Piece by piece, I lose myself,
Only to find what wasn’t here before,
And the deeper into it I walk,
A tug at my heartstrings tells me I want more.
All the lives I have lived,
All the faces I have seen,
All the roads I have walked
In all the places I have been—
How do I tell which one is mine?
I’m a thousand stories in one.
The deeper I try to drown,
The stronger it takes a hold of me;
Words swimming in my head
And the ghosts of all the lives I’ve led
Whisper into my ears, hoarse and eerie,
Saying, ‘You can’t outrun us.’
Not that I ever wanted to.
All I searched for was an escape,
But I let myself be consumed,
Like a moth infatuated by the flame,
I let it take over me, I gave in.
So, now I don’t know myself;
Who’s to tell me who I am,
For not even I have found her yet—
I keep searching, one story after another,
Reading between the lines,
Flipping through the pages,
Looking for myself in the ink,
As though somewhere lost in those tales
Is who I am meant to be right now.
What if I’ve already found her?
The one who stares back at me in the mirror.
Perhaps who I am right now:
Uncertain, lost, confused,
Stumbling around a little,
But wide, wide awake—
I keep losing parts of me as I go,
The more stories that I read,
I find myself craving more,
As though walking deeper into the woods,
One book from my shelf at a time,
A bit of me lost to their stories
And a bit of them lost to mine.
~© Shubhangi Srinivasan.
Today, once again, I chose to deviate from the original prompt given by napowrimo.net to write about how it feels to get attached to stories and characters when you read a very good story. Recently, I feel like I have lost a huge part of myself to a couple of very beautiful stories, but in a way, I am also glad that it happened because I ended up with a whole new story to cherish forever instead.