All posts by Paul Ransom

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.

Love letter # 664

The look in your eyes tells me everything I need to know. Your lips communicate, with soft pressure, the core truth. There is no call for a label. For a flag or an ism. For a placard or an ‘identity’. We are in not in need of causes and walls and us‘n’them markers. There is no acronym for us. We simply see one another and are seen in return. The doors are open, the windows unblocked, the borders dissolved. We have dispensed with the myths of perfection and perfidy, smashed the shiny altar of baubles. We are not the things we carry, nor the names they call us. The only people here now are you and I. Flowers in the mirror of being. So let’s hold hands, let’s go where we may; and leave the rest of them to bicker over the wording.

Love letter # 415

So the fantasy is no longer viable. The ideal ‘us’ revealed as a construction; mostly of lust and other longings. It kept us going for years. Until recently. Now its lustre has cracked to texture, its flame dwindled to flint. Yet what if, in waking, we discovered something more potent than hormonal dreams and daily habit? Suppose we opened our eyes to find ourselves in a sparse room. No decorative flourishes – just us. What then? What now? Will we recognise one another and like what we see? There is only one way to find out. So let’s wake up.

Love letter # 369

Please do not be fooled by my hesitation, or by any apparent coolness. I do like you. Actually, a little bit more than like you. It’s just that, until now, I have stopped short of obvious display; preferring the safety of hints. It’s not that I don’t want you to know, it’s that I don’t want to hear no.

You might think this weak – perhaps it is – but lately I have decided not to lay myself bare in the way I once did. The reasons for this won’t surprise you. Serial rejections, of course, but also manipulation. My feelings used against me.

But that’s not all. I have become content like this; by which I mean single. It is cleaner, easier; and while it may be less colourful, less urgent, it is also less dishonest, less compromised. More than that though, I have abandoned the dysfunctional delusions of need and romance. So however much I like you, want you, I will not sell my soul to stand at your side. I will not beg. Neither shall I submit to games or tests of valour. The lies of courting would insult us both, so let’s not go there.

Basically, I’m too tired and old and jaded for games – and maybe I am too bruised for the battle of pursuit. I just want it to happen or not happen. I know I could have written you a more poetic letter, made a more classical gesture, but if I’m honest I would much prefer it if you turned out to be the kind of person who responded to a letter like this. And this is the best way for me to find out.

Love letter # 768

I saw you before your eyes sought me out, heard your song before you said my name. I saw you in the sea before there was an island. I sensed the onset long before the rain. The signs of you were clear before you spelled it out. You had reached across the space between us without the need for hands. For I was falling in advance of you. My love in bloom in the long, quiet winter. Before a single word had thawed the darkened ground. And then we met, and I knew.