By: Rebecca Dempsey
I stutter and eventually say hello. Because I have to start somewhere. In a dialogue, a greeting is as good as any place to begin.
Yes. I’ve been waiting.
There’s no hello in return. I understand. I’d be the same way, if we swapped positions.
I’m sorry. There were delays. I-
You are the delay. There were things to do, and fear.
Yes. I admit it. I got distracted and I am afraid. Of you. This project. This journey.
Because it will end? Or, because having been created, I will then die?
Yes. Sometimes I forget you are from me and I am making you, however slowly. I don’t want to kill you.
Kill? You’d have to let me live first. In a story, this narrative. Or another. It doesn’t matter. But without somewhere to be, I am stuck. I can’t breathe. I can’t grow, if you don’t expand the places you set me. Otherwise, I will be an idea in between your imagination and the world. A breech birth.
You keep saying this word: sorry. But I don’t need your apologies, nor your sorrow. I need you to type. One word after the other and make me be. No more liminality. Give me to the world and let the world decide whether I live or die. If you don’t trust the world, or yourself, trust me. I will be worth the pain.
Birth is always difficult.
No. It needn’t be. That’s why you study, and practice, and why you seek some perfect method by which to create. But all you need to do is to write. Write me and right yourself. You’ll see. TRUST ME.
I’m tired, and lost. And still afraid.
Afraid? Do you fear success or fear having not even tried and failed?
All of it. Where has any of this got me but-
-To here? I am here. I am so bad? Are we, together so terrible neither of us get what we want?
I concede your point, but then you barely exist. This is an exercise.
We are whatever we want to be. Today, you face me reluctantly, thinking I’m some transitional matter better left alone. Today, you say you are afraid. You are not so important that you are fear itself. I know tomorrow you will feel something else, but will remain who you are. And, if you do nothing further, I will remain stuck. However, just as you are more than what you feel, I too, am more than what you’ve allowed me to be. But only you can make any of this real.
No! No more buts, or what ifs, or apologies. An exercise, you say? Life, your whole life, and everything in existence is an exercise. And I exist to tell you that you have the power to make it real. So, make reality. Remake reality. Make your ‘exercise’ into something else, but my demand is this: Make me. Real.