25 June 2011

4 February


Ah, this black night. Ah, these stirred up entrails of mine. Ah, these bleary eyes that will not shut; that work ferociously and that look at what I am and hate it. hate it for being so small. So o’erburdened with fear and sloth and with foolish wavering.
And I want this bitter and biting wind. And I want the fierce and frigid cold. And I want the sharp edges of the filed and glinting stars. And I want the air – gathered up and smashed down and stuffed into a yellow sack – the air and all the infintessimal particles of the vast and endless sky that separate myself from itself. That separate my heart from God’s. and I come to see, to know, or at least, to admit, that all of that air, all of that sack of sickly hue crammed full of space and infinity, that all of that is just me. Nothing but this puling soul, this howling ocean of pretense and nothingness. This complex mechanism designed for nothing else, save keeping it from its one true end.
The echoes of what I might be if I were braver, or more determined, or better appointed; these echoes are a torment tonight. And if you knew. God, if you only knew.
And yet, one has to endure. There are these moments, at the precipice where the wind, with wild and whirling voice, rips at the heart, and whips the soul to shreds. And yet. Yet, we remain. And there is another moment, when this one has passed. And another after that. And another and another all in unbearable succession. And somehow we must be in them. Alike as in this.
And how to do that. To go on, with ravaged innards. To make use of a heart that hangs in shreds from the bars of a splintered ribcage.
To be ever and ever and everlastingly less. Less than what you mean to be. less than what you are, by genetic imprint, by divine inspiration, by will and intention.
And on nights like tonight I feel that I am something other than human. That I belong streaking the heavens like a comet, that I ought to be somewhere, - anywhere – other than inside this shoddy frame. That my skin and organs and bones and tissue are all just a well-constructed trap. A cage. A prison for something else entirely.
And I want to be everywhere. And to understand what it is to be other than myself. To know how it could be that someone else might have a different relationship with the world, with this tree, with that song, with this glazed and dripping window pane than do i. to and to know what it might be. to feel that. To understand another mind.
So that, by understanding I might be enriched. And so that I might know what it is to be another.
But. As I have not yet found the alchemy to turn my body into ether, I sit. Here. knitting like a fiend. Letting the music swirl its slow waltz of devastation inside my chest. Blind eyes, black to the world. And only lit up to what is not.
So that’s where I’ll be tonight. Blazing in the outer circles of this multiversed, unknowable, impossible night. Just in case you were wondering.  

13 June 2011

31 January


I’m in one of those places tonight where there seems nothing to do but self-destruct. And so I am here, sitting for no reason, burning up the fleeing hours of night, staring out this frosted window, drinking endless cups of coffee and listening to things I should know better. Music that was ours. Because back in the days that once made sense, everything belonged to us. Every song was ours. Every book written to us specifically. And I do what I can now to wash out the dye of you from everything that ever was. But it keeps seeping back in, scrub as I might. And tonight I have given in.
And these flashes of moments – split second frames of a life that was – flicker on the screen of this black and thunderous night. The time we bought each other outfits from the thrifty mart in secret and agreed to wear them the rest of the day. You ended up with a plaid t-shirt and tie, a pair of nurses pants and a set of corderoy slippers; me in a gold skirt, a green halter top ornamented with elephants, and nothing on my feet but red-striped athletic socks. And matching headbands, one of a million small serendipities. Or the night we heard about Andrew taking the job with Cal and how we hated life for giving him no options, and how we hated him for settling. And running out to the ravine and hurling rocks down into the darkness as hard as we could and swearing we’d never quit burning and burning and raging against the dying of the light. Us and our Dylan. Or how, when we were small, we’d go swimming and dive down to the bottom of the deepest part, and stay down as long as we could screaming words to each other in that strange, heavy, dense world and, when we could hold our breath no longer, shooting up to the top to see if we had guessed correctly. Or how we sat in the same seat in Mrs. Maswall’s Geometry class two periods apart from each other, and we’d leave notes in that place under the chair, and feel the thrill of danger flouted, as we left our barest souls there on ruled paper, folded into the tightest shapes we could create, for anyone who happened to run their hands under the seat, to find. To my recollection, nobody ever did. Or how, from childhood on, we always decided every argument with a game of rock, paper, scissors… and as it evolved in complexity, dynamite, tsunami, chaos theory, plague…  And how you even brought it up that day, that terrible day I left. Doing your best to lighten the mood, thinking I’d come around if it could all be diffused. That we should settle the question with a life-changing round of R-P-S.
But I had worked myself up into one of my terrifying tornadoes of time-is-fleeting and I’m-way-too-afraid-of-having-what-i-want-for-fear-I’ll-somehow-lose-it-all,  and having-this-one-breathtaking-thing-means-not-having-something-else…  and I had convinced myself that everyone expected us to stay together forever, and the view of a wide horizon open to a future full of unknown wonders and wide-open possibility had narrowed to a gun-barrel tube of impossibly small dimension, and I couldn’t do it. I had never done anything completely on my own, and I was afraid I never would, and that any chance I had at a brilliant, sky-splitting future, was flying from me at light speeds. In other words, I felt trapped. And not even by you, because you were always and only just the same you. It was, mostly, I think, just this place. This town and its narrow expectations, and my own perpetually bursting soul, that could feel confined in an endless ocean-- that will (I am afraid) relentlessly opt for freedom. Regardless of the cost…
Anyway, I got it into my head that I had to leave. That I had to take a hiatus from everything, including you. And in the back of my mind you understood, and would shake your head at my folly, and my impulsive, screwball logic, and, in perfect, undoubting confidence, wait for me to realize what I’ve always known, and to come home. Or send for you, and then we’d be off again… in other words, I told you goodbye, but I really only meant see you tomorrow.
But I forgot about the part where you were a human. Real and full of your own set of entrenched stubornnesses, and hurts and plans that didn’t include waiting forever for a girl who runs from her fears by running toward others.
And I hadn’t wanted to say goodbye at all (how could I ever say goodbye? What language is there for impossible words?) and so I had set myself to the writing of a terrible letter, and I had gone to the cabin to write it, and I was going to leave it there for you to find, and in it I was going to say things like, ‘I’m so afraid’, and ‘I love you’ and ‘I have to get free’, and, ‘don’t let me detonate,’ …  but I sat there with that blank notebook page in front of me for ages, with only your name there at the top of the page, as it appears here, perennially:   Simon.   And I found I had doodled a copy of that Little Prince picture, the one on the cover of the book. The one where the world is too small.  
Time – ever the relentless hound – was pressing on me, and i threw the notebook in frustration, which was the moment you walked up the hill. And at first you disappeared in the radiance of the rising sun, just so, behind you. Resolving slowly, like a dream, into the shape of something familiar and dear. And I almost ran. But I was too heavy with the weight of the endless fulmination inside, with the pressure of unspent tears, with the immoveable ballast of potential; that movement seemed an impossibility. And so I watched you – that wild and wide soul, somehow contained in muscle and tissue, and clothed in skin – approach, for a last and final time, with myself as a destination.
You sat down, and I couldn’t look at you. What eyes are there that can bear the sight of loss, breathing?
And it was unbearable, the soul-crushing PSI of all that, in that moment, sat, hefted on my all-too-unsteady shoulders. And you, there, inches and a world away, and me all agonies and groanings and the unrelenting bursting; the eternal combustion and humming and thrumming of electricity that threatens to send me flying in shivers and splinters of bone and nerve and gland to the antipodes like so much concentrated C4.
It’s the way it’s always been, though perhaps I’ve learned to cage it a bit, that inner explosion, or at least leash it in when company comes over… but when you’re nineteen, and full of dynamite and gunpowder, and so electric you swear you could hook yourself up to the power lines and light the entire blessed town… then it’s not so easy.
And I told you I had to go. And you said that wasn’t in the plan. And I said I knew, and that that was why I had to go. And you grinned it off, and proposed a Rock, Paper Sissors match, Superhero rules, and I could have lazer-gun immunity…
And then I knew what would happen. I could see it so clearly, an entire life, laid out. I would turn to you and there you would be, and our hands would find each other like creatures unrelated, working their way into an inextricable net, and I would fight the urge to look at you, but your gaze on me regardless, pouring over me like a syrup, like a blanket, thick and warm and immobilizing, flung up into the air, held by the corners only, and let settle, falling in slow, arched waves over my shoulders. And you would bring my hands to your mouth, and hold them there, and then, as always, you bringing my wrists to your lips, and then your nose, brow, temples, and it would end with my hands clasped behind your neck and you pulling the rest of me to you, and it would be a sort of magnetism, and it would be the snap of a lock, and it would be a thousand nights of laughter, and it would be glorious madness and giddy revolution… but it would be all familiar. And I saw it so clearly in that half-moment, fractals of everything we were, and the beauty of it reproduced in the warmest dimensions into the infinite.
And I loved it.
And I was terrified by it.
Because if I chose that, it meant I was un-choosing everything else.
And for that I was not prepared.
And so,
It was a fleeing.
No rearviewing, no words to hang in the air, that we might have regarded, tilting our heads, so, and squinting up at them, and then deciding, ‘no no, that won’t do,’  and taking them down, choosing other words with which to adorn the atmosphere. No final touch. No embrace. No tearful parting. No explanations or hashings-through… none of that.
There was only the notebook with the ill-fitting world, lying in the grass, and my desperate desertion.

