Monday, December 08, 2008

If the Best is For the Best, Then the Best Can be Damned


I will begin these letters, with a letter about a letter....

dear first love,
The year I was smitten by the poet at school and I learned how to drop leaves by doors for others to pick up. The year I took my first prescribed depression medication and I painted my friends nude to tell their stories for them. at the end of that year, you wrote me a letter. at the end of that year and you were standing there. actually. there. thinking better of giving it to me, but still you did. and i couldn't believe you. not really. I wanted to ask you where you had gone all those years back. why you hadn't written or wanted to meet. i wanted to tell you were too late. that i had loved you. and that my heart had broken and mended with string so tight it wouldn't let you in. again. That my love was buried too deep by then. you see. Beneath all that silence and space. oceans and oil paints. New loves. newer heartbreaks. so I buried your letter and told you I wasn't interested. I loved you safely because I was scared. I loved you not enough to get hurt. as best I could. at arms distance. as a brother, i would later say. I laughed at your jokes. bought a new raincoat. told you stories about what my life had been like between then and now.

(It's now that I see we loved each other at different times. and maybe the same times. only became too good at hiding it, you and i. keeping it from the ourselves. from each other. like a secret. or a daydream. )

4 years later and yesterday I found your letter, looking for Christmas ornaments in boxes I rarely open. Discovered, along with it, that you were married last month and had these lines at the corners of your mouth. I wanted you to know. The letter didn't bring me back to you, as maybe, once long ago you had hoped it would. Rather, it did something altogether different. It reminded me that I was worth it once. That I still am. That love should fold maps, thread through time, makes fools of us all. That it's that kind of love that, in the end, will remind me over again of my story. my worth. my redemption. that will give me the courage to speak the truth about how much love that I. you. all of us. deserve. I will also admit that the letter and following discoveries evoked, for a brief moment, phrases, true or socially acceptable...i am too late. the best is for the best. congratulations. But these do not speak total truth or real honesty, nor do I know if that is possible. So, instead, I will say thank you. thank you for reminding me of what I deserve. Your letter had a purpose and I'm glad you gave it to me.
I wanted you to know.
Thank you,
ashley

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