Love letter # 164

I know what you’re thinking. Here he goes again. I always felt we broke up for the wrong reason.

It was fear that finished it; not fighting, not betrayal. You didn’t even get a better offer. You just got scared. To you, being with me – with anyone – was like a prison. The idea of giving up your freedom was too much. “I can’t be close,” you said. “It’s easier with strangers.”

I know this because I once I fought off a wife who loved me. Until she left me. Perfectly free. Absolutely alone. For a while I revelled in the space. Then it became empty. Sure, boxes got ticked, but what for? … Victory won’t hold you tight.

And then I was incarcerated – in the self – stranded in the ever-present me, racking up points for nobody. I drank some damn fine wine – but no one was there to share it with me and in the end the taste was almost sour.

For love is our greatest liberty. When we love we give back to life. Our love lets us know at least one thing for sure.

So yes, I will go on about it – and I won’t stop – not until the breath is taken from my body. And though I may be cut to shreds for my stubbornness, I will not shirk from scars because I would give much more than a little skin to wake up next to you again.

Love letter # 8

And so here we are, as I always knew we would be. Miles apart; days drifting into weeks and longer, treasures gathering dust. Dusk becoming midnight.

I guess I thought I’d get used to it. I never did. The world kept reminding me. Every time I thought that perhaps the fever had dulled, or the vivid light paled – just as I was about exhale the last vaporous wisps – I realised.

I understand that all things pass, that there is no owning, and that wishing – for all its intense and consuming drama – has no effect whatsoever. I am just a man at his desk, waiting in the softening blur of evening for some unforseen angel to deliver him his elsewhere girl.

I never met anyone like you – maybe you never met anyone like me. I hope so. But I would still burn the whole world if the only thing left was you and me.

Yet even though there are still nights – this one included – when I beg whatever gods there are to let me sleep, I have enough sense left to insist that, come the morning, they leave me enough blood for love.

For to love you is to walk through the day in grace and humility – to remember that we are all disrupted music – to see how the light illuminates every single thing. Not a soul shall be cut off from love. For this incredible gift I thank you.

I cannot say where this river will end; other than in some vast welcoming sea but I know that sooner or later every drop of me will rise up to the sky, where perhaps I will be closer to you. For even if I was an angel you would be my special one.

Love letter # 56

They tell us all kinds of lies. It’s not that they are cruel, just that they want us not to hurt so much. I have learnt to smile and nod. Bite my tongue.

One of their favourites is: time heals. Yes, the years are a sticking plaster, a morphine drip – but where is this healing they speak of?

You and I both know that time magnifies. Is not this distance greater now, the echo more poignant? Every smile is a tightrope walker and memory is a shudder in the wire. The space between airborne and descent is no more a thin line stretched taut between what is and what is wished for.

If ever I reflect upon it, the emptied out room we once shared is quieter and more awful than ever; the scent of ashes asphyxiating. I swear some days it feels like half of me is back there in time, still dancing with you.

I know you feel the same. I can hear it in the tiny gaps between words; see it in the way your eyes shy. So why are we here – and not there? What damn rule, what cursed idea of moving on and letting go, sees us sitting here in polite, paralysed desire?

I would smash the wisdom of millions to sit next to you. I am unhealed by this so-called time. The more I don’t have you … well, you know.

Would it be alright if I reached across this table, if I swept the coffee cups to the floor, if I set fire to the miles with a touch of mouths?

We would surely know the truth then. Surely.

Love letter # 74

If you are sending me signals, I sure as hell can’t read them. For such erotic illiteracy I can only offer feeble explanation. I have blundered badly before – misread invitations – so much so that I have been frozen. The subtleties are now entirely lost on me.

My basic operating assumption these days is that no woman would ever want me. Indeed, I feel I am invisible to them. So in case you are wondering why I have not responded to you, here is your reason. Plain old fear.

Truth be told, I have wanted to hold you, I have wanted to kiss your wonderful lips. The last time we met I had to sit on my hands, tell my heart to stop jumping. When you smiled at me, when you stood barely inches away, I was shaking; uncertain, caught like a breath in the throat. My asphyxiated desire tore at me, yearning like a diver for sweet air.

Yet even beauty will fall from burnt fingers.

If I have made you feel unwanted – erase that thought. I dream of you with giddy hunger. My body cries your name. You have set my blood on fire.

So tell me, is this another friendship fatally compromised, another wrong end of the stick? Will you greet these words with silent scorn? Will I never know?

Please say no.

Love letter # 3709

Not so long ago, we were fantastic. You dazzled me, I dazzled you. Then, somewhere along the line, wonder became humdrum.

My erstwhile charms are now painful to you. The mystery I once possessed has been replaced by hairs in the basin. And your tipsy laugh makes me cringe. We are an old couple now, lingering in domestic discontent. How easy to make for the exit.

But stop. What is this?

Why is that when I think of you with love I still feel it like gravity, right here in my abdomen, a gorgeous, strong thread attaching me to you? A cynic might say, oh that’s just habit, and they might be right – but I don’t care. Am I not addicted to you for good reason? Are you not the taste I desire?

Perhaps we are foolish to compare ourselves to the unreal lovers in songs, to perfect movie couples. Are we so greedy as to always want only the beginning of things? What of this rich and complex middle – is it not fertile like a forest floor – the good with not so good – beauty through damp imperfection?

We could grow up anytime we wanted. We could stop being petty right now. We only have to say so. This is not a prison. Look! Doors aplenty. Walk in? Walk out?

I have no final position on what love is – you could blow any theory out of the water anyway – but I do know that we have a choice here. You, me, we? What’s it to be?

You should know by this what I would prefer.