what good is talent in the written word, a way with ink on paper, when the real value of words lies in how they’re spoken, released from willing lips, allowed to perch in another’s heart?

a couple of months ago, some friends and i talked about a mutual friend whom we knew was at the brink of going over the edge. i couldn’t help but feel responsible in some little indirect way for how screwed up things seem for him now, and i expressed the kind of frustration i usually feel when i’m at wit’s end as to how to help someone who has come to me with very real problems, suffering from very real depression.

i just wish i knew what i can do to help him,” i said, “just to be sure that i’ve done all i can. so that should anything happen, at least i’d know i tried.

“you mean you don’t want blood on your hands?” my friend inquired. “in that case, it’s too late. if anything happens, we’d all have his blood on our hands.

i get scared, sometimes, when my friends confide in me and trust their feelings with me. i never know the right things to say or do or what not to say or do. some people have the natural ability to discern how long a silence is enough and what is most appropriate to be said in order to break that silence. i don’t have that.

before i open my mouth, or at the very moment the phone starts ringing, i have to utter a quick prayer and close my eyes to hope that the right words will be said in the right spirit, that my ears will hear what they’re really saying. as long as whatever happens in the next couple of minutes can, in any little way, pull them away from the edge for a while…that’s enough.

enough to hopefully wash my hands of their blood.

june thinks i’m overdramatising things. i personally think it’s the hormones acting up on me. whatever it is, recent events have just forced me to…think. i’m not sure why it’s affected me so much and how, in some muddled way, i’ve managed to associate it all with something else totally unrelated…

…it’s just disturbing and i feel extremely disturbed.

what do you say? to someone who has lost a close friend? to someone whose plans have fallen apart? how do you avoid the cliches and empty words? what do you write, nevermind say?


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