Love letter # 100
How do you cram into mere words the things that are oceans inside you?
Will this letter sound mad? Unreasonable? Will you think I’ve lost it? Probably – but there is always a reason for these things; they never come out of the blue. We all live in a world that is both real and imagined; and although I do not pretend to know precisely where the line between them is drawn I do know how I feel – and what I must now do.
Until recently the fear of seeming overly emotional – of scaring you off – has kept the lid on. That and the ridiculous hope …
But you said something the other day … and I knew for sure. In a way, it was almost a relief. After nearly three years of being patient, of being optimistic, it came down to something sharp and undeniable – and no amount of wishing it otherwise would make it go away. The world I have imagined since we first danced together in 2008 has yielded to the real.
I know that I could let this pass and things would just roll on between us; you keeping me at arm’s length, me putting up with it – but it would be a lie.
You will say: why can’t we just be friends? But what is a friend? Is a friend someone who sits on his hands, who chokes down his feelings, who looks the other way? Maybe – but I am not that kind of friend. Not anymore.
You will say: why can’t you just get over it? Well, here is your wish coming true. This is me having the guts to get over it. I know that you cannot – will not – give me what I want; but so too I cannot – will not – live on what you give. Yes, it would be a whole lot better if I didn’t love you (obviously) … but look at me.
And you – what use have you for a man who is not man enough to do what he knows is right?
It’s not that I’ve stopped wanting you. My love for you fills up every corner of my being. I think you are wonderful. But I know you do not feel the same; and you never will – and hanging in your shadow with baleful eyes certainly won’t change that. No one ever loved a beggar.
Of course it is my ardent wish that today was not today – that tonight we could dance like we used to. But like the song says: wishing never helps, wishing never changed a thing.
I get that you have reasons for your choices, that you must do what is best for you, that you can only love who you love – or not, as the case maybe. I have no quarrel with that.
But what kind of fool would I be to keep hanging on? Surely there is a point at which optimism becomes delusion? And if I’m brutally honest – and I add up all the positive signs … honey, they amount to nothing.
Yet there is no acrimony in this. Sadness? Yes, of course (I will not pretend) – but bitterness? – not a jot. I honour the beauty you have brought into my life. I thank you for the lessons you have accidently taught me, for the things you have inspired me to write. I am much the better man for knowing you.
So why am I doing this? Why can’t I just accept things the way they are? Well, that’s just it, I do accept things – it‘s just that I absolutely hate them. It has become intolerable for me to sit at your side and pretend that we are ‘just friends’. We are anything but ‘just’ – it’s always been deeper than that.
You will probably think I have overstated things, that I’m being too dramatic. You might even think that I’m drunk. Nonetheless, I would rather put up with the hurtful hearsay that will doubtless come back to me through the grapevine than spend another night locked in distant orbit around a beautiful star that will never shine for me.
I am prepared to accept your scorn and/or complete silence for having sent you this letter. Think me stupid, selfish, immature, needy, irrational, whatever – for even if all this be true, tis nought compared to not being with you.
Each of us wants something in life (even if some people pretend not to) and I want you … No, I want us.
But no matter how much I want it, it will not be – and so, in order that I might live on more than crumbs, I must have the courage to move on. I must also be honest with you. I cannot keep this fire hidden. I would rather it went out. For even the darkest night must kneel before the dawn.
If you are still reading this, please forgive me. My love is eternal, my pain threshold is not. I have tried but at long last I have failed. If the sound of your voice didn’t melt me completely, if the promise of seeing you didn’t keep me awake at night, if I could somehow not love you; maybe I wouldn’t be writing this.
But here I am typing, crying, trembling. Need I say more?
The door is always open for you but you must walk through it, not simply knock and run away. I cannot answer the bell to emptiness anymore.
Perhaps more than anything I want this letter to flick some deep switch in you, to be the thing that finally makes you realise – but even I’m not that stupid. I have prayed too often for miracles to have any faith left.
At the end of the day I have all this love and it wants to be given – but ultimately it is yours to accept, not mine to force.
And so, in its place … absence – getting over it. Just as you would have wished.