daily preciousness

Saturday, November 18, 2000

unsent (part two)

We used to write letters. That was before the dawn of widespread electronic communication. Pen to paper, paper to envelope, envelope to receiver. It was a quaintly beautiful process.

Why don't we still do it? Well, times change. But the need to share our thoughts remains constant.

I had a few thoughts to share with some folks who were very important parts of my life. They remain important to me, but they've moved on. In a way, so have I, but I continue carry joyful thoughts of our time together.

And I wanted to verbalize those nebulous memories into something a little more concrete. In this case, words seemed to work nicely. So I wrote to them, to my former paramours, loves, sweethearts ... and to my various other romantic entanglements. The letters remain (and will remain unsent), but I decided to post them here.

Dear Chip,

You were a welcome sight when I took my first vacation back home from Japan. Your smile alone was worth the trip. You know what? I nearly cried when I saw your performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?. I did cry when you told me, three years after the fact, that I�d broken your sweet heart. Sorry, but those disgusting Jell-O shots you bought me didn�t soften the blow.

I am so sorry about my incomplete affections toward you. What was wrong with me? I still had feelings for Joel, despite the emotional and physical distance that separated us.

Whenever I see a Bertolucci film, I think about your tiny second-story apartment, the smell of tobacco and your warm hands wrapped around mine.

Dear Jeff,

I remember when we first met on the way to the sumo festival. I nearly fell into a rice paddy staring into your bondi blue eyes.

You know what? I never noticed your disability until you told me. I do notice that the only good picture I have of you is in a purple afro wig. Life�s crazy that way.

Thank you for coaxing me toward a new level in my relationships. You taught me such tenderness. You know, for such a powerful man, I�m still astonished at your gentle nature. You showed me how ultimately masculine being vulnerable can be.

Remember the police interrogation I went through to recover your wallet? Thanks for preventing an international incident, smoothing over the legal rough edges with your pidgin Japanese! From you I learned that enthusiasm can trump eloquence any day. Thank you, my dear sensei from Edmonton. I�ll take a rain check on my skiing lessons one day soon.

Dear Kyle,

A little part of me knew that you never loved me. But a little part of you probably did. We were both wrong.

I still love you. And I�m not afraid to say it anymore. Having gone through a Narcissus/model, it�s good that I graduated to you, my Adonis/computer networker, with brawn and brains!

Goddess Shiva knows you�ll never be an optimist. Take my advice -- assume the best and it might just occur. Case in point: It did when I met you.

Dear Patrick,

I�ve heard that everything�s bigger in Texas. Maybe your Texas-sized expectations were inflated, too. But maybe I was to blame. I wasn�t as great a guy as I should have been for you.

I expect you to reach impressive heights, my handsome friend. Everything will be coming up roses, theatrically speaking.

Writing you was a springboard toward this essay. I thank you first for our estrangement and second for the emotional inroads that breached the divide. Every time we visit, I always leave with a smile on my face.

I sincerely hope that you go to grad school. I know that you�d feel at home there and that you�d enjoy some more time in academia. It�s a great place for you to grow and develop, professionally and personally. I can�t wait to hear about your soon-to-come success.

With gusto this time,

Jeffrey


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