How I Learned To Write

Follow-up to Nasdijj’s post below:

My dad said I can tell my own story. I will. He said I do not need anyone to tell it but me.

I do not need him to do it. So here I am. I am Dylan. I am 8. I had a birthday. I do not go to school.

It is not true I do not read. I read in secret at night. It was my secret. I learned to read with a flashlight. I read at night under my covers. I like to read this way because it is my own world.

Some of the books I read last week are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and The Hobbitt by J.R.R. Tolkien.

I read The Hobbit out loud to my brother Manuel. Then Manuel died. I am very sad. We had a funeral. I wrote a speech about I loved Manuel. I helped dig his grave. Each boy in our family dug the grave a little bit. We wanted to. We dug the grave for Manuel. I miss Manuel.

I read The Hobbit to Maunel and he hugged me. He was blind. He could not read. People send us books. They are nice.

I go under the covers with Poochie. He reads with me but he is not real. He is a stuffed dog not a real one. He is 54 years old. He was my dad’s dog when my dad was little. Now he is my dog.

I love Poochie. He smells nice like my dad. My dad is the best man in the world. I want to be like my dad.

I learned to write because I stole some books my dad wrote. They are in my room. I will give them back. But I want to keep them. My dad is my hero because he loves me so much.

I have AIDS. My dad wrote a book about his son with AIDS. That book has a real dog in it who is Navajo. Navajo is my friend. We take walks into the desert.

Navajo barks at coyotes. I sit down with my journal. It is fun. I am almost out of room in the journal.

I wrote about when I had surgery. My dad made me have the surgery. I was mad at him that time. I did not want to have the surgery. I had cancer in a very private place. I do not like to talk about it.

They cut me. They hurt me. I am mad at them. It still hurts me. My dad hugged me. He tries to make me better.

I am not too mad at him now but a little. I do not want them to cut me again. It helps me to write about it in my journal.

I will not let them cut me. I will run away and be dead. I want to be with Manuel. I want him back. I go to where they take my blood for cancer cells. It hurts me very much. They said it would not hurt. It was a lie. I hate them. My dad said it will hurt bad. He does not lie to me.

My dad and I had a fight. He does not want me to die. But it is not up to him. It is my body. I will not let them cut me one more time. I do not like it. I am shamed when they look at me with no clothes on.

My dad said do not let people touch you there. But they do it and they are mean. They put medicine in your vein. It makes you throw up. It is not fun. I hate them.

I am not a whimp. I won the fight with my dad. I will not let them cut me no matter what. I have brothers. My brother Bane can write too. He is big. He wrestles me. I laugh. I have a pig who is Myrtle. I write stories about Myrtle. I walk Myrtle with a leash. We went to town in the truck.

Myrtle likes tortillas. I am not allowed to bring Myrtle in the house. She is in the barn.

My brothers are fun. They do not want me to die. I might die. People with AIDS sometimes die. It kills you. Manuel died. I walk to his grave. At night I write about it.

When you die it might be dark. I am not afraid. I will take my flashlight. It has my name on it.

I will not let them cut me and if they cut me I will write I am mad. They do not like me. They are very mean to children. My dad reads to me when I am sick. He read to me when they cut me. It was Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It had pirates. We had one book of Treasure Island and then a nice lady sent us another one so I gave my Treasure Island to a school here because they do not have any books.

My dad and I are not fighting now. He said if I want to die it is up to me. I know that. I will write about sometimes I write letters to Manuel. They are in my folder. I love Manuel. My dad can not bring him back.

That is all. The end. By Dylan.

7 Responses

  1. Hello DylanThanks for the
    Hello Dylan

    Thanks for the story. It’s one of the best stories I have read all year. I’m glad you like reading and I’m glad you like writing. If you want to be a writer like your Dad, you have to read ALL the time and write ALL the time. Some people say I am a good writer, but I’ll never be a great writer. I don’t spend enough time writing. I don’t spend enough time reading, either. Only those people who do a lot of both get to be become great writers. So, keep writing. Write about anything. Get comfortable with words. Words are the best toys and the most fascinating playthings.

    I was sad to hear about Manuel. I’m glad you were his friend. Having you as a friend made Manuel less lonely and less afraid of dying. I’m sure of it.

  2. to dylanhi dylan!that was an
    to dylan

    hi dylan!

    that was an awesome story. thanks for writing. and don’t stop writing or reading like seth says above. i’m sure you know you have the same name as two of the greatest writers of all time-bob dylan and dylan thomas.

    i too am so sorry about manuel-but he is with you always. an old indian once said that there is no death-just a change of worlds, and i believe that. he also said if the eyes had no tears, the soul would have no rainbow.

    please write us again.


  3. You are braveDo you know how
    You are brave

    Do you know how much I feel when I read what you write? You make me understand and my heart feels close to yours.

    Shalom, Dylan.

  4. Dylan, you are a writerA very
    Dylan, you are a writer

    A very good writer. Do you want to know how I know? Because when I read what you wrote, I understand things I didn’t understand before. I feel them in my spirit. This is what good writing does.

    Your writing is a gift, and it’s a very very special one. Keep it and use it because it is yours — it’s not something that everyone has. When you get scared or mad or so sad that you think your heart might break, write it. And when you’re happy, or you learn something new, or something is really really funny, write that too. It will help keep you strong.

    Thank you for sharing your writing. I loved it, and I wanted to let you know.

  5. I agree with Jamelah. You are
    I agree with Jamelah. You are a good writer. Your sentences are very clear and easy to understand. Thank you for writing. You know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand why people have to get sick.

  6. i hear youyour words are
    i hear you

    your words are clear and strong, dylan. thank you for sharing them with us.

    it’s good to know you have a flashlight, and i think you’ve got one in your heart as well.

    please, write more!

    from germany

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