And what is there to say after that? What could I have expected of you? What brand of perspective and wisdom could I hope for from you, when I had none?
And those two and a half years that we didn’t speak. Ah, how could I have done without you all of those loose-leafed days?
Mom tells me you came to the house every day for months. And Andy came over after I got back and told me how it had been with you. And if sorries were good for anything I would dig me a mine and bring up the brightest and shiniest of them all, grinding away the days with a pick and a mule, to pile them on your doorstep. But as it is… it would only be further folly.
And so I dig this night in secret. Pulling out veins of regret, hefting nuggets of forgiveness, begged. And so you know, it is done against my will. Hating these fruitless tears, raging against this whole unseemly endeavor.
Which, I suppose, is all to say, that I miss the moon this black, blind night. And you, Simon. I miss you.   

09 June 2011

22 January


It is 8 degrees out…. 8
And it is clear as black crystal and there is a golden Cheshire, grinning moon slung low in the diaphanous sky.
And I feel tonight I could hold my hand out before me, and magic would just float off the ends of my fingers, coloring the blank canvas air before me like finger paints.
Delicate and bold, I will slash the sky with color. Beauty for nothingness. Music for silence.
I will carve me words out of the very atmosphere, phrases stamped into the incorporeal air, so that when you walk you would have to pass through the ghosts of words like love and promise and glimpse and olivine. So that as you turned your head you would be swathed in poems, robed in lyric, and draped with the richest, most luminous prose.
And darling, tonight; when this green and marbled world turns in silence and dark, when time stretches out thin and starlit; tonight, I will build us a castle of obsidian thought. Brilliant and invisible will be the walls, mighty elegance in the stone, brick upon brick, and
the night will crash upon our defenses like a raging tide, and we inside will smile our small smiles and feel our enormous hearts and clasp our warm hands and watch as everything dissipates into splashes of wonder at what we have built.
Tonight, I will hew us a ship, made of scarlet possibility, its sails will I weave of my very tissue and fibre, bending and stitching and gathering together every infintessimal particle of the endless unknown, and it will be cobbled together of bone and pitched with marrow, until all the infinity of the future is spliced into ourselves so deeply there is no distinguishing it from us. We will be everything. Everywhere. Allwhens.
And this night we sail. Blue herons, phosphorescent in the sea of black sky, over the sleeping, dreaming world, and we – only we alone – roman candles exploding.   

