Friday, April 16, 2010

Dear You (Message in a Bottle)

Dear You,

Maybe this is a monumentally bad idea. But as I see it, I have nothing left to lose by saying it, and one helluva lot to lose by not saying it. Trouble is, I don't have a lot of options about how to say it. So here goes nothin'. The Hail Mary pass. Maybe you'll read it, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll hate me for it. Maybe you'll be appalled or insulted by such a public display. But... maybe you won't. And maybe, just maybe, if my luck is very, very good and I don't screw up the words too badly we can have the conversation I've so badly wanted to have with you -- with you.

I'm so weary of that word "maybe". It's defined my existence for a long time now. See I never guessed that I had so much trouble saying what I meant to say, the thoughts, the feelings that I wanted to express so much. And the frustration of knowing that -- now when it's possibly probably too late -- is enough to bring me to tears. Especially today when I hear you say that nobody's ever told you the very thing I have tried so.damned.hard to tell you for so.damned.long. And in the very next breath, you practically repeat my own words back to me. In substance if not verbatim.

I said it point blank once:
"I don't have some illusion of some theoretical objective 'perfection' at work here. There's no measuring device, no scale, no punchlist of criteria. I see what I see and call it perfect. Without qualification, and without apology. As is."
Do you remember? It wasn't that long ago. You, of course, deflected it by calling me "too kind" or "too sweet". Because that's what you do. No matter how many times I try to tell you that being kind doesn't make something less true.

Is there a better way to say that? Probably. Maybe. But I don't know how. Somehow you got the idea from it -- or maybe from something else, who knows? -- that I'd created some model of you to feed my own ego. It isn't ego that makes me write this, or any of the poetry or letters or any of the rest. I write what I think, what I feel, because I know these things with absolute certitude. But they're the only things I know with any certitude at all. I write it from my side because I can't write it from yours.

I hope you'll hear what I'm saying -- unfiltered. Because that's how I'm trying to write it. Unfiltered, no subtext, no hidden layers. Because it's important to say it out loud. Even not knowing if you'll ever read it, or if you do read it if you'll take from it what I'm trying to put into it. Even not knowing if it matters to you that I said it. Sometimes you have to have the conversation -- even if you have to have it by yourself. And all the pretty words in the dictionary don't amount to shit if they don't say what you mean. So here's what I mean.

I love you.

Sorry. I know the "L" word makes you squirm. But no other word fits. As simple and as complicated and messy as that gets, when you distill it to the essentials, that's all I really have to say. I can wrap it in subtleties and talk around the "L" word but it still means the same fundamental thing. I love you. My mistake, my fatal mistake, was that I tried to give you that love. What I realize now is that I can't give it to you. I can only offer it. It's up to you to accept it. I knew that once. I just forgot, apparently.

I love you. That doesn't change. Because you are you, and that doesn't change. And that's good enough. You're good enough. I tried to tell you that, I guess I didn't do it right. So there it is in plain English.

The door is open and there's coffee on. That's all I can do. I can't walk in and sit down for you. But I'll leave the light on for you.

Because I love you.
I just do.


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