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I Would Like To Die First

A Poem Of Things I Could Never Say In Front Of My Dad

For some reason, I’ve never been an expressive or affectionate person, especially towards my parents. It’s always been easier for me to send the message through my actions or through my writing—this poem is just one of many examples. I’ve always had these thoughts, but have never felt so strongly that I had to put them into words. This is a compilation of all the times I have cried and have regretted not being able to verbally tell my dad I love him.

Sometimes I cry out of the blue: I know, pretty emo, right?

But it’s usually when I’m thinking of my dad.

 I’m a pessimist, my thoughts are my basis for sudden rainfall; I cannot resist.

 

As cliche as it may sound,

I overthink about too many things too many times.

I have to play music playing to occupy my mind:

for any car ride, long or short… for any nap, tired or not… for any activity, at home or outside.

I need noise to counteract the volume of thoughts as I imagine 40 different ways my dad could not make it home tonight,

40 different ways my dad could not pick me up and drive me again,

40 different ways my dad could not answer the phone when I call him crying.

 

As cliche as it may sound,

I want to be young again, to be six years old and unable to think this way.

Now, I cannot even find it in me to reminisce about good times.

 

As cliche as it may sound,

I want to grow up already.

Achieve my goals, be married and have kids so my dad could be in all those memories.

I want him to be able to see me as more than I am now:

I am more than crying in the middle of the night from nightmares

more than breaking down after being asked questions I cannot answer;

more than shrugs and stale conversation in the car;

more than what he did not want me to be.

 

As cliche as it may sound,

I prayed to God—or at least I tried to.

Praying is the most trivial thing compared to the things I’ve imagined.

I prayed to God the last time I had a nightmare and the last time my dad got sick.

I prayed to God when the last time there was an earthquake and the last time I broke down like this.

I prayed to God after every line I wrote.

“As cliche as it may sound, it’s God’s plan.”

 

As cliche as it may sound,

I can’t imagine life without my dad.

I couldn’t even imagine him growing old… yet here he is doing just that.

Of all the things my mind has created and is yet to create, I hope it is never capable of imagining such a grave image,

but that doesn’t mean it has not tried before for:

I have imagined seeing him in the hospital and getting that call;

I have imagined crying at his funeral and all the pain the day after;

I have imagined a version of myself after his funeral.

I hate that I could even fathom those thoughts; I hate that they are possible and likely.

 

As cliche as it may sound,

(feel free to call me out on all my cliches now):

No one understands and no one will ever understand how and why I spend tears upon tears on thoughts of my dad; in fact, even my mom thinks it’s shallow, but how could it be when I’m filling buckets for the most important person in my life no matter how old I get? No matter what fight we get into, no matter what conversation we don’t have, no matter what annoying thing he does, my dad is the only person I would gladly spend all my tears on even though I hope I don’t have to. But how can I not when he speaks so nonchalantly about death? It angers me that he has the courage to do so, but I guess it’s easy when you’re only thinking about yourself. In fact, in those moments, all I can think is, “how selfish can you be, Dad?” Likewise, when I wrote the title of this poem, all l could think was, “I’d rather be selfish than you, Dad.”

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Written by Gabrielle Mendoza

the human form of the 100 emoji
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