06 June 2011

17 January


I wonder why I sit here all these nights. Writing to you. There are people I could say these things to. Why don’t I do that? Why do I keep them inside like silly childhood treasures kept under the bed in a shoebox, and then pulled out in the surreptitious midnight, when the house is asleep, and uncovered in the square of moonlight there on the rumpled bedspread, and looked over – each twisted bottlecap and smooth stone, and faded pink ribbon.
And tonight I finished my allotted work and the lights were low and there was music and I went to the kitchen and stared into my teacup. Looking for who knows what. And I found I wasn’t lonely. Alone, perhaps. But that it was alright. At least tonight. Me with my bare feet, wrapped in a blanket, my hair all wonky, and this silent cup of tea.
Because it’s simply this: I can only love big. That’s all this giant magnet heart of mine knows how to do, and in a breathtaking show of wild idiocy, it’s decided that you are what it points to. It’s like some horrible force of nature. And so I do. Love you. In all the ways it is possible to love. Because it seems there is nothing whatever to be done about it. And in spite of the glaring facts that I absolutely should not. In spite of Adelle, who is everything good and beautiful. In spite of Avelyn who is a flying brilliant wonder. In spite of whatever damage it does to myself. And in spite of the fact that it does your pompous ass no good at all. Do you remember what you said to me the last time I told you I loved you? It was that harrowing night I came back. Ready to be the prodigal, to apologize voluminously and to make it all right again. I had driven twelve hours straight with everything I owned shoved into the back of the pickup, all but erupting with the watershed understanding that I had been wrong and that without you the world – with all of its beauty and fascination and inscrutability – would always be something I simply observed. That somehow, without you, I couldn’t touch anything. That night I ran to you; and found you recently married, just returned from your honeymoon.  And nobody had wanted to tell me. And I nearly choked on all of it. And could manage only the flimsiest of good humors, and the sickliest congratulations, and the weakest-brewed excuse for my being there that ever was proffered at the doorway of a lost love. And after a torturous hour of visiting, I escaped out your door and ran to my still-loaded car and thought to drive away and never come back. But I had left my keys on the table inside, and I leaned on the car and couldn’t stop the sobbing. Because I couldn’t bear the thought of going back in there. Because I couldn’t bear the thought of anything at all. And then you were there. With the keys of course. And it was this terrible moment where we knew what to do. Where we had the answer to all of this awfulness, but couldn’t use it. And we stood there, separated by the hood of the car and by everything we had done.  And you started to talk, in that tone that begs me not to hate you because whatever it was you did was the only thing that could have been done, and I couldn’t listen. So I turned around and slid to the ground, sitting there leaning against the wheel, my legs straight out, touching the pickets of the fence that separated your house – yours and Adelle’s – from the James’s. And you came around and slumped beside me. And you sighed. And we both stared at the fence. And then I laughed. I couldn’t help it. It was too ridiculous, and you laughed too, and it was good. And when we stopped, the hurt was still there. And I said it. ‘I love you, Simon.’  ‘I know,’ you said. Arrogant fool, and undeserving. ‘I know.’ Just that. In that voice you have when you say something that you don’t want to admit. Staring straight ahead of you at the pickets with the peeling paint. Which is when I snatched the keys from your hand and got up and drove away. With every intention of never seeing you again.
But I can only love big. And you’re the only one I’ve ever met who is big enough to merit that kind of love. To contain it.
So there it is. This love, you-directed, inside of me, spinning in there like a top, quietly and perpetually in motion, regardless of the fact that I’m washing up, or grading papers, or bundling up for a walk to the mailbox, or trying to spin this blank page into an idea.  
And so I don’t know if that is an answer or not. To why I keep these things, hoarded like a miser, to tell you here. in this journal you’ll never read.  Maybe it’s simply for that silent spinning thing inside. My one small kindness to that warm, ensouling movement.

03 June 2011

3 January


It’s winter. These cold days of grey quiet. And it’s a hushed and thoughtful season. And the forests are dreaming, and murmuring phrases of song with their foggy breath. And the cities have thought to disguise themselves with these robes of white. Which we all know will soon enough turn a dingy brown, revealing them for their grim and gritty selves.
And it is none of it unlovely. Here is the cardinal, a bright streak of fire in my morning window. And here is the mittened hand and the scarved throat, insulated and armed against the ravages of the bleak day. There is the river of cloud, dark and roiling, sliding over the hill, its belly full of snow. And over here the glitter of cut glass and shining bauble in the glow of the long candle.
A season of antitheses; warmth and chill, softness and harsh, bright and monochrome. And when could I ever be steeped in paradox without seeing you. When so much of who we are, you and I, are opposites. Not from each other so much, as within ourselves. We are our own antonyms; our opposing poles, and every step between.  

29 May 2011

2 January


I sometimes wonder if we're more like moons or suns. Whether we burn with our own fire, or simply reflect. I think maybe both. It’s good to reflect. To have a part in the revelation to the world of something huge and great and … exploding. And it’s good to have a little of that burning inside you at the same time. That internal combustion. That spark of the divine. That something that is ever blazing and flaming, but not consumed... we kindle, dimly, and mirror. And, softly glowing moons that we are,  we're ceaselessly striving to be stars. Suns. To catch more of the fire. To be more largely ignited. To have more  light and warmth to discharge into the universe...
And I’m in the midst of a realization that, for myself, and likely for us all, I possess a measure of both. But here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure that I’m only either one or the other with people. To most, probably, I’m more of a moon, a dim reflection. But there are those with whom I’m more able to burn. Except with you. You’re the only one I know with whom I can be both. Sometimes even simultaneously and to an undiminished capacity.
Which is, I suppose, an unabashedly selfish reason for my loving you. That you’re a perfect and infinitely adaptable sky. And it’s not the only reason, to be sure. But it’s an undeniable one. 

26 May 2011

28 December

Good God, Simon. What is it about this night. This endless, ageless, limitless night. This night here, right here smack in at the bleak end of December, in this winter of my 32nd year, this night is Avery’s field, ’97 after the ballgame. And I could close my eyes and smell the grass, and the nachos and hear the chatter from the outfield… Rook was pitching and we hadn’t missed a game all season. He was amazing. And maybe it was just that everything was amazing that year.
They won, of course, and Rook invited us out with the team to celebrate, but we decided to decline, and we went rambling instead. How many of my greatest moments have started out as rambles with you. So we ended up finding that place out by Chapman’s Mill, the old cabin on that creek. It was dry that day. And we sat on the rotting porch and played stupid games we made up, and we wrote poems about the cabin – the homestead, we called it. Do you remember? – in the voice of whatever came into our head. This rock, that weed, yonder sunning lizard…  and invented a whole life story for the people who had lived there.  I can still remember the feel of those weathered boards and the hoo-ing of the light wind in the chinks in the roof, and your hand, warm and familiar playing with the woven bracelet I wore around my ankle. It had a little bell tied to the end of the strings, and I used to love the jingle of it when I walked. Ah, for the love of foolish things.
We walked the creek bed that night, do you remember? And there was a moon  then that was the twin brother of this one. Huge and yellow and wavering. Like it was its own reflection on a midnight lake. And the stars were out in droves. A billion glowing freckles on the face of the universe. We lay down on our jackets in the meadow grass and stared out into them, thinking how amazing it was that we were here, on our tiny little backyard planet, not in the center of anything, and yet here was all of this. Just for us. And how many people, (‘couples’ we said, looking at each other on that word, suddenly shy) had lain under how many skies full of the same starred magic, and felt rocked by it. And we didn’t have ipods back then, but we shared the headphones to your discman (oh, those days) and listened to something sweet. You always had good things, billie holiday, tom waits, john fogarty,
And you found my ear and in that voice that always covers me in chills, said, “every single song that has ever been written – they’ve all been about you.”
And I remember thinking, “ALL of them? What about I am the Walrus, or Bad Bad Leroy brown?” but I held my smart-ass tongue and nestled down into that space that was miraculously me-shaped beside you, and sighed. And I closed my eyes and felt the world spinning underneath us and the stars streaking across this perfect hour, and how we must look to them, two tiny specks, all spoony, and what kind of light must we be giving off just then. Something beautiful. Warm and bright and full. And what the colors you and me might make when mixed together.

