Love letter # 181

I get through the days okay – busy, busy – but the nights. I come home to the quietness, to air unruffled by you, and all around the scent of dust is gathering. There’s a barely discernible film over everything – time like wafers, geographic layers. Whispers slowly building.

It looks the same – but it’s another world now. Things are right where you left them. Only you moved out. And in your place? Empty evenings – and the awful sound of settling dust.

How wonderful it was to believe for a while – to have unfounded hope. It was like being alive. Thinking of it makes me smile. And that warm bloom I had for you; I can feel that too – in spite of everything.

Isn’t it strange that what remains is the still echoing strain of how it all started – and that the last ghost to leave is the loveliest by far?

Love letter # 158

Some might say it’s for the best – and maybe hindsight will reveal it to be so – but right now I can’t believe that. Today it seems like haste and hurt, like too hard. Sure, we are safer in our private cocoons but what kind of life is that?

Then again, maybe none of that matters. All that noble lover’s sentiment – perhaps it’s just the opiate of willing delusion, a narcotic trick of hormones and hope. Would we be happier if we never believed – never had to un-believe?

Part of me wants to kick and scream and fight but the quiet voice in me sighs tired assent. The wrecking ball is through the wall – our lovely bubble leaking.

We tried – didn’t we? I know I did – even if you think I didn’t.

I am numb – three quarters disbelieving – cut. You may say it was inevitable – I might even agree – but I still don’t have to like it. This is a cold house indeed, without you in it.

Love letter # 186

There are things we can never know – but there is no doubt now. Tomorrow, next week, whenever – I can’t tell you anything about them. Only now.

You are like the light after rain – you make everything glow. Your beauty transforms the world. This is how I love you. Today.

I won’t pretend to mean what I cannot know – but I sing for what you bring. It is a dance when you are around. We are like children, still playing. Making up the rules.

But there is nothing else we need to invent – just this.

Love letter # 127

It’s weird. I think of you for the first time in ages and you email me out of blue. You haven’t spoken to or typed at me since it had to end. And you mention that – our little thing. Our private LOL. Do you remember? you said.

I smiled to myself at the memory of it just this morning. It almost made me cry.

I tell myself all sorts of things – I’m over, it’s over, she’s not the one – but a few letters on a screen makes my blood go crazy. Why today? Why that – of all things? (Ex flames should know better than to never play with fire.)

But I’m no fool. I know the difference between words and reality. I know that your fingers on the keyboard were just indulging in a moment of nostalgic warmth. A blip-click-click of affection. Nothing more. So I’m only going to ask one thing.

Please tell me I didn’t make it up. Whatever else is true, I long for the lie that it meant something to you. Just say it – and let me go. I promise I won’t dream.

Love letter # 327

I saw what happened tonight. You walked into that room, mask in place – your persona so charming – everyone smiling. I watched as your lips formed the words – but I caught the corner of your eye.

You were like an actor in there, following your director’s orders. Say it like you mean it. Like this, like that. No one will know. No one wants to know – because nobody really gives a fuck. Yeah, I see your barely disguised disgust. You play the game without believing it and you wish you had the guts not to. Behind the painted smile: concealed weapons.

When you came outside I recognised the tiredness in your breath – your unseeking gaze. Please don’t see me. No more fucking questions. So I finished my cigarette and let you be. I get that you like the quiet – because the silence is an absence of bullshit.

Perhaps you’re thinking: who is this vain fool pretending to know me? But at least I’ve got you pinned for a liar.

Most people live life like a vanity project. You’ve done that, I can tell – but now you’ve grown up. At some point – maybe not so long ago – you came to the inescapable conclusion. You know the one.

Even glory becomes a pile of bones. Beauty turns to ash. And no trophy on earth is worth even a single drop of love.

That’s why you came outside – and why I’m saying this. Because if I’m wrong it won’t matter. But if I’m right …

Love letter # 144

‘I was wrong’ doesn’t cut it. I was careless, I was blind, I was starving – none of these. They are but words piled on wounds, vain restitution. Yet what I will say is this: this I did not intend, nor foresee. You may not believe me – that I must accept. It is my part of the fall out. You thinking ill of me.

How vain is that? Me still wanting you to like me.

But that’s how it all started, right? My craving your tenderness – the wilful, irresistible delusion that a kiss will somehow cover up the cracks. I was hungry for that belief, aching for something external to salve the internal; and even though I knew it was just hormones and optimism to the rescue, I flung out a hand, took that life rope – pulled you into the sea.

I did not want you to drown with me. I hoped you would show me how to swim. I thought maybe you knew of a beach somewhere.

No I didn’t – I just loved that you loved me. I was flat out flattered. Eyes full of fire will warm even the most guarded heart, will disarm the surgeons of thought long enough to allow the patient to pretend a little longer. Bad for me. Even worse for you.

Ego puts a pretty spin on things. Looks for excuses. Writes shit like this. (Vanity is the author of its own self-loathing.) Yet even knowing this, I still have to say I’m sorry – because the one thing that is true is that you gave me joy and I gladly accepted it. For a while everything was sheer beauty.

I think I can handle you not liking me but what would be unthinkable is if our separate agonies conspired to rewrite our shared history. Hate me if you must – blame me for every goddam thing – but please don’t let your memory be trashed. It was good. Incredibly good. And it always will be. If you let it.