Companion Pieces: Phone call

Publish Date
Word Count
670 words

This blog post is about the story phone call. There are some thoughts and context about that story that I wanted to write down.

The first thing about it is that I don't know when I wrote it. I remember it before I went to uni, which would put it somewhere between 2009 and 2011. For technical reasons for this website, I've given the story a date, but that is nothing more than an educated guess.

Secondly, is that in the story, the character that nearly commits suicide is also named Sam. A relevant observation here is that I wrote this story way before I ever had even thought about taking that as my name. It's funny how things like that can come back throughout life. While it feels weird for me to read now, I've chosen to preserve the original names I had decided on at the time. I did that because that felt more authentic to my previous self.

Another interesting fact is that I managed to write a trans character before even knowing that such a thing even exists. The character Sammy in the story gets female pronouns. However, her bullies write "FUCK BOY" on her face. I can't tell you why I made those choices back then, except that they must have "felt right somehow". It is incredible to me that I managed to write a trans narrative that rings true to life for me even to this day, without realising it. I have decided to tag the story with "trans", even though that was nowhere near my mind when I originally wrote it. In a way, this feels dishonest since I'm adding context that wasn't there before. However, I think it is the most honest in spirit, so I have chosen to do it anyway.

Suicide is also a prominent part of this story. I have never attempted suicide in my life, but I cannot remember when I have not had suicidal ideations, even if I didn't have those words for them at the time. Seeing that part of me reflected back at me from a period so long ago is kind of harrowing. In the story, Sammy is afraid to die but doesn't see any way to improve her current situation. She is at a point where the fear of the future is starting to overcome the fear of death. What she feels is not necessarily wanting to die, but simply not enjoying the life she has anymore and seeing no other way out. That is a feeling with which I empathise strongly to this day. It makes me feel much more empathy for that little kid than I used to do. I wrote this story during a period that I didn't think of as very difficult. Looking back, though, I can see how much I was struggling. I was wrestling with identity, alienation from those around me and my undiscovered queerness. Hang in there, little Sammy, you have no idea what is ahead of you, and that is both a blessing and a curse.

The last part that I want to discuss is how my style was already starting to develop even back then. This story is written in what I sometimes like to call "The implied voice". The text itself is concise, but from it, we can easily infer a larger story. Sammy is a young trans girl who is being bullied and tortured at school to suicide even. Her mother loves her very much but is mostly unaware of her situation. Jessica desperately wants to protect Sammy but is entirely surprised by the events, painting an even grimmer picture. I like to write my short stories and micro-fiction like that these days, and if you go and read some of those, I'm sure you'll see the similarities. It is incredible to me that even back then, I liked and used this style of writing before I realised its potential. Oh, how far I have come since.