23 May 2011

20 December

What in… what? You wore your necklace today. The one from the fair that time. When we snuck in with your cousin who was playing drums in that Jefferson Airplane tribute band. And we helped them set up and then took off, sixteen and wild with freedom. And we stood up on the ferris wheel to see if we could see the ocean and they kicked us off. And then we walked the tents, and looked at everything and it was all marvelous and it was all just a way of looking at each other. And we were holding hands then, I remember. And it was making me float, all of me filled with the helium of passion, stirred; and there were times I couldn’t tell which fingers were mine and which were yours. And we would do that young-person thing where you would look at me, and our eyes would lock and everything would get all breathless and dark, and so I would have to look away, and find something to distract my mutinous heart that wanted nothing but to take control and drive me top-speed, head-first off the deadly, sheer-faced cliff of you. And we saw those necklaces, the guy was making them, right there, do you remember? This blacksmith guy, pounding them out all orange and radiating, in whatever shape you wanted. And you said, “Lets” and I ok’d and we asked him to make something for us. And he did. And they were perfect. Two hammered circles, the front flat, punched around the edge with small circles. And the backs, two hearts, yours an indentation, mine slightly raised, so that, put together they fit precisely. And we glowed with them. And you took both of them, and paid the grinning smithy, and led me out the gate and we wandered over the foothills where the boulders have all collected and lie about in a riotous granite hullabaloo, and we climbed up and sat and watched the sky turn plum colored and soft. You took the necklaces and you put yours on and then turned to me and clasped mine around my neck, and I swept my hair aside and your fingers on my shoulder were a universe unplumbed. You caught my face and you looked at me and didn’t let me look away. And that was when you told me you loved me. At that moment all I wanted to do was to open you up and climb inside of you all small and warm and to never ever leave.
And who knows how long we wore them. Till I left, I suppose. And there you were today, reaching into the back of your car to get your things, and that old circle of hammered silver glinting in the light. And you watching me see it. And me having to pretend that I didn’t . I won’t wear mine tomorrow. I won’t have it be some private language between us. I won’t.
But I’m wearing it tonight, Sime. And I do. Still. Always.

20 May 2011

16 December

There are days, whole entire days, even, when I don’t think of you. When I don’t feel like some hobbled amputee who has lost a leg or an arm or a left hemisphere. I can even see you. We can talk. Nice little things, books, friends, plans… and not have it feel like soggy breadcrumbs, left by the ducks to rot and decay on the water’s face. We can do that quick little friend hug, one arm and a quick pat, looking to the left or right to show it’s just a formality. Just a habit. And I can do that and not feel out the old familiar place where I fit always, so tenderly. And not want to settle there, and not think about the weight of your arms or the rough, raw scratch of your jawline. Not imagine grabbing the back of your shirt in fists and speaking your name, and sobbing out these last 12 years. Or your hand in my hair, and your lips on my ear breathing words and sighs and promises and other impossible things.
There are days that I can hear some grand new philosophy and not think of how much I want to hash it all out with you. Days when I can eat my soup and watch the rain collect in the rocky path outside the window and not remember how good rainy days were. Not think once of that night in the storm and the firelight and the sound of the rain at the window and the thunder that shook the walls and the way things blurred and time got watery and wavered and the feel of you so, so close.

13 May 2011

9 December


Good gravy, Simon. Why did we have to do those things. Those things back then that ruin every single blasted thing right now. Like all those songs. Like the hours in your room picking out guitar chords and humming every single song we knew and having them amalgamate with the days of our breathing. Of our growing. Of our loving. So inextricable. Like the late night walks through Amos’ field and all the stars. Like dancing on the porch all those nights to the music that played from your grandmother’s records. Like all my favorite clothes, the wild outfits we would get at the basement store, the one where you paid by the pound, that have the ghostly scent of you clinging to their every hem and button. Like the books. The pages on pages on pages, the ink and glue and dust that was our world entire. Like the truck. Like how every time I drive it I find myself looking over expecting to see you shotgun with your arm out the window and your hat pushed back, that way you used to do. Like Ketchum’s and The Spider and Evanrude’s and the dad-blamed grocery store. Like how I can’t go to one damned spot in this whole town without being snagged, cobweb-style on some armed phalanx of memories of you.
You’re the ghost, Simon. The ghost we used to always be so afraid of. The ghost of regret. You’re this smoky phantom that shrouds every one of the two hundred million things I do each day. Yet you’re such a real ghost. Such a palpable spirit. You’re the ghost who brings me coffee on Saturday mornings when we happen to meet up at the dock. The ghost I played chess with last night as your wife read a deposition and we talked together of chocolate turtle brownies and planetary motion and the aces of diamonds. The ghost who still tucks my hair behind my ear when I want to hide behind it.
And somebody had better explain to me why I do this. Why I stay. Why I keep up residence here in this haunted house. Because I can tell you for certain that it’s not for the excellence of the sleep. And it’s not for the romance. And neither is it for the bright and promising future. Maybe it’s simply because I can’t leave it. Because you are the most beautiful thing that is likely ever to happen in this cracked and frozen world. Because walking away from this place would be walking away from all the light and wandering off into the darkness of the blackest void. Because I’d rather have the ghostly remains of you than the actual beating heart of anybody else. Because once you’ve had the greatest thing, there isn’t much place to go. After that. And mostly, I suppose, because it’s my fault. Because I left. Because every moment I’ve been circulating blood and oxygen and electromagnetic pulses since that one moment when I told you I needed to go – every one has just been me doing everything I could to turn around, and take it back, and make it right again. Because I guess all we do, if we’re honest, is break the things we most treasure, and then spend our lives on the floor with a bottle of crazy glue trying to piece them back together. Wishing for the impossible. For the broken thing to be whole, for restoration of that lost thing we love, for redemption.  

11 May 2011

5 December


It’s been a few days. feels like my mind has been rioting lately. Flashing colors, too many voices shouting, the world spinning, nearly out of control, like that last, sad wobbly turn a top gives just before it topples over on its side and skids to a stop. But tonight. Tonight somebody – maybe it was me… who can really tell – stood up on the hood of one of the cars and waved her hands and clutched at her hair and screamed for it to stop. And it did. Almost unnaturally. And it is as if the world in my head is on pause and everything and everyone is frozen, and the lights are beginning to tunnel, and there are only a few things left that can be seen in the blue-black space. And one of them is your face. And it’s – unbelievably – still. And quiet. And it makes the rioters lower their arms, and close their mouths, and turn and try to find their various ways home. And I feel everything inside begin to crouch down and to breathe, and to keep itself silent and calm. And then the light spots another figure in the crowd, and it is Adelle. And I see that, when I thought you were looking at me, through the crowd. Seeking me out to settle and stay… it was her. She was the one. And she is looking at you as well. And in her eyes is love. And no small measure of fear. Spiced with panic. And there was me. Looking on at the two of you, and feeling my own tunnel of light closing and narrowing to a pinpoint, and then disappearing altogether. 

