So, reader, a little about me: I’ve always been cursed.
It’s true! No matter what I have done, where I have gone, it has followed me. I was aware from a very young age. I called it… The Writing Curse.
Oh my goodness, you think, what tragedy! What could be the details of a such a frightening hex? Perhaps she is doomed to write adventures but never her own? Is she spelled as the poor Trojan Cassandra and no one will ever believe her words? Or each word written is one less breath she takes in life?!
Alright well no, nothing like that. But to a young girl with a young heart? It sure seemed like it sometimes.
I first noticed it with sweet Daniel. He had bright green eyes and dark auburn hair. He liked it when his sister and I played kickball with the boys at recess, and he thought the joke from my Laffy Taffy wrapper was very funny.
Obviously, I was in love.
So I wrote him into my nightly tale. Oh, you didn’t write nightly tales as a kid? You didn’t have journal upon journal hawked from your brothers’ school supplies or your dad’s office drawer filled with your first fantasy novel? Well now you sound like the crazy one.I spent several pages turning Daniel into a knight that saved the mermaid princess who only vaguely (aka exactly) matched my image.
The next morning in real life, he could not take his eyes off our classmate Jessica. That’s right. Not me. Her. So I made sure to out run Jessica in gym class, which I felt probably was the same as having your tiny second grade heart broken.
Then there was Matt. Matt was everything Daniel hadn’t been: Blond, blue eyed, and tall. He was probably the tallest guy in third grade, and that was very appealing. Third grade is when homework gets a little more difficult (cursive was hard, okay?) so it was a while before I returned to my writing. But once I made Matt into my story’s Tarzan, he was over me.
I started to catch on.
When Petey had an obvious crush on me, because come on- no one shared their cafeteria cookie that often with a girl they weren’t crushing on- I decided to conduct an experiment. I had to take the risk that it would not only hurt my wee little feelings, but may also risk my daily a chocolate chip share. This was serious, but I had to know. So I wrote Petey’s freckles and his thin nose into a pirate lord searching for his sea goddess, who again, looked an awful lot like me. But I chickened out. I didn’t want to miss Petey, even if he did like baseball better than soccer. Couples overcame much worse, right? So I got out my big eraser and scarred the page to rid it of my little spell.
The following day, that 1/2 a cookie went to Rebecca. Oddly enough, they’re married now.
So it was true. I had the magical abilities I had always dreamt of, but like any true heroine, it was not what I had expected. And it was even stronger than I’d imagined! It was not just the writing itself existing, but the mere creation of the words that triggered the bewitchment! This was a great power with terrible consequences. Oh how the worry that I could accidentally use it on a friend or family member plagued me. I created only strangers in my tales from then on. The prince, the princess, even the villagers and warriors had to be people I had never seen, eye colors that were never natural, hometowns I’d never seen- no uncertainty could be overlooked. For both my people and my heart, I needed to remain vigilant.
That of course lasted until Mike. He was my first kiss and my first mixed CD, both equally important to a twitterpated high schooler.
Telling my diary that night, I dismissed my previous entries that whimpered about The Writing Curse as the overactive imagination of a child. I was 14 and a half now, practically a grown woman! I had no need for infantile fears. There was no reason at all for me not to write every single disgusting detail of my first kiss and how I’d defiantly lost my good chapstick on the bus immediately afterwards. That was important documentation that I would need to look back on to make sure our grandchildren had the luxury of every last triviality!
So, you know, of course I wrote about him, and of course we broke up within the week. It was not a coincidence. It was not, as my parents suggested, the fickle heart of a young man. No no. He’d made me a CD, we were a serious romance. You don’t just make a mixed CD for a girl you’re not head over heels for! There was no other explanation than The Curse.
I became paranoid. When Ben began winking at me, I made sure to keep from telling even my diary. I refused to include any details to my best friend Dana in our notes during band class- it was too dangerous. Ben had brown eyes with flecks of blue and he was popular. I was not going to lose this one.
