Wednesday, October 3, 2012

on love letters.

It's always a little less romantic to imagine all of those love letters I've written out in my life. Often smoking cigarettes on docks and piers, laying in hammocks, bent over that tall, wobbly black table that still sits in my old house. Candles everywhere, darkness on every part, ghosts in the corners. Nothing hidden away at all. Then later, love letters written on my typewriter, sitting at that old heirloom oak desk, that used to be my great uncle's, that used to sit at the welding shop before my father made the old parts better, oiled the old oak and layered the rest.

Salinger makes me feel guilty about my love letters. I imagine writing the same thing over and over and over, an really meaning it every time I wrote it. But I always jumbled the parts, I always melded up my love into one person that I wrote the same letter to over and over and over again. Maybe I wrote all of those love letters to all of those parts of the world because I never wrote one letter to the person I should have written to when I could have.

Now, teaching in the same place where my life completely came apart, where everything was just a wreck of a world and so so black. It didn't just feel black. I couldn't feel anything then.

Yesterday, I sat on a bench eating an apple, right outside the door where, twelve years ago, I fell in, hysterically crying and interrupting a biology class. The world still hurts. Sitting on that bench yesterday eating an apple, I could feel the ghosts around me; all of those phantom feelings pressing in. Just constantly vibrating against my skin and I have to be very still in those moments because if I know if I move, just slightly, I could easily fall back into that cold and quiet well.

I think about this everyday. I eat my apples and pears, I read my books, I write I work I wash my hair, but there's still that same sad feeling of all those letters where I said the wrong things, all of those transposed feelings where everything gets jumbled and confused.

It's always so romantic to imagine a man, in a room at a typewriter, writing something that's genuine, something he feels, something that means something. This is not the same image of a woman. It may still be dark, in a room with a typewriter, but she's always half mad, half anxious, she always half means it. I don't know why this is. I just know that when I see a woman, bent over a type writer, writing a love letter to some man that's not far away because he has to be, but because he wants to be, then I alway always always feel terrible; I always think she's doing the wrong thing all together.

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