08 May 2011

1 December


Reading Plath. Beh. But there was this one line in it that was so right. This one about mutual exclusivities and flying between them because choosing only one or the other is unbearable. And, that is SO me. And, I don’t know, it didn’t work out so well in the end for her… so I maybe that isn’t really the best way to go.  Like, can one person really hold together two polarities? Ones which are always pushing out from each other. Ones that have as their only and sacred end to fly in opposite directions. And how long can you do that before your arms are ripped from their sockets and you’re left watching them fly away, farther and farther, and you there with nothing but empty sleeves and no way of flagging down a taxi. 

04 May 2011

29 November

I don’t know if I ever told you this. Because we don’t really talk about that time. About what happened. … so… About that guy in Carolina? Mark? Yeah. He was a musician, actually. Which I know you’d love…  piano and guitar. And, oddly, bassoon. Anyway, he lived down the hall from me, and we’d always seem to be leaving at the same time, and the halls and elevators were so small and cramped that with the three of us (he and I and his instrument cases) all packed into such a tight spot, it was almost impossible, not to meet. It was either laugh at it and strike up a conversation, or feign either idiocy or irritation. We chose the former. … the conversation, not the idiocy… anyway, it was good. He was pretty amazing. Honestly. Great lyricist, and that kind of voice I love. All raw and real. Anyway, he invited me over once, and we drank coffee and I nosed around all of the pictures in his apartment and we listened to some music and talked. Those good kind of talks where you’re not really discussing anything but yourselves cloaked in arbitrary topics. And we built a fire on his balcony which I’m pretty sure isn’t allowed, and he played his guitar, and we watched the stars creep across the sky. And it was a nice place. A fearless place, and free. And so we struck up this affiliation. And I was so glad of it. And maybe another time I’ll tell you about how it ended. Because I was stupid. As I so often am. And ruined it all. And I’d rather not go through all that tonight.
Because tonight the sky is bleeding opal over the hills, and the shadows are long, layered behind the light, and the autumn is ripening. And I want my heart to be light tonight, running. Light enough to ride a falling leaf, or to catch an igniting spark from the pearly flame of the dying sun. Or maybe just light enough to remain buoyant in the churning quicksand of the world.

27 April 2011

28 November


Sometimes, when it’s really late, and it’s not so much that I can’t sleep, but just that I won’t, (such a coward I am, I can’t even say this on paper…. On paper that I will most certainly burn before it can do me any harm) … sometimes, maybe I break just a little. There among my pillows and the overabundance of blankets, because I get so cold. Maybe I reach for you, and maybe I .. maybe I imagine what it would be like having you there. Just to burrow into, just to float with, just to breathe beside, our dreams mixing above us in the shared, twining night. And these are the things I don’t allow myself to think all through the day. These are the things I mercilessly squash. Me with my metaphorical head-tossing and my defiance. Me with my barracks heart. But here. Here on this page. Under this moon. At this unearthly hour. Here is where I pull down the window dressing. Here is where that triple-security-locked heart is laid bare, seen, crumpled and deflated, lying on the cold ground, weak and weeping. And maybe I do cry. And maybe once in a while, I drag my blanket over to the window seat and drown in the tears and the hours, and the liquid stars. When the night is like a black ocean, and the fish that swim in it are the collected sorrows of the shadows of the hearts of men. And mine is there among them. And I watch it. Until I can’t anymore. Until it disappears into sleep.

24 April 2011

15 November


It   It has occurred to me that a girl writing love letters she has no intention of sending to a boy who is off limits to her for… well, ever; is not quite the same as a boy doing the same thing. When a man is struck down by love, it’s the stuff of romantic legend. When the same words come spilling out of a female, it only  savors of desperation. And pitiful … ness. Which is unfair. What is it about a woman that denies her  the right to be just as hopelessly love’s fool as a man? Austen said something to the effect of the following: “No heroine can fall in love with a man who has not first declared undying love for her.” (ok, that really shouldn’t be in quotes, because I’m pretty sure I butchered that puppy pretty good) But seriously. What’s that about? Why must we as women, in order to remain dignified and worthy of respect and love and admiration, only be allowed to love as a reaction? Why is it somehow inappropriate for the female of the species to love first? Or last? Or longest? (Austen had opinions about that too, but I think I’ve caused enough literary grave-rolling for one night) Are we not allowed the same breadth of emotion as the male? Why can’t my unrequited love be as honorable and heart-rending as that guy in Cholera? Why is my ridiculous devotion to someone who will never be free to love me; to someone who, when given the choice, picked some other girl; only desperate and pathetic, and not noble and fine and … mythical? Because it should be. Because you did. Because, honestly, where else would I go? Who else is there... after you.  Because I would rather bury this – deep and silent – and live with my sarcophagus heart, as long as I can, and still, in whatever small, insignificant way, be a part of you, than let it go and be ever diminished. Because in truth, Simon - you flawed and undeserving, wholly perfect specimen if man - your sweet absence is dearer me than the present dust of any other. 

23 April 2011

8 November


Simon. All of my happiest memories are with you. How can I make any new ones? When you’re… when you’re not… when it’s… now.

20 April 2011

4 November


Just thought I should let you know that I didn’t think of you at all today. Well, except for when Carver accidentally poured orange juice on his granola at break (he had decanted the rest of his oj into one of those cafeteria milk cartons to save space in his mini-fridge. It was bound to happen). Then – after I’d finished laughing at him, of course – I thought of our X-days and that one time we decided to make every meal into a smoothie and we made those orange juice-nutrigrain-banana-vitamin-egg smoothies… those were gross. Not, however, anywhere near as gross as the avocado-cheddar-wrap-snapple-grapes travesty that constituted lunch. … heh. Oh wow, do you remember the one where we couldn’t speak English… and then you got the call from the dean, and you couldn’t … yeah. I guess you do. Anyway, so aside from that, I didn’t think about you today.  Not even when the rain was pounding on the porch roof and I unwrapped myself from the lair of my blanket and coffee and book, and decided to kidnap Erin from next door, so I stole her away from her Spongebob, and we ran out into the backyard and did cartwheels and slid down that hilly part behind the house and laid ourselves down on the splashy grass and watched the raindrops fall at us like a missile assault… not even then.  Not much. 

