I could write you a love letter right now, and I don’t know why, or why I don’t. It would be nice, wouldn’t it.
It would be nice if I wrote you some beautiful little something about how sorry and ashamed I am and how proud of you and how grateful that you’re on this planet and that you were mine and I was yours and how I don’t want to not know you, how I can’t stand the thought of you as just a thought, one among many, a big one of course, but just a thought nonetheless. Because I’ve been trying and trying to sort those thoughts out, the ones about you, about me and about how I’ve been, how I was, what I said and believed and did, who I am and becoming, and the ones about who you are and were and what this is now and was in some motley, manifold then and won’t anymore be, can’t, it seems.
That’s nice, you’d say. And you’d be right. I’d say now that you mention it I’ve heard that nice isn’t a very nice word. Nice is tolerable, it’s enough, at once both sufficient and superfluous, it’s a throw-away, it’s having nothing else to say or not wanting—or caring—to say what you do. Nice isn’t what’s needed here, it’s too dumb and too easy and too plain, and it’s all been said and said and said before.
No, a love letter wouldn’t be nice. It’d say I want you to know me, now, even if obliquely, even if only through these words here and all the other words I ever write, no matter who or what else is in your life, just know that I’m me and I’m here and I’m going to keep moving, bringing it all with me, dedicating my ever-better, moving, unstuck, honest, same old me to you, whether you want it or not, because I do. And I don’t have to tell you why, I’d say, because I’m sick of explanations. I just do.
I wouldn’t say why, wouldn’t need to, but I would say that a lot has happened for me to get here, to the point of writing you, unwritable girl. And a lot hasn’t happened, too. It’s been slow slow slow. I’d say you may not care to know and that’s ok but I’m feeling less and less suspended between worlds, between truth and falsity, between openness and secrets, between then and now, between words and actions, between you and everything else. I’ve never succeeded in disentangling you from my life, mind, or heart, and that I’m ashamed I’ve tried, I’d say. I’d say I think of you approximately 17.4 times per day, tell stories about you as if you might show up one day and then everyone can see what I mean and say so that’s her, get caught in reminiscences that feel so present I wonder if I’m coming unhinged before I remember that they’re just the candid discourse of mind and heart, friends again at last, not without their antagonisms and brotherly altercations but in it together till the end.
Don’t even try to tell me that’s nice, I’d say, because I’m not asking for forgiveness or looking for pity or even concern, not at all, and not asking to be part of your life again. I’m just telling you I’m picking up all the pieces and you’ll never mean nothing, could never, and I will never forget what we did, who we were, what we had; this will not be packed away in a trunk and hidden in some out-of-mind recess of my heart or over-and-out-written from my mind. It is, and as far as this ever-better, moving, unstuck, honest, same old me can tell will always be wrapped around and weaved through both.
And whoever gets me next, assuming someone does, will have to know that. She’ll have to be enough of a woman to know that when the breeze blows just right and I hear the songs and see our faces and feel the places that held us and tears well up and I can’t speak it’s because you, we, and everything around us made me what I am and what I want to become.
That’s what my letter would say.
I could write you a love letter, and I guess I just did. That’s nice. I miss you is all, I miss my friend, that’s really all, and it will be.
P.S. – I will always…