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Still sitting at the Krystal's, my stomach starts hurting from the dubious feast. But that's nothing. I grab the notebook and pen.

ma chère a,

OK, OK. I won't call you. But I'm sitting here bored silly at a fast-food place in Tuscaloosa so I'll write you instead. A postage stamp is cheaper anyway. I hope you're not forgetting to feed Millie's cat -- she'd kill me if my deputy didn't get the job done. Keep the image of a forlorn tabby in your mind, a forlorn, starving tabby, desperate for the cats-love-it stench to be liberated from that tin of 9-Lives. That'll help you remember.

I'm experiencing an ache. The phone calls would relieve it for a minute, but never eliminate it; I could hear your voice, but there was no way to reach across the phone lines to touch you, run a hand through your hair (will you ever let it grow out again?), trace your wondrous and varied curves, breathe with you, feel your muscles move... You've hijacked my heart and mind again, and it's scaring me a little. This intoxication scares me, but I'm reassured by the full return of our coupleness.

I'm unable to distract myself from the ache caused by your absence; maybe a bag of shrooms would do the trick, but I'm wary of those old remedies these days. (Which probably makes you very, very happy). The only real cure is you. I want to come back home and love you, learn you, learn from you, dig you. I want to smell you, taste you, taste that salty post-sweat residue on your skin that you get after you've run a lap around the neighborhood. Feel you, react to you; be touched by your sorrow and be right there to try to love it away. I want that quick kiss we share when we find we're completing each other's sentences again; I want your wit, your attitude; I miss heckling the world with you.

But I'm sitting here in a fast food palace in Confederate Hell, and the time until our reunion can still be measured in weeks. I'm already not liking this gig. The ache makes it worse. Please know that there is someone out there who loves you dearly, deeply, madly (insanely, even!), recklessly, and is moved moved moved deeply by you like no other person has ever moved me.

And feed the damn cat. Hell hath no fury like a pissed cat-lover.

luv, j

A postage stamp is cheaper, but just as useless as the long-distance phone. And where will I find a stamp? It's almost Sunday morning, and I suspect there's blue laws in effect, making stamp-hunting near-unpossible. I make a note to carry stamps and envelopes in my backpack from now on. Or at least while the intoxication lasts.

V

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