What I am trying to say is, if I had ever known love, it was for you. That is why I keep thinking only of the horrible hurt I cradled in my heart all those months through. I don’t think of the summers of aching from when I was fifteen or the still sunshod afternoons of last December,when I think of having loved.
So here I am writing about you again. I would not want to quote Neruda at you if I saw you now, believe me, I remember always having thought your features comically misaligned upon your face.But there has never been anything I could romanticise with the same ease as I can absence, so here I am.
Because that is just what it is. I have fallen for absence, for impossibility for distance, and even as I do not long for you anymore,that is what i continue to do. In writing to you, I am keeping alive the only thing I ever loved- I am keeping alive a mirage. For surely it was only the dusk playing tricks upon my eyes when I fancied I saw the softness in yours?
But that was a long time ago-a long time back when I would perch upon the balcony and watch the sunshine ruffle through the leaves with all the wonder of a child first seeing light. Everything that was dazzling and glorious then has simmered into banality now. A winter has passed and a summer and a winter …and here we are.
I don’t know if you know about the acute horror with which the world is collapsing around us, around all we once swore we held dear,and I cannot do much but write to you. Write to me. If, once, I had so much love to hold in my heart, surely our lives are not quite as redundant, our aches not quite as futile, as we have come to believe?
I wanted nothing more than to sink into banality with you. That was it, really, I wanted no grandeur more than what lay thick upon the autumn air that evening. I wanted it to be us, that crisp azure morning in the budding spring…I wanted it to be us that December dusk as the year limped to a close.
I wanted the starlit skies, the sprawling city lights clustering around us, the night biting cold upon our bare skin. I wanted 4 a.m. alone in my room, and I wanted it to be you.
This is the way love letters go. Love letters which couldn’t end up anywhere but plastered grotesque upon bright laptop screens for the public eye. To rue over common fates, to jeer at mawkish sentimentality.
I don’t even know you… anymore, or maybe I never did. Or maybe I was eleven and you were the bright-eyed child sitting beside me in Maths, maybe I was fifteen and you were obsessive ache projected onto something near-human,maybe I was sixeen and you were hope, and maybe I was eighteen and you were the rain beating down upon my borrowed umbrella that first day of college. And maybe I am almost twenty and I roll my eyes too much, making a ritual out of only aching for the distant, the lost, the unattainable.
Maybe you were the first two lines in a poem about loss I started and scratched out and started all over again, maybe you were the unexplained smile I woke up with at five in the morning. Maybe you were the hurt that would not let me sleep at all, the bitter that woke me up a couple of hours from midnight and would not let me return since.
I don’t know, and I have given up looking for the answers. But I do know this- there can be a home amidst the hurt…and I am self indulgent to return every now and then.