize it. You creep through my thoughts and wash over me at night, and I would feel sick to my stomach, wanting to drown myself in pills and count the blinking lights until they blind my eyes. I would try to mask this as I chipped off red nail polish on my toes, pretending I was fine.

You hold all my thoughts and echo them back through a thousand thunderstorms. You hold a tarpaulin of expectations I could not reach. You are an ocean that takes me in, wave after wave, reminding me of everything I couldn’t be.

We are not really friends. We never were. But you won’t leave me, no matter how much I try. The sun rises and the sun sets, and I simply learned how to live with you.

So now I wipe my eyes and dust off my knees. In order for me to fall asleep, I count the shadows on my walls instead of sheep. (Like you, they’ve always been familiar to me since I was a kid). I simply got used to not treating you like a basket full of laundry that I could tumble dry and wash fresh in my washing machine. I have learned that things won’t be fine with me even if I try to scrub you clean. And when someone thinks I’m helpless, I remind them that you’re not a broken toy that could be easily fixed.

Originally published in Z Poetry: An Anthology of International Indie Poetry


Cariza is a writer based in Washington, DC. If drinking coffee and writing sad poetry were a personality, it'd be her.