18 April 2011

2 November


Took a morning run today. And it was this amazing morning. There’s no real reason, why I should compare it to what I’m about to compare it too, but somehow it felt like opening my grandma’s music box when I was small – you remember, the one with the doves on the top, that I wasn’t allowed to touch, but I would sneak into her bedroom when she thought I was going to the toilet, and stand on my tiptoes and drag it off the bureau and crouch down in the tiny space between the bureau and the closet and my heart would start to beat really fast and I would imagine the things that would happen when I opened the lid, and then I would, ever so slowly, peeking through the crack and watching to see the exact moment when the music would start… and then It would, and the little bird would spin around that tree in the center, and the song would play – clair de lune… of course – and I would sit there, and feel like I was on some kind of magic carpet of music box Debussey… and somehow that was what this morning was like. The mist off the lake, all brown and still and glassy… and I had to stop a moment on that footbridge over the meadow… I’ve never seen it like that before. It was this incredible patchwork of colors… gold and brown and green and the purple of the Spanish broom and those yellow spiky things, and this red-orange color that has sprung up everywhere this fall… the birds swooping low, and that little soft spring bubbling and it was that same feeling. Like I had opened some magical box and there was this beauty just pouring out all around, and me wrapped right up in it. And then I wished for you. Because I always wanted you to be there in my grandma’s room, those times I escaped with clair de lune. And because I know you would have known. …. And … and I wasn’t going to say this, because, well, because it’s one of those especially pathetic things, but nobody reads these anyway, so what the hell… and because I pretty much wish you were everywhere I am. And because I can’t forget what it feels like sitting on the jetty like we used to, me all wrapped up between your arms, my head leaning back in that place it fit so perfectly. That place just below your collarbone. And the way you’d always wrap my hand up inside yours, all safe and snug, and the way I could hear your heart beating, and our breathing would always match up… and I miss you in ways I can’t even say. And this morning was a treasure. Glorious. But it wasn’t half as nice as it would have been if you had been there to stand behind me on the bridge, with your hands around my waist, feeling your breath on my hair, and eventually we’d find ourselves swaying like we always did. Making a dance of everything. 
And I have to stop. Because … because I might actually kill myself one of these days with what isn’t. With what can’t even ever be. With you.

13 April 2011

24 October


Why on earth do you do this? Simon, honestly, sometimes I just want to throw something bulky and dense at your dense and bulky head. What in the green and blessed world do you think this is going to accomplish? I mean, it’s hard enough, you know.. . hard enough to wade my way through these thick, liquid days managing the fact that… well, the undeniable facts of us. And most days I can get along just fine. You know, loving you… well, most days it can just make me better. Like… wanting to swim the Atlantic Ocean or something. The kind of thing you know you’ll never actually achieve. Because it’s not possible. It’s not even in the realm of the hypothetically plausible… but still, you have it, and you keep it there, close and huge and bright, and it makes you do bigger and be more, and aim higher than you would if it were gone… most days. And most days I’m fine with it. Your heart is spoken for. I, well, I left and you … chose someone else. And you were probably right to do that. And most days I can choke down the fact that I can’t breathe, and I can swallow the pressing ache of seeing you and your family, and smiling and being, nothing to you. And then you … you go and do something like this. Right in the middle of what was a simple, un-aching conversation… or at least not any more aching than usual. And you have to break off right in the middle of your story about Henry and that guy at the bank, and stop and look away and take those steadying breaths and then look back at me… and kick my whole decent, manageable world right off its axis. Because there it is. That same look. The one I’m wearing all the time underneath. The old one. The one from that day under the oak, when you kissed me and the sky was turquoise and smooth between the branches. That day everything I thought about decided to grow legs and arms and a consciousness and build cities and walk around and fly through the hitherto vacant airspace of my soul. That day I knew I loved you. And not like I had before. Not like my best friend. Not like another part of me that I’d be lost without, although you’ve been those things as long as I can remember, but as something else entirely. As something new and precious and shining and wonderful. As something completely different and completely necessary. That was the day that I saw something that was nothing less than the most real and beautiful and incomprehensible expression of God that I had ever seen. And how could I keep from loving you? And how could I keep everything inside, all that newly born metropolis of spirit, from reaching out for you with every limb and thought and movement? It was that look today. And I swear my organs all turned to granite and stopped functioning and dropped right out of my body onto the pavement, shattering into a million shards of heart and lung and thyroid and pancreas. And all of the invisible molecules of that invisible city that spins and works and lives and dies inside me, every one of them dropped what they were doing and turned and reached for you. 
You there, kicking the pavement with the toe of your scuffed shoe, hands in pockets, eyes searching mine, and I could no more have moved from that spot any more than I could have grown gills and swam away.
And you said nothing. So long. And it was probably not even a full minute, and your hand kept creeping out of its pocket, trying to say what you couldn’t. Pulling at your collar, and carving the shape of my arm in the air just beside it, without ever touching. And everything got blurry, and I had to move. To break it or I would have exploded, right there, like a star, pushing itself apart by the force of its own burning, until at that precise moment, when some tiny neutrino lodged in its furnace heart finally decides to take one baby step to the left,  and the molecular bonds burst and it soundlessly, in one cornea-melting blaze of light, and with shockwaves sent speeding out to the ends of the universe, bending grasses and expanding like ripples on a lake face, ceases to be. And so I looked away, and closed my eyes, shields to guard against that too-anguished look, and suddenly your mouth was at my ear, and your breath in hoarse whisper; a short exhale, and then, “I love you.” And one half-heart-beat of your hand on my arm, and then you were gone, striding down Jasper Lane fishing your phone out of your pocket and knocking into a trashcan on the corner.
And I had to stop in the ladies room at Harper’s Market and cry until my nose and eyes were all red and no amount of splashing with cold water was going to fix that. And my plans of moving into Dreiser tomorrow in class and then grading a little, and stopping by the field on the way home to watch the clouds over the hill, and the sky burn itself out on watercolor fire; of calling up Stephanie tonight and making hummus and working on the paper… all of that suddenly slid off the plate of today like so much spaghetti in careless hands. And I know I’ll spend twice as much time walking home than I would have, and I won’t get half of the grading done that I need to, and Stephanie will remain uncalled, and Dreiser will hang back, unintroduced, and all I will do is hear those words. Over and over. And feel the heat of your hand as it warmed the air around me and the bright spark of it when you touched my arm. And it will take weeks for me to stop looking for you to look at me like that again. To find that emotion again, hidden under the distracted smiles and the friendly, moderate words… and I don’t know how to keep myself afloat when you storm that way. And I love you, Simon. And we’re not free to say those things. And it’s not fair for you to say them. And I hate when you say them.
And good Lord, I should leave. Find some professorship in Morocco and meet some nice boat builder named Hassad, and spend our weekends on the Canary Islands taking an amateur interest in underwater photography and digging for pirate gold…
And I get as far as going online to look at openings (not necessarily in Morocco), and then I get an email from you and it’s a some obscure reference to that time we climbed the spruce tree with cables and beaners as practice for all the mountain climbing we planned to do as adults (could have perhaps found a better use for our time… ), and we got up, but couldn’t figure how to get down, and ended up spending a number of long, hungry hours clinging to sappy, scratchy limbs… and all is suddenly well again. And I can’t help smiling. And I tap the keys for a minute and then click out of the job search and get up and put some coffee on, and maybe I will call Steph after all, and I should look over the Dreiser for tomorrow, and … and that’s that, I suppose.

