You Should've Never Gone Unwritten
A letter to my father.
My penmanship is poor, I know—my paper is torn and wrinkled. It’s stained and ink has cried all over it. Next to me is a stack of perfect paper, never broken. What must that be like? You never knew, and I never will. That is why I chose this sheet of scrap. Isn't that what you made me? Scrap? Tossed aside, beaten, manipulated, crumpled. But never thrown away. I was always good for something, another note for you to jot down, I suppose. Not completely useless, but never overly important.
You were my everything, and I did believe for a time that I was yours. You see, I never understood the difference between you and drugs. I needed heroin like I needed you. The drugs gave me temporary pleasure, an escape that eventually led to greater plagues. They gave me visions. But they weren’t real. My body was obedient to their every cry, and I would surely rot without them (I thought). My being was shifted because of their voices, so soothing, but too frightening to ignore.
Just like you. And you and I are similar.
I am not the only one that was broken. I do believe—and I know you know this—that I had some control. Isn’t it true that I was the one who pulled you into bed? These people look at me like I’m pathetic. The voices, your voice, they overpowered me, according to those who look upon our situation and think they know better. I was not completely lost to your attempts to string me to your fingers. That’s what killed you, not the gun. You could make me do anything, and that’s all anyone can see. They can’t see the ambition in my eyes, blinded to my most precious and obvious asset: seduction. It is easy to be weak, and so I did fall for you and to your whims. But you did touch me when I asked, got my stash, let me get away with touching others. There was an incision in your power, and you hated that. But it couldn’t be helped.
I did love you—I do. I did break you, and your life now dangles from my wrist, another charm to my bracelet. I want to always remember the man who murdered me, you see, not the man I murdered. I don’t take pride in what I did to you, Daddy. In fact, I rather despise myself for it, though it also pains me to recall the moments you hurt me. But it’s easier to be the victim than to be everything Mother has accused me of. A whore. An imp who had no interests but her own. I wanted drugs. I wanted sex.
I wanted you to love me the way I loved you.
I forgave you long ago for stripping me of youth. But I cannot forgive myself for stripping you of your fatherhood. In my mind, I want to believe that it wasn’t my fault. I want to believe that you were the evil at work, and that it was only I who was injured—and I was injured. Please forgive me for our twisted affair.
There is no difference between you and drugs. The user has the power to start and the power to quit. What happens is never because of the drugs. It’s always the user. Always.