daily preciousness

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

open letter

Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Dear [insert boyfriend's name here],

You just left my apartment. I leaned up against the door for about 5 minutes after you walked out. I kept replaying the conversation in my head. Over and over again, I tried to come up with better replies or more thoughtful, insightful arguments to dissuade you. But I realize that no amount of rhetoric or debate could change the way you feel.

Let me tell you something about myself: I am a complete and total romantic. I have already imagined honeymoons and china patterns with a new beau by the second date. It's just part of my hyper-hopeful nature. Mainly, I think that's a good thing. The world needs more romantics. But it has its drawbacks, as well. Usually, I just end up beating a dead horse (the relationship), flailing it until I can't fillip it anymore. (To deliver a swift blow -- I used my new word today!)

Now, armed with the knowledge that I am a romantic fool, maybe you can see that it's best that you were kind enough to let me about your emotional state and lack of romantic leanings. You did right by your promise to "yoroshiku," or treat me with the utmost care and tenderness. (That's the Japanese word that I mentioned the other night when you called to tell me everything. I could hear your voice breaking. The static from the cell phone didn't hide the tension in your voice.)

Part of me wants to say, "Gee, that's the elaborate story anyone has ever told me just to break up with me -- I mean, all he had to do was say he wasn't interested. He didn't have to use the recent spate of terrorist bombings as an excuse. (Hint from Heloise: That's the part of me that uses humor as a defense mechanism against feeling bad about myself.)

Another part of me just whimpers a little and feels a whole heap of self-pity.

The majority of my spirit is very hopeful, however, that you'll let me be your friend and allow me to come to your aid during this difficult time. You mentioned that this is a difficult time for you because of the tremendous uncertainty that you're feeling. I can imagine what that must be like; it reminds me of the first time I crossed a river with white-water rapids.

In whitewater rapids, the large rocks that lie along the riverbed are rarely very sturdy -- the changing current causes them to shift from hour to hour, day to day. Therefore, they are really very unsteady. Each step I took, from one slippery rock to another, was a treacherous journey. As I began the crossing, I was holding somebody's hand, trying to help them. But when I noticed how difficult it was to take each step, I knew that I had to make the perilous crossing alone, using my hands to steady myself, totally unburdened by anyone else.

Maybe, like my river crossing, this is the time to take your journey alone. I can understand that. Sadly, it doesn't make it any easier for me.

Picking china patterns -- the part I said earlier -- that's a bit of a hyperbole. But I am a total romantic at heart. I did greedily envision some happiness between us, especially when we shared an intimate moment on la sofa d'amour not that long ago. I hope that experience wasn't entirely devoid of emotion on your part, because it was ripe with feelings on my end. Why did I have those feelings? Simple, really.

I am in awe of you; you are so incredibly beautiful to me, [insert guy's name here], inside and out. I say that without a hint of regret. I say it with conviction and longing and wonder. And, I suppose, I say it with a tinge of desperation. But I proclaim it, nonetheless. As I write these words, I see through blurry eyes that you weren't the only guy who cried tonight.

The mysterious February 13th thing I invited you to was an LSU student (non-discriminatory) kiss-in at midnight on the steps of the university bell tower.

If we'd lived in the 60s, I would have dressed you up in tie-dyed clothes, strung some daisies into a wreath and crowned you with them, listened to some freedom rock in my VW bug, then driven you to a kiss-in. I would have thrown a picnic basket in the front of the car, rolled down the windows and taken you for the ride of your hippie life.

Instead, we have to settle for a lame attempt at beating the world's record for kissing couples in 2001.

Anyway, I invited you to the kiss-in hoping that you might have feelings for me and that it would be a fun surprise. But in light of our recent conversation, I realize that it would be inappropriate for me to ambush you with that sort of thing. So I'll understand if you'd like to sit this one out.

(I've never been to one before and I've also only very, very rarely had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day. So I thought that I'd satisfy two goals on a single date. I'm nothing if not efficient in my romantic agenda-setting....)

I wanted this to be a non-stressful letter for you to read and for me to write. You don't deserve any more difficulty in your life right now. Or any excess uncertainty, for that matter. I hope I didn't add to it. But I wanted to express my feelings to you in a non-threatening, non-passive aggressive manner. (I can be sorta PA sometimes.)

At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, it's important for you to face all of this uncertainty right now. But don't fear the unsteady footing that this crossing may present you. It's part of being in a state of flux and a state of crisis. Use it to your advantage. The Chinese character for crisis is the radical for danger + the one for opportunity. Try to keep that in mind right now.

I wish I had some great pearls of wisdom for you right now. I wish I could end this note with something grand, inspiring, life affirming and smile inducing. But I can't. I'm just a simple, lonesome, romantic guy and all I can say is that if you need me, I remain

Right here if you need me,

Jeffrey

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