If at any time this year I have doubted myself or my ability to succeed, it has been your doing.
You who looked at me with that cynical, condescension that made me feel like a cockroach.
You who sneered at me with those beady, beady eyes and made me want to punch you.
But I couldn’t.
I couldn’t punch you.
Because you’re older.
And so feeble that a punch might’ve killed you, and then you really would have ruined my life.
I would have been a felon, been put in prison for years or for ever, all because of your horrible bedside manner.
The only faith you showed in me was the faith that I would fail.
The only motivation you inspired was that I might prove you wrong.
One night I had a dream about you.
Yes, Gee-emme, you even invaded my dreams.
My dreams that I normally love so dearly.
My sleep that I normally cherish.
You even took that.
In my dream, my nightmare, you were enormous—you were the size of a university campus.
Every professor was you.
Every assignment was you.
Every shaded window looking out on the coulees was you.
And while I realise this may sound like a love poem, I assure you:
You were everything bad on a feverish rampage to destroy everything good.
I shriveled and died in the presence of you, which was every presence.
My words choked in my mouth because I could not speak to you.
You stole my voice.
And I hated you.
When I woke up and saw it was just a dream,
I still hated you.
But I like this poem—these words that I’ve written to you. Because of you.
They prove you have not beaten me.
And you will not beat me.
So I forgive you.
All my best,