As you now know, I used to write poetry from my early teens right up to college and I should probably tell you that I was very good at it. I used to be a very different person from the way people might know me now, I was extremely reserved. The reasons were that one, I didn’t understand myself, two, other people found it hard to understand my reserved nature which made friendship a dicey affair for me and three, I had major self esteem issues which compounded the situation. Early life traumas can do that to you. All this made poetry an easy and perfect outlet for me. I’d have rather held a pen than a conversation back then. So at about 12 years, I started writing.
It started off simple; I would jot down a few interesting lines, find them amusing, then throw them away. Actually, I would write them on random places so it was difficult to keep track of them and I ended up losing them. I never shared these with anyone. Most of them had a different/deeper meaning to what I had written so I always assumed people wouldn’t understand anyway. Maybe that’s where my sarcasm started as well! Later on in high school, I learned to frame them in a more lengthy and organized manner. I put titles on them and they began to have themes and structure. Just before I left highschool I started putting them down in a book, a book I still possess and has over one hundred poems! Every poem has a date and time to show when I wrote them.
Through 2005 to 2007, I was at the peak of my art. I was writing regularly. And anytime I did, I kept it and put it in my book. It also coincided with the big boom of mobile phones in the country. For our family we had one. Yes, as in, the lot of us shared one phone (the ” sleek and stylish” Motorola T190!) and one phone number. You would give out your number on a piece of paper and inform them of an appropriate time to call or text. And when that text came, they would start by asking if your available for a chat, if you were, you would proceed to seclusion, then promptly delete everything once you are through lest it fell on unwanted eyes. So in the midst the ne plus ultra of my poetry I discovered texting. And specifically, chatting. Remember how chatting used to be so fun then? There were no “k” replies, no emoji, no double blue ticks because people didn’t take two days to reply and we were actually interesting enough to chat for more than two minutes. Kids these days!
And so, there was this girl in particular, of whom our chats were just the best. We used to chat for hours. About everything. It would start in the morning and end right when I was getting ready to sleep. I can’t quite remember how it started but it was exciting. We both went through relationships but we managed to keep the conversation going. She was older than me and studying to become a teacher. She was into art, acting and, yes, you guessed it, poetry. Made us click right away.
We didn’t chat like normal people, we used poetry. It was so weird now that I think about it! We were kindred spirits. Our texts would have bewildered whoever read them. Our good mornings weren’t just good morning. They were rolled and covered in poetic connotations. Our “What are you up to today?” wasn’t answered by a mere “School”, it was given thought and answered like you had just woken up to a beautiful sunrise on the outskirts of Havana. “How have you been?”, “Through digging a hole through a mountain, but I will roll with the punches”. I learnt that phrase from her, she always said it.
We texted each other for more than two years. We grew close, but not in any other way but friendship. Like I said, we both went through relationships but somehow managed to keep in touch. I survived her boyfriend and she survived my first girlfriend. But when I was about to start dating again, that’s when it got a tad bit complicated….