For most of my life I have apologized
Whether it was valid or not
If there was someone saying sorry it was me.
You name it and I have apologized for it
Earthquakes, Tsunamis, broken hearts and broken dishes
Spilt milk, dead goldfish, trolley collisions, death, the holocaust, apartheid
I am sorry.
I am an apologist.
I’m sorry, I beg your pardon, sorry, sorry, I am truly sorry.
Am I sorry?
Mostly I am
Mostly I believe that the apology is highly overrated
I am sorry your entire family was wiped out in a genocide – could you pass the peas?
I’m sorry that my forefathers were colonial fuckers who screwed you over
I am sorry that I am emotionally unavailable
I am sorry that I fell asleep
I am sorry that I forgot your birthday
I am sorry that I am not more like him
I am sorry that I am sorry.
The thing about sorry is that it doesn’t really make it better does it? The word just falls flat, it’s inadequate.
Sorry is its own form of blasphemy
The word is overused and I am guilty of it.
Do we even know what we are apologizing for?Do we care?Should we?
In my life I have apologized whether it was warranted or not.
I did it to keep the peace
I did it because I didn’t know what else to say.
I said it because it was the only acceptable thing to say.
I apologized for myself
My bad mood, my weight, my love, my drunkenness, my work, my thoughts, my feelings.
Tonight I tore up the last of our pictures.
I relished destroying the ones that you wanted, the keepsakes you’d take and put in some box – the ones you’d show to your grandkids’, the ones you’d look at when you’re old and reminisce and wish you could go back
But it’s too late.
I am not a spiteful person.
Reading this I am sure you would think otherwise
I have been driven to spiteful action but I am not a spiteful person.
I am also out of ‘sorry’
I filled out my quotient of apologies
I am out of sorry like the neighbors are out of sugar or milk.
I will make peace with it.
And I will not apologize for not apologizing for being spiteful and sullen and sad.
Sorry is passive.
Sorry is for sissies.
Sorry doesn’t give a shit about sorry
Sorry is the nation’s pacifier
Sorry is not a salve or balm to heal the wounds
Just some word that had a great spin-doctor.
Sorry is obligatory.
“Say Sorry to Sally darling – Say sorry for drowning her Barbie in the toilet”
“But I’m not sorry! She pinched me!”
“It doesn’t matter – Just say it!”
Sorry is selfish – sorry is the antithesis of an apology, Sorry is said to soothe the conscience of the one saying it
Sorry should come with a warning
I have waited for sorry a long time from many people. School bullies who teased me relentlessly, Friends who were unkind, sorry for wounds that run deeper than any cut or bruise, sorry for making you feel worthless, sorry for leaving you alone, sorry for not protecting you when all you needed was to be protected, sorry for not being your friend because sometimes it was just too hard, sorry for calling you those names, sorry I don’t love you. Sorry I never have, sorry but you are not the one I want to be with. Sorry… Sorry…
For so long I have believed that Sorry is a magic word, that in having you say it everything will be ok. That somehow I will be at peace with myself and you. That the past will be erased or at least washed over in watercolour, made palatable.
Tonight I put sorry to rest.
The apologies I never received and the apologies I made that made me feel less of me, for what I thought was more of you.
It’s easy to be honest at 2am
It’s easy to be anything or anyone other than yourself.
I am not sorry for meeting you on a Wednesday in the frozen food section with a box of tampons in my left hand.
I am not sorry for calling you everyday just to say hi and to tell you I miss you.
I am not sorry that I hoped and prayed for you for most of my life.
I am not sorry that I cried like a baby when Princess Diana died and Nelson Mandela walked free.
I am not sorry that I said I loved you often and unashamedly to friends, to family, to pets, to you.
I am not sorry that I am an idealist
I am not sorry that I am me
And perhaps that really doesn’t quite cut it, and perhaps you would rather I regret because it will make you feel better
Either way the apology you leave will never be enough and I was a fool for thinking it, and even if it carried as much weight as I had hoped it would it won’t make you love me the way I ought to be loved, It won’t stop the ache that I have at times like these when the house is silent and I am alone, It won’t right the wrongs or bring world peace
It will just be a wordthat we wish meant more than it did
So next time you’re about to apologize
Please spare it
It isn’t going to save the starving in Ethiopia or Zimbabwe
It isn’t going to stop the war in the Middle East or bring back the lives of loved ones we’ve lost
It’s not going to stop the creation of bombs or guns
It’s not going to stop the criminals, the thieves, the sad, and the lonely from being what they are.
It’s not going to make up for the past and without action it will never pave the way for a future.
I have learnt enough to know that either way it fucks out in the end.
It’s not going to stop the sadness and misery
It’s not going to shelter the homeless or clothe the poor
And when you wind up your window to the street kid at the stop street and dismiss the beggar with a sorry
It does what only an apology can do