Love letter # 412
I write this to have it said. To give it the shape of language. Tomorrow I may think it mere venting but today I am impelled. Emboldened by your absence; or rather, by the ways in which I have lately been reminded of you. The circles around me, the orbiting others, the noises they make, the poses they strike.
They are not you – perhaps this is the nub of it. They don’t have your eyes. Your truthful voice, your subtle knowing. Theirs is a show, something they don’t mean. Words are just that – sounds with no follow through. Their spectacle of kindness is an act of violence in disguise. They approximate the rituals of understanding, but it is little more than pity, or worse, control.
I speak with them, nod and smile, raise my glass and wonder where you are. Knowing you’re not anywhere. And that I am truly nowhere with you. For here is a shell of a place.
So I walk with the marionettes, acting in their drama. The empty performance of time filling. Motion as distraction. The gestures, the lies, the denial. And so it goes. On and on. Thinking impossible things. Knowing it could have gone another way…but it didn’t.
This then, the outcome. Result of our choosing. We thought we knew better. Turns out not. Yes, this is why I write. The intolerable scourge of mirrors. No, these are not angel wings, just the dust of costume. The plain mask of skin, obscuring the reality of blood.
Love letter # 599
It was just one kiss. Polite, not passionate. Yet your lips lingered a little longer – or did they? Now I can’t tell; though I do hope. My pulse is quickened, my judgement blurred. I’d play it cool if I had any left. Instead, what I have is the memory of taste. The echo of sensation. As though a storm had passed, the earth still slick with heavy scented potential. The air abuzz with the promise of flowers. On this I shall sleep, perhaps to wake in a world I have dreamt.
Love letter # 355
Now, with all these years between, it finally becomes clear why I was drawn to you and why my actions were misguided. You had a fire in you; and so did I. But I tried to smother mine.
Was it because I thought that’s what you wanted – an anchor of sorts? A counterpoint? Someone to stand between you and them. To provide cover. Or rather, was it that I was scared? Not of you, my love, but of the flames? Of what might burn?
Yet really, asking all this, I know. The truth was always in me; it’s just that I tried to heal it with lies. Until the walls got so cracked. Until the drone of all those people who insisted they had our best interests at heart became unbearable.
It looked like an explosion to them – but only because they never bothered to notice the smoke.
Meanwhile, in our separate yet equally destructive ways, we torched it all. Even us. That pretty fucking picture, that zombie suburban act. (I could not have admitted this previously; but we broke up to stop them keeping us in their specimen jar. Your fire needed oxygen, mine gasped for all manner of tinder.) It could have been different though, couldn’t it? If I had kept my promise and let you fan my flame.
Knowing this now doesn’t change much. It might even seem hollow. It’s just that I’m almost certain that the fire they tried to put out still lights your world – and still threatens to incinerate theirs. Mine is ablaze too. Wild engine. Warm hearth. Dancing in your likeness.
Yeah – it is too late. Far too fucking late. But honey does it burn.
Love letter # 934
Nothing is permanent; not even the arc of your love.
I realise that the gap between elation and despair is the downcast eye – a slip of the tongue, a new arrival, a chorus in a minor key. Perhaps just…hesitation. Dust, once stirred, will never settle back exactly. Even the stars are shifting.
I look at you now and know this; and if I am wont to dread I bite my lip. Breathe. In a beat or two this wave will crash from trepidation to thankfulness. We are still here, still us, and in this moment I remember why I will never take you for granted again.
Love letter # 495
What I really wanted to say to you on your birthday was that your advent showed me that I could be more than merely self-obsessed and that I did indeed have a capacity for kindness and generosity, and that I too could make a difference in someone’s life. I simply cannot thank you enough for this extraordinary gift.
Love letter # 443
How easy it would be for us not to bother. We could be that couple. We could lapse into blaming one another, or else let the fancy roam. The world is full of younger, seemingly sexier alternatives – charming strangers at parties, the new face at work, the cute student at the checkout. Not to mention the years. The human frailty. The ruthless face of mirrors.
Yet, tired though I am some days, dizzied by the scent of greener grass, I am never more than a glint in your eye away from remembering. There is so much more to this creature called us than the rush of animal blood and a collection of clichés. More than routine and bickering. More than settling.
Though it may appear otherwise at times, I am deeply, profoundly thankful for this. For your part in the chaotically constructed citadel of our lives. I recognise the lure of the various fantasies and the nagging insistence of doubt but, for all the nicks and cuts, the reality is still evident. For better or worse we have made a home together and I for one am in no rush to relinquish the key. I would much rather sit near you again this evening, and wake to your sleepy smile tomorrow.
Love letter # 416
Hello there. In case you’re wondering, we already know one another by sight. We go the same beach in the evenings, especially at this time of year. I’m the guy who sits on the sand and gazes out across the bay. Your dog often comes up to say hi. And then you walk by and I notice you too.
Anyway, for the last few nights, after you’ve drifted past, the dog has been lingering, looking somehow expectant. Yesterday evening you called out his name and, before he bolted back to your side, he looked right at me as if to say ‘why don’t you come with me?’ I know it sounds totally crazy but I feel like Sammy wants us to meet.
So yeah, this is either the stupidest approach I’ve ever made – in which case sorry – or…?
PS: How will I get this letter to you without resorting to stalking? I will make a sand sculpture and hang a sign around it saying something like ‘Sammy’s friend was here’. Then, if you notice, if you find the letter, and if the dog approves, maybe I can walk with you both one time.