It was the early 90’s, nothing was new, nothing was interesting, nothing scared me.
Everything came along within my ability, access to energies without a destination. I started writing to lay down a solid foothold in my adolescence because I wanted to run. It became a full-on attempt to seek clarity. I did like to jot down quotes, on to papers or ideas very early on, but never gained momentum being as awkward and preoccupied before I was entering my teens.
Middle school lunch was hard. I had a lot of friends but none so much I felt relatable enough to sit and eat daily, no less, with landing me among a calico of a group. We were odds and ends of personalities with our female classmates making us equals who all believed in something, regardless of just how each seemed or how mundane in reality. Each wanted to enjoy our time stuck where we all were forced to be, as children of public school.
I had been introduced to a foreign young man albeit, of unknown intent, or actual existence by deduction and reasoning and who brought with an obligatory “European mysteriousness” along, although, he provoked to no end the latter.
He essentially only knew I had read over a letter he wrote to another student, she allowed me.
You see, he refused to explain or introduce himself, but obliged in further inquiring about who I was. Attention is so easy to find when you’re not looking, I thought. So, it was honest to relate to someone being faceless, who remained nameless and holding onto a perception, only a prepubescent mind could have imagined. And then time passed, and he became annoying.
Although he was not the figure of impulse to my stories, he was, somehow, a motivator. Truth is, he did not quite intrigue me so much as he would confuse me. He wrote her many, many times, and even a letter that was only for me to read, which I had refused to. I wasn’t charmed.
I volunteered my time, during my study hall periods, to the school library for all four years in my middle school. During the times I participated in that chosen setting, I had learned enough about micromanaging my time. Being able to seek some relief, from racing thoughts or bad vibes at home, I often hid there, I often needed to be alone. My family were all hard workers and I did feel this was a contribution, in a way, to those who worked all day long.
I functioned well and sought praise for the job well done, but wanting to keep my thoughts to myself, I, indeed, had discovered my outlet.
After numerous requests to use the word processors conspicuously hidden under a cupboard, which normally was locked and had come across, I was given permission to type and to borrow the machine. For two days I spent sitting there, the first wishing I had something to write and on the second, wishing that it wasn’t about another person or feeling to subtract them from any future thoughts. Those thoughts were valuable at tender age of 13.
I am, again on the third day, typing exactly what rights from a motive I evidently laid burdened upon myself, Pressures from another, objectifying my reasons and it was surmountable. Everything coerced as it were, words form very easy and are written as much where your target becomes elusive.
I, in fact, can word for word with a great example of writing.
There, that third day, happened to be a new student who was introduced quickly and had sat down near me, literally watching over my shoulder stalking every move I made. Being instructed by the library staff to take a seat, she sat directly to my right. In summary, she had not yet been assigned classes and was apparently not very social, she took to reading and likeness in books, and the librarian had befriended her, bringing her as much into my life as out of it.
This was not an acceptable situation for me, but having little choice and even less authority, I had already been settled there, leading the introduction to inopportunity and a set of crimes to come.
Focused on my typing, unacquainted in times prior, I pressed casually upon keys. I spelled each word before I would commit and then reread my artwork. A new task of having to learn this skill after every line, breaking the hypnotizing chant with each Return key pressed, into a white wall of possibilities. It was still neat to my sense and newer to my self-conscious, even if I preferred to be left alone.
She would be present for my very first poem. Soon after I could access the direction and pattern in my words, I could speak them clearly, listening to my thoughts while I was allowed to hear my voice. This made me feel alive, wildly in love and disgusted for the first time. I was a patient person, but there were many distractions I was forced, again, in of my adolescence to make due with.
I typed a moniker at the bottom, a saving grace to rekindle its origin and it’s business to me. I even put in parentheses to fully look as though it was copywritten, learned a lesson that such symbols were not equipped within a word processor machine. I took up my paper and shut off my machine. Not to scare any reader, but this audience I had tagged along reached for my poem and was willing to lurch my very voice from her throat in reading it over. I heard the librarian before I could say a single word, and she instructed her to let it alone. Apparently, she watched this scene as she felt around shelves of books and fetched this bold and ridiculous girl her own empty pieces of paper to type her work on. I heard the bell ring and left to my next class.
Unfortunately, I did not possess this work for very long.
The next chance I had at a spare moment to reuse the machine was a few days after. And again, sitting there was this awful person who could not bear to be bothered, who would not smile and did not even remotely seem bothered by not being sent to her classroom or need to participate in the school activity. She moved away so I could type, this was after my workload was complete and I needed not to attend the other students’ late fees or checkouts. I sat with my books in front of me, a new sheet of paper I brought from home and began a second take to a similar poem. This also relieved me more than I had hoped. I was sure it’d prove to be much better than my first. Except, now the librarian was reading my poem, which lay atop my books, for references, and walked behind me to read as I typed. I did not enjoy this company, and was struck by how I was being treated.
I had seen the librarian actually give an attempt at typesetting during the time of day I came in to check my schedule and to ask for the permission to use and inquire about the ribbon which needed to be changed in my reliable machine. It fell between the second day and a time the following week I was free. It was a sight, to see her so uncomfortable, which gave me a reason to smile, fully, behind a closed mouth and glowing eyes.
She had been giving me grief or a feeling of indifference all during the third year of this position, had been coming into a character where she would fare better to spite me than perform as her job paid her. So, I sensed it was self-pity between her glasses and staring eyes.
The poem had thumped out from my fingers, relating to and mobilizing the general understanding of being in comparison to a flower. And a viking. Although, I knew and feared much better, that there was more to a Norseman than his brutality and raids of villages, riches being preferred. He, in form and of his own sustainability, gave me a hope that I could be true not leading asunder a man’s rib, for lack of better description…in part with my own stubbornness.