11 April 2011

12 October


Thunderstorms tonight. The world all compressed and shivering. The atmosphere throwing a fit. And the rain slashing the air and the lightning like electrical exclamation points. Livid punctuation. And Rodney called to check up on me when the lights went out. He’s sweet. Rodney. You remember him, he works at the University. In the library. The stacks. He’s the argyle one, but he wears it too earnestly. So it’s not really the same. Anyway, we talk from time to time when I’m in there, and we’ve done a few lunches and one or two faculty show things. So he called to check and I felt like company, so I invited him over to share the storm and figure out how to make coffee over the fire.  So he came, dear man, through driving rain and cracking thunder, and was graciously received with kerosene and candlelight.  He dried out and we burned the coffee and some of my potholders, and we played scrabble and I made one of those junior high thingies with deep questions in them and we tried to talk about faith, but he said he didn’t want to speculate on that, so we tried the space-time continuum, and he was good for that for a while- Physics degree. And then we ran out of wood and the fire died down and I got out some blankets and we wrapped up. And he decorously leaned against me. And it was very friendly and companionable. But as hard as I tried to pry some kind of … something from him; tried to lift the lid and let out whatever was trapped underneath… I think what was underneath was pretty much more of the same. And so sometimes you just have to accept that. And it’s funny. I always thought he was older. But do you know he graduated the same year as Andy. This life is a strange thing. The way we all grow up individually, becoming something that is ours alone. Made of all the same materials. Like children in preschool, we all start out with the same collection of blocks, but each child’s creation is something individual and distinct.
Anyway, it was a nice evening. Pleasant. And he was courtly and intelligent. And made a few jokes which were appreciated if not for their particular brand of humor, then at least for their existence in our evening. And he told me I was inspiring and that I made him feel so new… sigh. But if that was him all open and shiny and new… well, then there isn’t really any place to go is there? And he held my hand at the door when he left. And I smiled. And he isn’t you, Simon. And when he dropped the hot pad in the fire and we had to fish it out with the poker, he was grimly serious, and overly apologetic. And there wasn’t one comment to remember. And I couldn’t help thinking that if it had been you, that silly potholder would have become some private joke between us, and I would have kept it somewhere under the sink where I could see it and remember and laugh again. Instead of just tossing it into the wastebasket after soaking it thoroughly in the sink to get rid of the singed smell. And there was no hint of boldness in him. His eyes didn’t do any of the things that yours do. They didn’t burn and devour the way yours do when you’re on a topic that you love. They didn’t laugh or even grin when I tried to feign seriousness about my space-time questions. There wasn’t any twinkle of challenge, or lifted eyebrow of daring. They didn’t slow down and swirl with …  well, they weren’t your eyes, and the hand he offered as zenith of the night was cold and though he smiled as he took mine, his smile was just a smile. With nothing behind it but smiling. And perhaps some hoping. But what are his hopes? How big are they? Big enough? Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. Maybe I’m not being fair. He likes Tolstoy. That has to earn him points or something. If he can find something in there that twitches in him, familiar. And there’s nothing wrong with people being simply what they are.
I just… he’s just not enough. And really… his name is Rodney. He needs some nice, quiet, bright, timid Rebecca or something. I’d end up freaking him out. And I missed you tonight. And did my very best to not think about what you were doing. I’d say I was 77% successful. 

05 April 2011


Little Avelyn came up to me today. She’s beautiful. She’s like a rolling carnival of sunshine. Sparks shooting off of her in every direction. Those eyes. They’re your eyes you know. Green and deep and full. A museum of possible things. All the things that might be. That will be someday. That are the beautiful gold-leafed spines of books we have yet to read. But her smile is Adelle’s. And those silvery blonde curls. Such a fortune she was born to. What must it be like to live your days in the company of a dancing ray of light? Anyway. She was at the lake with your mother and we walked together out to the dock and sat and fed the ducks and she sang me the song about the crow who went to market. “his vest of purple and gold, hopping along the rafters, for to choose an apricot.”
                And we talked of school, she loves art class. And her best friend is Daisy Cranston. And she wanted my opinion as to whether it would be worth it to ask for a trip to Disney world for Christmas. I told her it never hurts to ask. Her legs, clad in slouching socks and scuffed pink maryjanes kicked the entire time, and she talked to the ducks. There was one, one of those beetle-shiny, green-headed males, that was particularly handsome in the bright of the day and she named him Senor Herman. She advised him to be a fair ruler (he was the duck king, you see) and to be sure that all of his drab subjects got the same number of soggy bread crusts. Then she asked what would have happened had the Emperor who had no clothes  been a duck. Because they don’t have any clothes anyway. And so nobody would have cared.
                What an amazing thing is a child. It was nice being one, but I think it may perhaps be even nicer to watch one. To watch the light burn and burn behind their eyes, and see it shoot out of their fingertips and glow down the strands of their hair. To watch it dance in their feet and swim in their expressions… of love and hate and wonder and faith and sadness.
                Your mother is well. She says you are working too hard. That you aren’t sleeping. But when have you ever slept? Always preferring the dark hours. Not wanting to miss even one minute of your life. We would stay up reading. Two books, but we’d share them so much that we’d both end up having read both books at the same time. Or out, having successfully escaped the bonds of doors and windows and walls, out under the moon, on the roof of the porch, dreaming and humming and making our plans.
                She says Adelle is doing well with Jantz. Also that she bakes an amazing lemon chiffon cake.  I think sometimes, often really, about leaving. Getting out. Maybe New York. Maybe Prague. Maybe Australia. Maybe.

