Closet Scrawl


© Kirsten R. Hazler (2019)

Story

"Here I am in the closet. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. I can't see it in the dark but I trace the tiny scratched writing with the ends of my fingers, as if it's a code in Braille. It sounds in my head now less like a prayer, more like a command; but to do what? Useless to me in any case, an ancient hieroglyph to which the key's been lost. Why did she write it, why did she bother? There's no way out of here."

- Excerpt from "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

Lyrics

I was lying on the closet floor
With my face toward the wall
Contemplating how to end it
When I noticed the scrawl
Someone had been here before

Someone had gotten a knife
And etched letters in the wall
I traced them with my fingers
But I didn't understand at all
It said "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum."

It seemed like a message from the other side
It seemed like a sign that I should stay alive
It made me want to live for another day
If only to find out what she was trying to say
When she wrote "Nolite te bastardes carborundorum."

Later I found out
What the message said
And I also found out
That they found her dead
They found her hanging from the ceiling fan

She couldn't take it any more
Not one more single day
But before she went
She had one last thing to say
She said: "Don't let the bastards grind you down."

It seemed like a message from the other side
It seemed like a sign that I should stay alive
It made me want to live for another day
If only to live out what she was trying to say

She left me a message from the other side
Saying "Hang on girl you gotta stay alive
You've still got a lot of living to do
Don't let what happened to me, happen to you
Don't let the bastards grind you down."