I reeled from her gaze by sitting very closely as I typed ..about hearts, and how they should be fully used before I had a head-on collision with one ..being aware my own was so fragile but how it all was perfect. What would someone think otherwise, although I planned to remain anonymous to the very, bitter end.
I hadn’t realized until after 30 minutes and a second completed poem, that my poem had been taken. It was not where I set it gently, right in front of me. I had to change to my next class, the bell ringing obnoxiously and I had been robbed, albeit, blindly. I immediately panicked, because, these were the source of the only satisfaction and voice I had for myself. I believed I knew who took it. In fact, the new girl was gone since I forced my eyes to notice. My staff in the library, in fact, had picked it up and said she just wanted to read it, again. She, in fact, was making copies of it. This, she told me in another office by the printer.
Of course, I did not want this. Of course, I asked for it back. Of course, I was infuriated.
I held it together as she proclaimed it would be at the desk tomorrow. The next day, it was, and I had left it as I completed each task and duty for this period I am committed to. I was pulled in many directions, then at the end of the period I retrieved my belongings, and again, the poem was not present. In a twist of my fate when I returned home, I learned the new poem was stolen, also. So I asked my parents what I could do. Not having a great home life, or support for that matter, I was told if I liked it so much, I should just retype it at home and keep my copy at home to myself. I went away half defeated, half staving flames from my ears and eyes.
I had thought how could anyone tell me that there’s not only intellectual property but the physical property without known whereabouts ..that happened to belong to only me. I did sit down with my mother’s typewriter in my bedroom and remember word for word the second poem which I had typed that day. I was not upset, I was missing in action. I wanted answers but had to play hardball. That instinct with that copied poem inspired me, and I took a picture of it.. in front of my grandmother’s favorite brooch and my younger brothers feather boa, which he let me use as a prop.. in front of a dictionary opened take conspicuous page that I have the only understanding of to its’ reason.
I had the film developed and over a week or so later, had two copies. I kept my poem to myself.
I brought into the school library the picture of my poem, decorated, and I purposefully left a copy of the picture on the desk in the same empty place I left my writing, my poetry and my original works from where they were stolen. It took minutes and would you believe, I checked and it, too, was removed. Coincidentally, the new student was present in the library during this period. Apparently she never enrolled in classes and had only been inhabiting that library facility for her own personal place to commiserate with the librarian. I am certain she picked up my picture and I never seen that picture again.
These were times when, at a youthful age, your person did not matter or was not supported as much as the word of any one adult. This adult happened to be a perpetual user turned into a thief who withheld my private property from me and lied when I asked her where about they had ended up.
I looked inward to see outward through struggles and turbulence that I am familiar with. The unknown of other adolescents, the uncertainty of emotion and the mistrust of others which was present almost daily in my life. Truth has it that I do believe I have proof of my original poem, which was included in a school yearbook. With or without my name(s).
Now, 20 years later that “new student” has published chronicles and poetic musings of her own. Original ramblings include mental health struggles and some about habitual tendencies in being awkward and antisocial throughout her life, although she never made any attempt to friend me. Plagiarist.
The librarian had left the school employment position within two years after I moved on to high school. She worked there a total of 5 years, four of which I was present. Thief.
A few years ago I seen images of poetry, mine, publish online. In fact I believe the image an exact copy of the page I typed. As we evolve, we see an influence to a commonality, starting a wave, recognized in presentation. Me, fumbling vibrating keys as I type out the words in the poem and building upon what we all know and authors share digitally today, usually on Pinterest ..the typed poem.
There is an adult female who claims she is the original author of the two poems that I’ve seen online and she has laid claim to. She’s even gone as far as to change her given name to one, which is the majority taken of my pen name. I really feel it’s unflattering, as ever. In hindsight, can an author have anything of their own! I have asked this person to kindly remove my poetry from anything included under their stolen moniker. That which, of course, has been so popularized into making her identity she refuses to even acknowledge this concept. She continues to post with my pen name her own works. She’s writing a book with my poems’ title, due on shelves this fall with a major publisher, certain the namesake of mine, included. Liar.
I have started a blog. I currently write as well as create my own poetry and stories where I find comfort in the outlet of expression and a mindset for taking readers for the long journey.
I only wish authors could see their writing as an extension of themselves instead of an obstacle or a disguise in hiding from who they really are. It affects me every day, knowing that I was not given personal space nor could I have asked for it. It bothers me to know that someone of adult age in my younger years was untrustworthy and can not be held accountable, considering the many years that have gone by. It is unjustifiable that she used emotional incest to get something, even though, she never took credit for it.
It’s not difficult to hunt down facts and uncover the truth where it comes from someone not promoting shame but is only trying to regain their identity. This is a burden without purpose, bearing it solely, because it was their soul, and they shared. I still have my voice.
I am under such suspicion from the few who promote a person bent on victimizing herself while I am only grieving the very essence I once let out.
The fight in me is strong. I won’t quit writing, in fact, I’ve mastered keystroking and plan to use that in my professional employment. Currently, I enjoy being creative and writing to the best of my ability. I fear I have lost much confidence in others but the willingness to grow from my own personal story is not the end.
I know why I wrote poetry. I know what it took to sit alone and type out one’s heart and then leave it’s memory abandoned because it’s disappeared or it’s printed image left in such a negative and public space to fool a fool. I know, not because I am subservient to others’ untruths or gluttoning of punishment. I am more than full of life, living closer to a Viking than most. I’m hoping that anyone who ever feels that they deserve understanding should never submit an ending to the adventure of seeking it out.