Writing things down can be dangerous. Letters
have a way of finding their way into the hands of the people they were written to, whether I intended for them to read it or not.
4 in the morning. I sat down at the warped kitchen table in my Vermont apartment. 8 pages and 2 hours later, I was finally finished. I poured out my soul onto paper with brightly coloured parrots and impossibly green thick leaves making a cheerful border that created an aura of confidence. I think I even wrote down that I'm an idiot.
You were such a gentleman the week before, when I cornered you in the basement of your parents' house and asked you to come outside so I could talk to you without the presence of your twin brother. Sad that he is easier for me to talk to than you are... of course, I'm not in love with him.
We went out onto your front lawn and you looked at me, waiting to hear whatever random thing I wanted to say to you. All the articulation I posess, all my skill in speaking and putting voice to my inner life suddenly left me under the pressure of your eyes. Everything I wanted to say to you had become a small animal in my throat, and its claws had dug deep into my tonsils.
Reduced to stammering like an inarticulate moron, I pulled up the cojones to say something nondescript and simple. "You know how I feel about you, right?" "Yes." "Well, I still feel the same way. I just needed you to know." "Okay."
Discomfort had descended on both of us, our week of dating now in memory, and who had asked whom for space, and who had graciously agreed to call it a friendship, mostly because the thought of losing you was unbearable. I left off saying more to you then mostly because I still couldn't speak to you the way I wanted to, easily and without fear. So I said goodbye and drove home, resolving to write it down.
After watching Notting Hill earlier in the evening, I had enough sap to sit and write. I attempted to excise all mush and simply explain myself. You wouldn't do well if I got sticky sweet and tried to come out and say that I love you and that I would cut off my right pinky finger for a second chance with you, so I was straightforward and talked about the circumstances behind that week a year ago, and how happy I was to be with you. I even said again that I wasn't asking for a decision, just that you think about it for a while.
So, I fold the flashy paper in thirds and stuff it into an envelope, sealing it quickly, before I thought better of it. I even felt romantic enough to use sealing wax. I address it and affix a stamp, my last one with Leonard Bernstein on it.
Two weeks later and no word from you. Not even an acknowledgement of reciept. I realise the next day that I have made an error. I put the wrong house number on the envelope, and no return address. Right street, wrong number. I doubt the postman will be slick enough to note my error and deliver the letter to the right house. I knew I was sending the letter to you and putting my feelings out into the ether, but I didn't expect that my missive would find its way to the dead-letter office. I still haven't asked you if you got it, and I haven't called the Post Office to check. I suppose I'm letting go, in a way. Whether I've let go of the letter or of any hope of loving you, I'm not sure. Something is different. Maybe the act of writing it was all the release I needed, and like the incense on my altar, it perfumed my space for a time and has now gone the way of smoke wisps. I guess only time will tell. I put my card on the table in front of you. It's up to you to pick it up and put it into your hand. I still love you, but I can let you go.