Tag Archives: suicide

wherefore art thou “best friend?”

1 Jan

Image

Best Friend,–

“BEST FRIEND?!” Wherefore art thou best friend?

These words that should smell sweet just pierce like thorns.

What but more words will make my sorrow end?

If only I’d heard sooner those damned battle horns!

I cannot think what more I could have done

to eschew that title which we both now bear–

Such a fool! To think I had the whole war won…

But we (woe is we!) we two can never be a pair.

And yet, I dare not admit defeat:

My victory will be self-sacrifice

When I see you two lovers meet,

I will be nice. I will be nice.

I’ll smile and mean, “I’m happy for you!”

And hope and pray my tragedy’s almost through.

***

I know it’s unusual for the author to analyze a poem of their own creation, but I felt like explaining what I wanted to portray for a few reasons: 1) I don’t want to forget what I originally intended, so why not write it down? 2) If anyone actually reads my blog, I’d appreciate some feedback as to what works and what doesn’t. So. Here goes nothing.

This sonnet is obviously inspired by the bard, but I’ll just explain a bit about some of the things I tried to do. The first line is meant to portray the narrator reading a letter addressed to “Best Friend.” That’s because, well… I got that letter a while back. The admittedly cliche thorns line was meant to be an allusion to the famous rose metaphor (is it technically a metaphor?) associated with Juliet’s balcony scene: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

I’ll skip ahead to the final quatrain. The repetition of “I will be nice” hopefully makes it clear that the narrator is trying to convince herself as well. I mention self-sacrifice, which initially refers to the narrator playing nice and also alludes to the suicides at the play’s end. This, coupled with the final line, could make the narrator seem suicidal.

ALTERNATIVELY, for those optimists out there, I wanted the last line to also be read as a hope that the tragedy within the narrator’s life, rather than the life as a whole, is almost through. (Or that, as the remaining Montagues and Capulets discover Romeo and Juliet’s true love at the end of the play, so would the narrator find out that her love is, in fact, reciprocated.)

And for the record: I’m not suicidal. Just jealous.

Pic from www.afoolsjourney.com

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believing in big bro

2 Aug

You hear it, you say it, you ponder what it means. But you can’t quite believe it, not yet. Not that you want to believe it.

You try to think of the bright side (or the side that you hope, you pray, you wish will turn out to be bright) rather than focus on reality, stark, cold and naked.

Your big brother, the one you love; the one you look up to; the one you ask for advice on clothing and hair and boys and school and why am I such an incapable, antisocial, ugly, self-pitying person; the big brother who once peed on you in the kitchen when you were both younger and the one who became your sole source of music in high school; the brother who in childhood made up an imaginary amusement park where you both jump on the bed; the brother who was sent away for a while for what he did to you that nobody talks about; the brother who used to fake punch you and then you’d cry because he had to do his homework and couldn’t play with you; the big brother who sometimes told you a little bit about his life and his girlfriend(s?) and who mostly didn’t; the big brother who swore he never drank or smoke (but what about those pictures on Facebook?); the brother who you defended against your parents (and the world if necessary) for the wrong girlfriend, the bad grades, the depression, the never-found-a-job, the more bad grades–THAT brother:

He failed out of Princeton.
He failed. You believed in him and he failed. You didn’t apply to Princeton because he was there, that was HIS school (not anymore…). Now he will be coming to your school this fall, just as you start your own Freshman year.

Focus on the (hopefully) bright side: you can visit him and get an in with his cute roommate. You can hang out with him and his friends as well as your own. He might, maybe, possibly, eventually learn to be happy at your school.
But maybe he won’t. You envision him struggling with an inner critic, this one worst than the last. But this time you won’t catch it in time. This time it’ll be too late. You can already hear the phone call from the hospital, they’re sorry and they did their best but–
Your fears are real, but too early. And yet, you fear it nonetheless. It isn’t the first time you’ve feared that thing. It won’t be the last, either.

You hear it, you say it, you ponder what it means. But you can’t quite believe it, not yet. Not that you want to believe it.