A depressed teenager, I was, and insomniac. People came and went like whirlwind on a daily basis which left me dizzy and confused. Music and books were my true friends.
I must have been fourteen or fifteen when I started to write poetry. I produced two poetry collections with themes in love and nature. They were more like scrapbooks filled with hand scribbles, doodles and glued on magazine cut-outs. They were the treasure of my teens, and probably the only treasure I proudly claimed mine.
I had a pen friend, yes, a pen friend. Strong and I shared a common interest in poetry. We had written to each other for over three years. We got to exchange our favourite pieces of own poetry. After so many years, he still kept my correspondence. I am grateful to him because he preserved a few pieces of my poetry from early days.
You may wonder what about those two collections. Well, this is what this short writing about. Be careful where you leave your treasure and who you trust.
My buddy Bupa and I were very close. We talked on the phone for hours every day. We talked about anything but nothing. In hindsight, they were mostly harmless banter but also completely time wasting. It seemed to me at that time of my lonely years, Bupa was my only trusted friend. When I decided to come to Australia to start a new life, I asked Bupa to keep my two poetry collections for me under lock and key until I returned. He didn’t say no. That was summer in 1998.
In 2014, I finally met up with Bupa and asked him to return my two collections. He told me he didn’t have them anymore. He threw them away because of fear of his wife’s jealousy. I was beyond shocked. The painful realisation of the little worth of our friendship had a secondary effect to the loss of my treasure, the loss of part of me.
In 2018, by blessing I reconnected with my pen friend Strong via social media. He took photos of the poems I sent along in letters to him. That’s how I managed to reunite with my teenage self through those poetry.
Trusting someone who are not trust worthy is a lesson for me to learn.
This short piece has been stewing in my mind for a while. I wanted to be a meaningful piece so I procrastinated. Now I wrote it, it is like a weight off my shoulders. I didn’t realise it bothered me so much. Now this is history, done and dusted.
Here are the English translation for the preserved early pieces: