Love Letters

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But let us talk of passion that comes to us but once (maybe twice, if we are aware and attuned to its stirrings) and only to the brave. It comes with surrender and a willingness to abandon all the stuff that gets in the way of possibilities. Passion is the thief of opportunity. That brief space where all rational thought is forsaken and we take hold of the moment … that instant we know to be filled with regret … but only if we fail to act. Passion is never safe. Neither is it for the faint of heart. It is a wild flower flourishing in the landscape of untamed desires. (Excerpt from a Love letter, 2003)

Women have always devastated me. When you consider the fact that I consider myself to be a hopeless romantic  …  hopeless being the operative word here. You know that guy in all the movies who ends up saying and doing all those weird and outrageous things trying to win the girl he wants? Well, that would so much be me back in the day  …  well, possibly just the other day as far as that matters. I’ve made a fool of myself in the name of love so often that I’m not even embarrassed by it anymore. It’s just that I’m really passionate when it comes to romance and love, which can be quite a contradiction, especially, since I really do consider myself to be the head cheerleader for male “quirkyaloness.” Still, when a woman really strikes my fancy, I have a tendency to pull out all the stops  …  and being a writer on top of it, well, that’s inescapably a recipe for romantic insanity and some of the most creative, sensual and (often after the fact) embarrassing love letter ever to be written.

So, in honor of St. Valentine and all those other free-fall-lovers out there willing to sacrifice their integrity for that one (regardless of how shinning the prose) that still got away, I offer up some of my best written love letters of years gone by. Of course, the names have been changed to protect me from the innocent.

 Love letter # 1

So, back in the early 90s, I met this girl, and we went to this really pedestrian Kevin Costner movie titled For Love of the Game (which, if I recall, was probably the beginning of Costner’s steady descent into grade-B moviedom). Anyway, there was a scene in the movie that had one of those lines, you know, the kind that make women pause. And I remember the line so well, because in the moment he said it, even in the darkness, I could actually hear my date crack a smile.

So, this was probably our third date, and we hadn’t even kissed yet, and I remember dropping her off and going home and thinking about that line, and her smiling. So the next morning I sat down and wrote her this letter.

September 28th

Dear Jeanette,

It’s raining.

I can hear the raindrops tapping at my window like small stones tossed by some secret lover calling me out into the morning light. The sounds of early morning traffic are scarcely audible above the gentle hum of my computer, and my cat is softly creeping up the stairs stalking out the comfort of my touch.

Monday morning. I think about you. Startled out of dreams by the sudden shrieking of your alarm; surrendering the warmth of comfortable quilts for the cold, harsh brush of carpeted floors. I imagine you in flannel pajamas, or maybe silk lace bra and panties  …  or if I dare let my imagination run with the risqué  …  I can glimpse you just briefly, naked and soft and warm.

I wonder. What are you thinking about as you shower? As the steam rises up around you in the cool of day. Are you thinking about the day ahead? The work undone? All the people who’ll gather later around the office water cooler to talk about their children, debt and vacations, and how badly they all wanted to stay home today … just to listen to the rain.

I feel blessed.

On this wet and wonderful Monday morning with autumn crying outside my window because summer has suddenly fled. I am sitting here  …  awash in the blue sea of my computer’s glow  …  sheltered from the storm  …  thinking about you and wondering what you look like in the morning.

For me  …  life is now. And now is always best to say the things we want and do the things we like. Unlike love, life makes no promises beyond the present moment … and here, in this moment  …  alone on this planet circling the sun  …  I am thinking about you and wondering  … what do you feel like in the morning?

I am a poet.

And few people understand what it means to be a poet in the world today. To be a poet is to embrace that which is unreal. Because in today’s reality based, technologically enhanced society, that which is unreal is unsure, and that which is unsure is full of mystery. And when life is full of mystery it tends to no longer feel safe and secure.

I am a poet.

I celebrate the mystery of life; court its meanings and indulge its pleasures. I am amazed at the magnitude of its beauty … whether it’s a sky ablaze with the blush of a setting sun … or a child suckling sleep in the hearth of its mother’s arms … or the sweet, soft scent of woman sitting next to me … in a movie theater … in a darkness broken only by the whispering movement of a smile. 

I am a poet.

Sometimes unsure. Always unhurried. Often at odds with a world that no longer suffers poets gladly.
I am not afraid to cry … to feel deeply…to laugh loudly … to love completely … foolishly … and with sheer abandon.

I am a poet.

Here at this moment … in that darkness … on this morning … thinking about you and wondering … .
“How do you like to be kissed?”

Later that week, after returning from an evening out, she handed me her keys to open the front door, and as she stepped inside, she suddenly turned and threw her arms up around my neck and kissed me.

Ah, the power of good prose.

Postscript: Oh, and how did she like to be kissed? Slowly at first … then again with a special madness.


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