The following is a creative based on Sylvia Plath’s poem “I Thought That I Could Not Be Hurt.”
I bite my trembling lip as I shakily inhale the grey, piercing, cool December air. My knees begin to violently wobble, and I feel myself losing control over my body—with every ounce of power I have left, I will myself to lean over, and desperately claw onto the chipped, disgustingly yellow metal railing for support. I’m not too sure what happened after that. The next thing I know, I am facedown on the uneven, rough cement; and with unmistakeable force, my body takes over, hungrily filling my lungs with the bitter air—I must have forgotten to breathe.
I lay there a minute, finally allowing myself to embrace the dull and aching void that burdened my frail, fragile heart. Suddenly, I feel a sharp pain stinging my bottom lip, and I reluctantly roll over, bringing my index finger to meet my wound. My fingertip immediately stains deep red with blood, and I realize my teeth must’ve penetrated my soft, pink lips. Feeling beaten and bruised, I crawl towards the wall of the subway station, and sit with my back against the hard surface. It’s completely empty at this hour. The backs of my eyes begin to itch and burn, and I bite back the tears that threaten to spill out of them.
I thought that I could not be hurt; I thought that I must surely be impervious to suffering—immune to pain or agony.
My childhood blossomed in a greenhouse, and was nurtured with the refined waters of irony, spangled with golden sunshine. The light rays were warm and comforting, but never too intense. I lived in blissful ignorance; safe from the harsh, unpredictable weather beyond the confines of the sheets of glass that raised me. I was isolated from nature, yet I felt free, for I was absolutely certain that nothing would challenge my safety. I was protected, and lived well within the boundaries of my comfort-zone. Those were the conditions of my childhood. But like all beautiful things life has to offer, and much to my surprise at the time, that greenhouse did not reflect the conditions of the world. Not even close.
I moved to Manhattan just short of two weeks ago—all alone, with wide, wondering eyes and bold, big dreams. It was an impromptu move—spontaneous, and out of character. However, I knew that the joy that had previously filled my soul entailed a sweet, sharp pain—there was something beautifully horrible about the whole thing. But regardless, I remained blissfully ignorant, and was much too trusting. I wish I could say I didn’t have even the slightest idea for what I was in for.
This winter, the glass cracked, and shards spiralled out accusingly with a powerful gust of wind, leaving me bare. I was stripped of my pure white petals. I no longer felt or looked like the graceful carnation I once was. Not even close.
It was a slow stripping, the petals plucked one-by-one. One disappointment after another. And another. And another. No hotel vacancy. My sister Anna refusing to take me in, claiming that I had rejected her just like Mom and Dad had. My parents ignoring my calls, upset at the fact that I had left like Anna. Denied bankcards. Homelessness. And now, I’m out of cash.
The tears come like waves now as I recall these devastating truths, and I can no longer swallow my sobs. I cry loudly with my face in my hands, each wail sending out a hundred echoes. Yet, the painstaking, discordant noise is still no match to the weeping of my heart. Not even close.
(This is first time I let the tears fall; the first time I allow my heart to fill with pain, suffering, and agony. It’s a strange thought: that something that loves can either weep, or sing—what a fragile thing.)