All posts by Paul Ransom

Love letter # 592

At the time I was blind. Just acting. Reacting. Blundering hurt and foolish. Doing things I never should. Saying stuff I didn’t really mean. Or now wish that I hadn’t.

Because I felt out of control I tried to impose a form of control on you. All the usuals: blackmail, pity seeking, stubborn refusals and vulgar displays of faux generosity. I was like a child; and although I knew it, I could not seem to find the lever or the gumption to stop. No wonder you burnt me off. If I first thought you cruel for doing so, now I see how patient you were. How you kept your powder dry.

Perhaps, for a while, I wallowed in the drama of self-loathing – drunk on the lurid spectacle of hating myself – but I have recently emerged from this pantomime of righteousness. Indeed, my sending you this missive of acceptance and apology is really me forgiving myself. Seeking the absolution of mirrors.

I think it’s fair to say that I loved you, but now maybe I love you more. Because now, finally, I am able. Therefore, I can honestly say sorry that my folly came at such a cost for you. In my self-obsession I stroked the ego of my suffering; yet all the while it was you who wore the bruises. You who quit the scene with the weight of further disappointments. Though I cannot undo these things, I can at least now shoulder my fair share of the outcome.

You may say that even this is little more than the self-serving theatrics of sentiment; and you may well be right. Who knows, next year I might look back at this and cringe. But today, as I write, it truly does feel as though I mean it. In the end, that’s all I can hope to offer you.

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Love letter # 408

You. Who else? What other reason could there be?

Please don’t pretend you aren’t aware. Don’t add that disingenuous veil of denial to the mix. It’s bad enough as it is – seeing you, having you near me. Those eyes, that smile. You see, I know you don’t mean it. You do it because you can.

I don’t wish to demonise you here, or cast you as the evil, manipulative villain of the piece. I understand how good it is to flirt, to toy with the idea of intimacy, and I know how good it feels to have someone want you. All I ask, now that you know that I know, is that you kindly desist. If you don’t I will almost inevitably fall and our playful, platonic game will turn into an awkward mess of aching, embarrassment and avoidance.

For I am teetering on the brink of loving you – but for me at least, loving is not a trifle. It is, as they say, skin in the game. Yet I have no wish to be flayed. Nor to break.

This may be a difficult thing for you to accept. Perhaps it will seem stupid. Cowardly. Insipid. The thing is, my friend, I will bear these epithets more easily than the alternative. Think of it this way: if I have taken the considerable risk of writing to you like this, imagine how dangerous I believe it is to stay silent and just allow things to unfold. I would rather you dismiss me now, with tiny bruises, than later, with freshly broken bones.

Love letter # 366

I never really stopped loving you. Didn’t get the chance to. Which leaves the memory of you relatively untarnished; still lustrous, still the nigh miraculous possibility. The drudgery of years and the cooling of fires never applied to you. You left before ordinary set in. Maybe that was prescient of you.

In the silence that remained you quietly flowered, such that, though I have neither heard from nor seen you for many a season, you are today the ever-fruiting branch. All blossom and sugars. Every day resplendent in sunshine. The perfection that, as we both know could never be sustained by real human beings.

Yet perhaps I would trade this fantasy for an hour at your side. For a word. For questions answered or rendered irrelevant. Because it may well be that the flesh and the blood, the skin and the scent, your breath and your form are all the more wonderful than these gossamer dreams. Are we ready for our manifold flaws? For who and what we are? For the death of desire – or its reboot?

Maybe I’ll never know. Or you won’t care and it won’t matter. This could well be a waste of keystrokes.

Unless of course…

(More) love letters for coffee tables

Back in 2016 freeloveletters.net collaborated with Taiwan born, Melbourne based graphic designer Eric Huang – see: ericme.com – to create a coffee table book called ‘Modern Love: love letters from the 21st century’ using text from this site and images from both Paul Ransom and Eric. Two years on (and sans publisher) we’ve finally decided to share a few more of our page layouts. 

PS: If you’re a publisher, feel free to offer us a deal. (No, really, do.)

 

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Lonely

Love letters for coffee tables

Back in 2016 freeloveletters.net collaborated with Taiwan born, Melbourne based graphic designer Eric Huang – see: ericme.com – to create a coffee table book called ‘Modern Love: love letters from the 21st century’ using text from this site and images from both Paul Ransom and Eric. Two years on (and sans publisher) we’ve finally decided to share a few of our page layouts.

 

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Love letter # 440

I could say it in a million ways but it always comes back to this: I love you.

What does that mean? To be honest, I can’t pin it down – but I can sure feel it. This love, whatever it is, is as obvious as breath, as vital as blood. It is in me. Waiting. Yearning for release.

Perhaps it is a form of madness. Or music. Again, I could carve it to pieces, but it would still be just this: the yearning I feel in your presence, the longing that sighs in my bones when you are elsewhere.

And now, at the thought of you, the flower unfolds and all the world is heady scent. And I inhale – and somehow, you are inside me, and I love it.