Letters Unsent – Part I

Came across this on tumblr, and since it’s only 7, there’s a slightly better than zero chance that I might actually finish it.   It’s to write seven letters, one each to: an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, current/future child, crush/current significant other, mother, tumblr, father, future self (one year from now.)

In an uncharacteristic turn of events, I am actually going to attempt to write this straight.  That said, no promises, right?

*     *     *     *     *

Dear James

I still don’t know if you’re even alive or not.  How fucked up is that?  You’ve such a common name, and were so far off the grid to begin with, that I’ve never really been able to figure it out.  I don’t know if that’s what you wanted or not, but that’s the way it is.

I wish I could tell you I’m sorry.  I know you felt like I led you on, and lied to you, and twisted your life around on you.  I don’t believe that I did, really, but I know you felt that way, and I’m sorry for that.  I wish I could have been more honest with myself, so I could be clearer with you.

It was always frustrating to me that you seemed to be most committed when I was farthest away.  Maybe it was just bad timing, but maybe it was just something about you, and you with me.  When I was happiest, you would decide you needed to be away.  When I finally decided to walk away, the first time,   and moved back to Michigan, you were suddenly so committed to me it was frightening.

But we did “the long distance thing,” for almost a year.  I realized, the closer it got to you moving to Michigan, that I didn’t want that anymore.  Not that I didn’t want you, anymore, because we were always good, but that I didn’t want ‘us’ anymore.  So we broke up, and you were hurt, and angry.  I was, too, but I knew where it came from.  You didn’t, really, and I always felt bad about that.

Time passed, and we talked again.  I don’t remember why, really, if you called me or vice versa.   But we started talking.  I went to San Diego for a weekend, and it was good.  And then, when I came back…  everything fell apart.  I never got to talk to you again.  You simply… disappeared.  When I tried to get information from your roommates, they were cruel.  They said it was on your behalf.  Maybe it was.  I don’t know.  You had a cruel streak, I know, but I never really thought of you as the kind of person to hide behind others.  But maybe that was all part of it, part of the revenge. 

I want to know why things went down the way they did.  What your intention was, why it played out the way it did.  Did you just freak out and walk away?  Did you do what you did in an attempt to deliberately hurt me?  Did your spiteful roommates make everything up?  Are you even still alive to tell me one way or another?

I’ve learned though, the hard way, that no matter how ready I am for closure, I can’t expect anyone else to be on the same page with me for that.  I’ve learned… not to “be okay” with it, but to live with it, anyway.  That’s the hardest thing I think I learned from ‘us.’  To live with not knowing.  I still don’t like doing it, but at least now I know I can.

There’s so much I don’t remember, and so much that I do.  I’ve forgotten how your skin shaded from one color to the next, but I remember how your skin felt, the way your hair coiled so tightly.  I’ve forgotten how to make you laugh, but I remember the way it sounded when you did, when you really laughed.    I don’t remember what color your eyes were, but I remember how they would crinkle at the edges, the unguarded way you would smile.  I can’t remember where you worked, but I remember the way your body moved on a bike, how little body fat you had.  I don’t remember your facial hair, but I remember your tattoos.

I don’t mountain bike, anymore.  Not that it has to do with you, really.  It does a little, I think, but more it has to do with opportunity, and living in Michigan.  I still have the Nishiki, though.  It could use a tune-up.  When I do bike, I always wear a helmet.  I still remember how to make bruschetta, too, though I rarely do.  I still don’t much like early Metallica, but I think my taste in music has gotten more interesting, if not better.  I’ve tried marijuana, now.  Mostly it just makes me sleepy, so I don’t bother.  I don’t have any new tattoos, but I probably will in the next year.  I have a monroe, now, but that’s the only new piercing.  Oh, and I’ve stretched my ears – I’m up to a 6 gauge, now, and I plan to go up to a 4, or maybe a 2.

I’m married, now.  He’s good, and he pushes me to be better.  There are some ways you’re a lot alike – he’s as tall as you, and wiry – but so many more that you’re not.   I don’t know if you’d like each other.  Probably – you’re both good at talking to people, and don’t have a much patience for pretense.  He’s better at hiding his impatience, but I think you would appreciate each other’s genuine-ness.

I hope you are still alive.  If you are, I hope that you’ve found something of what you were looking for.  Happiness, or challenge, or belonging.  Whatever it is your heart needs most.  If you’re still angry with me, I hope that anger pushes you to be a better person, somehow.  If it doesn’t, I hope you’ll let it go.  If you’ve found someone, I hope they like you for who you are, and that they respect you at least as much as I did.  I hope, for your sake, that they’re better at self-knowing than I ever was.

If we ever meet again, I hope we can talk to each other.  It’s okay if we can’t, and I expect it would be pretty awkward, but still.  I hope we can.

I know there are probably ways that I could find you, find out what happened to you.  But I feel like this is the way you wanted it to be, this is the boundary you drew.  I think it’s not for me to invade that boundary.  Maybe that’s silly and confrontation-avoidant of me.  I don’t know.

There’s a lot I don’t know.  Maybe that’s what you really taught me. All the closest ways there are for me to not know.  I’m not sure whether I can thank you for that or not, but maybe I should.  Maybe, someday, I will.

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One thought on “Letters Unsent – Part I

  1. You write in a way that lets me feel the honesty of your feelings… very ingenuous.. ( I didn’t know I’d get to use that word today, but it applies. )

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