04 April 2011


I caught a glimpse of a rising moon out the window on the way to the kitchen this evening, and suddenly it was the night of Caroline’s lost cat. Do you remember the moon that night? It played music for us and we tiptoed among the fir trees, trying not to make any kind of noise that might wake the Conklins, trespassing as we were on their property at close to two o’clock in the morning, calling in raspy whispers to that infernal cat. It was rising then too, the moon, and Adelle at home, because she hates to be out in the night air, and Caroline and Keith on their own whispered, tiptoed path somewhere to the west of us. And how it felt like a night stolen from time’s basket. Like a night from a fairy tale. The trees and brush softly aglow, the hush of the hour, the thrill of the air, and you taking me by the hand as we clambered over boulders and wound our way in and out of the banks of the small stream, secret in the shadows, trying to keep dry and to smother our laughter, and to not look at each other too closely, or too long, and yet wanting nothing else. You incredulous about Caroline and why in the world she would keep vital information in a pouch attached to the cat’s collar. And me sailing along at your side, talking us away from dangerous subjects, swollen inside with the warmth of your hand in mine.  And the moon an orange ember in the sky. Maize-colored and warm and near.  And we came upon that clearing all tapestried in moonlight, pinned back with glittering stars, rippled like a pool of gold, and we stood there, breathless and you took my hand in both of yours and held it to your heart. Your fingers around my wrists –as of old – where the blood ran, where life made its mysterious revolutions underneath, you used to say. And I flowed like a liquid. And my heart swam out into that glowing circle of moon and magic, and I couldn’t stop your hand from touching my hair, any more than I could stop my head from falling onto your shoulder. And you whispered my name to me there. In that insubstantial moment. Under that chimerical moon. Tonight is an infernally palpable echo. 


You came to my window that day. That yellow and grey day in autumn. You came and tapped on the glass. You with your boy’s grin and your wild eyes. And I was wrapped up in some or another project of mine, and I was annoyed to be interrupted. And I shooed you away. And you climbed inside. And sat on the windswept windowsill and laughed at me. And how could I help but laugh as well. And then you stopped and there was a sorrow hung over your face like a veil. And so we leaped from that afternoon window in the mellow brown of September and with coats and scarves we walked through the hours.
And we spoke of … oh who can recall. All of those words, spilled out like careless clouds leaking thoughts, soaking the mountains, the meadows turning to gold, the trees, dripping with syllables and phrases and snips of laughter and snags of joy. There, then, walking in a rain of careless words, each one a gossamer string tethering our hearts together, you shone like an ancient lamp in the melancholy world. So true. And also troubled. For how can truth walk untroubled through this false place and dim. Simon. It’s hard not to wish for those days back. Those days of extravagant affection. When we did not have to guard our words, our looks, our hearts. Me, at any rate. When we were wide and open and free and clean. And just a little mad. For was it you or I that day who suggested hitchhiking to Malafee?  Walking there in that narrow strip of dirt and rocks between the woods and the highway, not really believing we were doing what we were doing, and yet not really believing either that we could be doing anything else. And then that beat old dodge dart and that man that smelled of apple cider and dirty sheets. And the way we watched the world blur by out those triangle shaped windows. Listening to his plaster voice and making up wild stories to answer his barrage of questions. Sneaking eloquent looks at one another after each answer. And our grace of thought, acrobatic and aerial. And our youthed, heedless hubris. That we were alive. And wonderful. And breathtaking, and that the world was ours to ride. And I caught your hand and the circle was closed, bound look and hand to you. And our souls were in a perpetual state of giddy delight. Ravished as we were by each shining moment. By each falling leaf; that fell – as it ought – for only us. The festival of living. Simon. And now. Well. Now we are wiser. And older. And more sedate. And the leaves fall of their own accord and not ours. And the sky turns to gloom or gladness with the fronts of warm and cold, blue and red on the invisible weatherman’s map, and not to humor our whims. And you no longer climb through windows, and I won’t be hitching rides to meaningless destinations any time soon. And we are grown now. Men and women. We have tamed our souls. And taught them decorum and how to fit into the too-tight clothing that is approved by the overlooking world.
And tonight. Under this sky of lambent blue and heathered clouds. Tonight I can’t seem to quiet the restless windy Lilly inside who keeps pelting me with paper airplanes. Made of old letters. And I open each one and on it is a single word: Why?


It’s too much, sometimes. All of this. This amazing day of filtered, glittering sunshine. This shelf of books to ingest and grow from. This life full –so so full – of hope and bloom and glorious discontent. This poor, stupid, stretched-out heart of mine crammed full of the love of you. You are such a beautiful place, Simon. You are a warm, familiar landscape. You are a heart-stopping panorama view. You are an adventure on the next page; an afternoon drive through greening hills soaked in wonder and heavy with light. Simon. Such a thing is this life. How we always have so much of what we don’t want, and never enough of what we do. I suppose though, if somehow everything we wanted most fell neatly into our laps, wrapped in silver paper and tied with careless abandon, we would soon enough come to find those things dull and unimportant, and begin to long for something new. For what is man if not inconstant. An everchanging melody, never content with the verse it is on, but constantly moving through choruses and up and down transitions, leaping through narratives like badly transcribed gazelles.  Ah, these metaphors. But this is how things are with me, well you know. Flashing images pressing one hard upon the other in my restless brain. And I strive to catch them as I can. And here, I can afford to be extravagant. For no one will see these pages. Least of all, you. But the laws of reason demand that there be some kind of outlet for all of this. And I can’t seem to bring myself to write in a journal. It seems either too stuffy, and that I must make it some kind of ledgered record of the hideously mundane events of quotidianae; or, even worse; sickeningly egotistical, overflowing with every last emotion, and written in bubbly, pre-teen letters, possibly in purple ink, with all of the I’s dotted with little hearts. And so, as I can’t write that way, and because I like to pretend (I am ever so much bolder in my imagination) that I will actually say these things to you, these shall be letters. Letters to you, Simon. The boy who I, so long ago, tripped over and fell smack into love with, a fall from which I have not been able to rise. This may be because I haven’t the will to try… it’s hard to say. Sometimes I’m convinced that you’re not really anything that special. That everything I love about you is just my own imagination coloring in all the unknowns. And that loving you this way is folly. And then we speak. Or I see you somewhere, in some completely commonplace activity, and you shine, as you do, and then I know that it’s you. That you’re the one. And it doesn’t matter whether or not we can be together as others are. That it doesn’t matter even, if you know all of this, or if you feel anything similar for me… that none of this matters because none of it can be helped. And so, then, for the sole purpose of the unburdening of a too-full heart, I’m writing you. Words you’ll never read. Which gives me license to overindulge. Just a bit. Read gently, then, as you don’t read these words. With some sympathy, and whatever understanding you can muster, dear Simon who does not hold these pages in your hand. It’s all for you.