Tag Archives: Philosophical

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 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.

Love letter # 164

I know what you’re thinking. Here he goes again. I always felt we broke up for the wrong reason.

It was fear that finished it; not fighting, not betrayal. You didn’t even get a better offer. You just got scared. To you, being with me – with anyone – was like a prison. The idea of giving up your freedom was too much. “I can’t be close,” you said. “It’s easier with strangers.”

I know this because I once I fought off a wife who loved me. Until she left me. Perfectly free. Absolutely alone. For a while I revelled in the space. Then it became empty. Sure, boxes got ticked, but what for? … Victory won’t hold you tight.

And then I was incarcerated – in the self – stranded in the ever-present me, racking up points for nobody. I drank some damn fine wine – but no one was there to share it with me and in the end the taste was almost sour.

For love is our greatest liberty. When we love we give back to life. Our love lets us know at least one thing for sure.

So yes, I will go on about it – and I won’t stop – not until the breath is taken from my body. And though I may be cut to shreds for my stubbornness, I will not shirk from scars because I would give much more than a little skin to wake up next to you again.

Love letter # 3709

Not so long ago, we were fantastic. You dazzled me, I dazzled you. Then, somewhere along the line, wonder became humdrum.

My erstwhile charms are now painful to you. The mystery I once possessed has been replaced by hairs in the basin. And your tipsy laugh makes me cringe. We are an old couple now, lingering in domestic discontent. How easy to make for the exit.

But stop. What is this?

Why is that when I think of you with love I still feel it like gravity, right here in my abdomen, a gorgeous, strong thread attaching me to you? A cynic might say, oh that’s just habit, and they might be right – but I don’t care. Am I not addicted to you for good reason? Are you not the taste I desire?

Perhaps we are foolish to compare ourselves to the unreal lovers in songs, to perfect movie couples. Are we so greedy as to always want only the beginning of things? What of this rich and complex middle – is it not fertile like a forest floor – the good with not so good – beauty through damp imperfection?

We could grow up anytime we wanted. We could stop being petty right now. We only have to say so. This is not a prison. Look! Doors aplenty. Walk in? Walk out?

I have no final position on what love is – you could blow any theory out of the water anyway – but I do know that we have a choice here. You, me, we? What’s it to be?

You should know by this what I would prefer.

Love letter # 22

There may well be a god – I cannot know – and some grand purpose may well have been assigned – but this would be news to me. People talk about ‘life lessons’, about ‘meant to be’ – I do not claim to understand these things.

But when you’re near me …

What is it that I am supposed to know, other than to love you? Tell me what higher thing there is. If this world is a machine and we are just genes and everything beautiful is an illusion – stupid me, I’m still a believer.

Because you are the stars to me …

I am no saint, no seer, just a man who loves you; and I have nothing more to give than this. It may not be wisdom – and it is surely not riches – but like the rain … it can bring flowers.

Love letter # 12

Someone said it again the other day – oh, you two are so good together. Naturally I had to wonder if she was blind. Are these cracks not visible?

But then I stopped.

She wasn’t being naïve (she’s a little too old for that). Neither was she simply filling in blank air. She was recognising something that we are danger of forgetting. There is a golden thread between us – I can feel it tugging on my conscience. It’s reminding me to get over myself and take note of the riches I have.

Whenever I whinge or snipe I know it’s not right. I know that a dirty dish or a wrongly folded towel is not a hanging offence – and I understand that the current that once made you want to touch me all the time flows more sedately now. In truth, these are barely splinters – and I will never let them splinter us.

Yes, let us break up if we must – but for something earth shattering – not just tiredness or fusty familiarity. We’re so much better than that … everyone says so.

So until that apocalypse breaks over our thick heads, I suggest we listen to our friends this time. I for one can guarantee you it’s not too late. And even if it was – I’m sure I would still wait up for you.

Indeed, I daresay I would wait a lifetime for you.

Love letter # 93

Why am I still hungry? Because I am not satisfied.

And why am I not satisfied? Because I am starving.

If I could live with the love you gave rather than pine for the love I dream of taking – then I would be bathed in light right now.

This black night – it is nought but my wanting.

And this hunger – it is nought but a failure to eat.

I will not cry out in the darkness for your hands to hold me – I will reach out instead to you, my love … and give of everything.

Then I Coould Dream

I look back now and I wonder what I saw in you. I wonder if I saw you at all. Maybe I was I blind. Maybe I was staring at a mirror.

Was this what I wanted? Or just what I came to accept?

Perhaps I know too much about you. Maybe I don’t know you at all.

Did you lie to me all these years? Did you say the words? … Did you let me?

I look at you and I see you there – dressed in the remnants of my desire – just as I wear the faded skin for you.

But now these masks hide nothing – not a single line – and all that’s left is all too real.

I wish we were strangers – for then I could dream of you again. It was much better that way.

At the end of the day, even the angels turn out to be ordinary. Oh well.

And now all my desire has come down to this – waiting in this room with you – waiting for the cue to leave.

If I said I was ready – right now – in the very next breath …  would you?

Would you?

[This letter is an extract from a dance theatre piece called ‘An Incomplete Map of Desire]