Love letter # 599
It was just one kiss. Polite, not passionate. Yet your lips lingered a little longer – or did they? Now I can’t tell; though I do hope. My pulse is quickened, my judgement blurred. I’d play it cool if I had any left. Instead, what I have is the memory of taste. The echo of sensation. As though a storm had passed, the earth still slick with heavy scented potential. The air abuzz with the promise of flowers. On this I shall sleep, perhaps to wake in a world I have dreamt.
Love letter # 355
Now, with all these years between, it finally becomes clear why I was drawn to you and why my actions were misguided. You had a fire in you; and so did I. But I tried to smother mine.
Was it because I thought that’s what you wanted – an anchor of sorts? A counterpoint? Someone to stand between you and them. To provide cover. Or rather, was it that I was scared? Not of you, my love, but of the flames? Of what might burn?
Yet really, asking all this, I know. The truth was always in me; it’s just that I tried to heal it with lies. Until the walls got so cracked. Until the drone of all those people who insisted they had our best interests at heart became unbearable.
It looked like an explosion to them – but only because they never bothered to notice the smoke.
Meanwhile, in our separate yet equally destructive ways, we torched it all. Even us. That pretty fucking picture, that zombie suburban act. (I could not have admitted this previously; but we broke up to stop them keeping us in their specimen jar. Your fire needed oxygen, mine gasped for all manner of tinder.) It could have been different though, couldn’t it? If I had kept my promise and let you fan my flame.
Knowing this now doesn’t change much. It might even seem hollow. It’s just that I’m almost certain that the fire they tried to put out still lights your world – and still threatens to incinerate theirs. Mine is ablaze too. Wild engine. Warm hearth. Dancing in your likeness.
Yeah – it is too late. Far too fucking late. But honey does it burn.
Already, it has begun. The slow uncoupling. The incremental shifting of orbit. The quiet cellaring of doubts – earmarked as likely ammunition. Yet I wonder if we might still mend it with kindness.
For not so long ago we were a kind, as though we had reached across the unbridgeable gulf between souls and seen – and felt and known – the fragile light of another. In the nearness of you the briefly flickering flame of being had unveiled the breathtaking paradox of its beauty; and in that mirror we saw. We became. And there we beheld the inexorable river of our unbecoming. And we were like stars, inventing time with fire. Yet even though, in secret unwhispered thoughts, we sensed the broken symmetry, I wonder if we might still mend it with kindness.
I note, beneath the outward signs, the tiny pauses, the gaze turned away. I hear the breath as it catches. Sense the minute evasions that will expand into lies. The first flakes of rust on the sheen. I know, as does the sea, where the scent of rain will end. Because today’s little differences, left to ache, will grow into next year’s war. Words misheard will morph into another language and we will cease to listen; and then we will be strangers once more. No longer a kind.
It’s happening now. Can you tell? Forms of forgetting. Incidental reductions. Habits and edits. The subtle myopia of names. The blurring out of humanity. But is it too late? Are we just actors in a theatre of divide and demise?
The crack may be a hairline today. We could laugh it off. Pretend we haven’t noticed. Or maybe, we might still mend it kindness.
Love letter # 934
Nothing is permanent; not even the arc of your love.
I realise that the gap between elation and despair is the downcast eye – a slip of the tongue, a new arrival, a chorus in a minor key. Perhaps just…hesitation. Dust, once stirred, will never settle back exactly. Even the stars are shifting.
I look at you now and know this; and if I am wont to dread I bite my lip. Breathe. In a beat or two this wave will crash from trepidation to thankfulness. We are still here, still us, and in this moment I remember why I will never take you for granted again.
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.