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A reflection on some of my recent work.

Damian Peters
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I told my wife, Tyler, that writing was a unique form of expression for me. I find beauty in the fact that I can bring pages to life. My writing has always been dark. I have always felt comfortable giving the audience an insight into my mind, but I have realized that the darker the thought, the bigger the audience. What is this attraction to my suffering that makes people so interested? Perhaps, suffering loves company, or maybe my less provocative pieces aren’t as interesting as I had thought after all?

When I wrote Goodbye, it was actually my first ever attempt at novel writing and is the last chapter in my unpublished book, The Many Misadventures of Hel. It is a heavy piece. I am infatuated with the idea of suicide by hanging. What does it feel like, how long does it take to die, why did they do it, what material was used, what method of hanging? At 14 years old, I saw for the first time my Black ancestors being hanged by my white ones. It was jarring, to say the least. At the time I was still dealing with daily abuse from my father, while also reading many of Donald Goines’ brutally honest novels about street life. It was a transformative experience. I began to mentally document the suffering of others. I became perplexed by how bad things could get, why they even became so bad in the first place, and why we continue to invalidate those who go through those experiences. Goodbye is about childhood trauma, how the adolescence of a scarred individual gets carried into their adulthood. As inescapable as the source of this trauma, Gale, a character in the novel, succumbs to his childhood demons.

Clouds, a short piece I wrote, was a request from one of my followers on Twitter. I asked someone to give me one word to write about and then I went to work on my laptop. The story came naturally. As a writer, my own work has not seen much traffic. Either my writing is inadequate, uninteresting, or perhaps I am just unlucky. Whatever it is, Nera’s decision to take her own life is an insight into how I feel writing. After spending many years in academia and seemingly still finding little to no meaning in her life, Nera decides to hell with it, she’ll end it all, maybe then she can escape the monotony that has plagued her. As she charges off the summit, no one stops her. Indeed, no one cared to. As she nears her final resting place right before she shatters into a million pieces she realizes that she hadn’t recorded her own death. Her inner peace disrupted, Nera’s last moments were of despair, even in death she had gone unnoticed. This is most certainly my fear and current reality.

Doomed is a think piece about the perceived futility of existing. This third piece highlights, yet again, my state of mind. Why am I writing, only for no one to read? Why am I working only to pay bills? I ask these questions to myself daily. It feels suffocating at times. I earn a mediocre income, my writing isn’t popular, and I constantly feel like I am spinning in circles. Doomed, then, is a perfect realization that I feel entirely unaccomplished despite having acquiring my B.A., having a loving family, and a strong group of friends. Most people would say that they wished they had what I have, but that is how perspective works: we all want a little bit of the next person.

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