The Day I Felt Worthless

My Poem Says, "You Are Not Alone"

Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Summer Solstice!

I am feeling bright and energized today; however, there are days I feel stuck at the bottom of a pit. Here is a poem from such a day this June.

The Day I Felt Worthless

the storm of darkness fuels the feeling of worthless
presses me down onto the mattress
nowhere to turn, I look up suicide helpline
read all the info on the chat line
it says I don’t have to be suicidal
I can be just depressed or going through a hard time
yet I imagine the long wait on hold
I picture others suffering from “real” suicidal thoughts
sense of no worth and desire to disappear
might not be a reason good enough to call
I don’t want to take up a slot
please save someone else’s life

got no good memory, no functionality
PMS messing up my brain 
things dropping from my hands left and right
I go to the library, front door locked, back door locked
thought today was Thursday
no, today is Wednesday
it opens at 1 pm, not at 10 am
back around to the front of the building
find the metal box for book returning
the comic collection with a spine too thick
it doesn’t get through the slot that is way too thin 
I press it down sideways to no avail
I put it back in my bag and pack away my mistake

back at home, at the bottom of the stairs
there stands a big box of new air conditioner
it’s so tall it could reach the kitchen counter
its sides as wide as a Christmas tree
it assumes a character of authority
“what have you done? what are you gonna do?”
roomie and I take off the lid and rip away styrofoam corners
we poke around in search of a manual
finally, we find out it attaches to a window
how in the world is it portable if it cannot be free
we were gonna put it in the hallway
and cool all the rooms with the AC in the middle
then the manual throws another stick at us
gotta keep it 10 inches away from the wall
we got no room for the AC itself 
let alone extra room for it to work

I go back to the library holding the thick comic in front of my chest
would people judge me for the characters in uniforms on its cover?
the front door is locked and the back door is locked
there’s a mealtime break for an hour that I overlooked the first time around
I come out of the parking lot and walk straight to 7-Eleven
I don’t try to shove the book through the deposit box again
all I can think of is to shove a bag of chips in my mouth
I put on my mask and peruse the aisles
Funyuns and Doritos are no good, too salty for me
I settle on oven-baked potatoes and plantain chips

I get two big bottles of cold water 
and cross over to a strip of abandoned stores
from the first failed attempt of returning the book 
I saw a new person dozing off on his walker 
his head dipping down toward the ground
got me worried about the pressure it’s putting on his neck 
I see him starting to trudge away, his fists firm around the handle
I call out “Excuse me!” as I put my steps forward
he looks and I ask “would you like some water?”
“My name is Linda, What is your name?”
“Blue,” he says. “That is a cool name." 
“Please have this.” I hand him a five-dollar 
“God bless you.” “God bless you,” I say back to him 
although I don’t see god anywhere in this street corner

then I visit Jojo’s makeshift bedroom 
“Hello, Jojo. I’ll put this right here.” 
I place the bottle by a nearly-empty 2-liter coke
“How do you know my name?” he startles
“You told me before. I live down the street.”
he thought I was Chinese. I clarify that I am Korean. 
he tells me about his languages, and I tell him about mine. 
he keeps saying he doesn’t wanna depend on others
I say, “I believe you,” can’t find any other words
I’m standing in front of his bedroom 
while he’s still lying on his mattress 
this perpendicular setup makes me feel awkward 
I say, “I’m gonna head back home”
later, I wish that I’d said it without “home”

Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

If you experience a day when you feel broken and worthless, think of this poem and remember that you are not alone. Hear the words I send your way: this storm shall pass, and you are worthy of living another day.



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