Months went by, and I began to get a bit comfortable. Christmas break was coming, and there were tests to study for as well as gifts to wrap. My talent of creating interesting strangers for my stories was growing well. I had gotten to the point where I no longer needed to fight the urge to make the male lead look overly familiar. He was given silver hair or purple freckles. His skill lied in archery or horseback riding, certainly not biology or the trumpet. Nope, couldn’t risk even those similar ties.
Yet still, after the town Christmas parade, both my tongue and my ego were scorched: one by overly hot cocoa, and the other by Ben’s decision that we should just be friends.
I let myself cry. Because really, this was the first time I was actually getting rejected! All the other times had been The Curse. This was the first time that my string had truly been cut simply because the other person didn’t want to hold it anymore.
I ran to my room, shuffled through the papers on my desk. My pen pal had such better handwriting than me that I used to write out my letters once to say everything, and then a second, slower, to make the words more legible. Gel pens went flying, my napping cat yelped in alarm as she was flung to the floor, but finally I found the draft. What had I done!? I’d be so careful, and yet it had still won! I had been so pleased to get her letter days before and quickly write her back that I had not stopped to process or filter! And there it was in bright blue ink of the second paragraph: I’m actually really excited to have a boyfriend over Christmas break! We’ll make apple cider and throw snowballs and it will be like a cheesy movie!
There were 3 things wrong with this: 1) I fell into The Curse. 2) I didn’t really like apple cider at the time but it sounded more grownup than Swiss Miss. 3) We lived at the bottom of Texas. No way was there going to be any snowballs for Christmas.
My heart was truly broken this round.
This pattern repeated itself over and over and over again. Each year I grew older, I would attempt again to pretend The Writing Curse was not real. But its power was immense. Within the week of any written mention of my heart’s new desire, the flame was extinguished. I was victimized by a sticky note to my lab partner, or a short entry in my required “inner journey” notebook for the philosophy course. Attacked with my own doodles or MadLibs with the roommate. Nothing was safe.
Then there was Zander. He was cute and soft. A smartass and adorably stupid at the same time. He was just the right balance of needy and sarcastic and useless that a young lady looks for in a temporary partner to scar their world view on partnerships. Perfection.
Unfortunately, I got a little older, got a little wiser. I had to let this nonsense boy go, and yet I couldn’t bare to do so. We broke up and got back together repeatedly. We screeched accusations and then whispered apologies. We insisted that we were knotted together but really it was just a frayed rope we refused to drop.
In one of the many aftermaths of our fights, in a fit of rage and sorrow, I reached under my bed for my Not So Secret Box of Secret Things. In it were old birthday cards from my family, a teddy bear I only pulled out when my roommate wasn’t home, and my writing journal. Pen to paper, I wrote that boy out of my life.
Every wisp of dirty blond hair was described. Each flake of yellow in his brown eyes meticulously recorded. I gave him dialog and called him by name. For the first time ever, I wielded the power of The Writing Curse for my own needs.
“Why?” He demanded.
Because I had to.
“Why when that’s one of your biggest stupid superstitions, would you write about us?! You’re so freaking dramatic!”
When the phone call ended, I knew it had worked. There would be no apology follow-up call. There would be no knock on my door to take it all back. We were finally free of each other, and I hated it. I hated knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that I’d heard his voice for the last time. There would come a day when we both moved on and were happier, but it wasn’t that evening. I’d had to write him out, and The Curse is not gentle.
Logophile (noun): A love of words.
Honestly, I’m a little impressed with myself for making it all the way to May before using this word. It was so easily a word that was going to be used in this blog, but I wanted to put it off until a story felt right. Since this one is literally about me writing* I figured it would be appropriate.
Also, if you don’t see the connection between my own curse and the movie Practical Magic, please go watch it until you have most of the lines memorized. It’s really for your own good, you’ll enjoy yourself I promise!
Alright lovely loyal readers, thanks for reading this change-of-pace story. I have a few new stories in the works that are back to my regular style. We’ll be hanging out with our friendly neighborhood regulars again soon!
*All names and locations have been changed even though it wasn’t really necessary as I guarantee you these people have no idea I have a blog. 0:)