I weave it into words and hope you understand.
But words are funny things. A snowflake melts into a drop, to then form an icicle, sharp and biting; a hailstone becomes a puddle; fine mist turns into heavy dewdrops.
I give you something concrete to inspect, all the while forgetting that the hands do the moulding, and in yours they might become something else altogether.
I tell you my story and you shape it into yours and that sounds like an accusation but it isn’t how I mean it–I don’t mind, it’s what I do too with yours—it’s what we all do.
I weave it into words and pray you don’t understand.
Because that would mean you know, to some extent, you know and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Certainly not on you. I don’t want you to nod your head and agree or blink away a tear and say you know what it’s like. That would mean you actually do; that you failed to mould it into something better and saw it for its raw, whimpering ugliness writhing in the dry sand.
I weave it into words and wonder if that’ll help me forget.
If fishing it out and hanging it outside will mean it’ll fade away as the sun rays caress its every crease. All it does is make it seem brighter, because once I have jailed it inside these letters, restricted it to the semi-colons and asterisks and defined it in paragraphs, I have given it form and then it’s not so bad. It becomes a little less powerful. And with every re-modelling it goes through due to its entire existence being dictated by a dictionary, it grows even weaker.
Except for those times when I hear you say you understand. Because then that means you haven’t held it, but seen it from a wary distance—that you have no need to come closer and extend the palm of your hand because you’ve had it slither around inside your veins and are all too familiar with what it’s like. In those moments it is not relief I feel because someone finally understands but fear due to the fact that others have fallen victim and hence many more probably will. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
Least of all on you.
PS. Title: Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale.