Up in the aerie, blanched sky, lavender hills, light fading. I'm refreshed from a nap, a deep sleep after two walks in the park today.
Hoo-boy. Mister Rochester? No, replied the man occupying the sunny bench with an expansive view of field and hills. He had been my prime suspect. My name's Ed. Oh sorry, I said. I continued down the path and laughed when I was well past his earshot. I suppose it's good to be able to rule him out definitively. If I'd been "that sort of a girl" - which it seems that at heart in fact I am - I might have stopped and chatted and flirted with the guy. He looks nice, a little lonely perhaps, and he readily told me his name. But of course I bolted as usual.
More bothersomely, all that ribald stuff I wrote you the other day? Well, um, I wasn't picturing you. I was picturing Ed. Which is just plain awkward, since I'm thinking of you. But now I have no image to go on whatsoever, which is going to put a major crimp in my ability to fantasize. A Rubicon of sorts - I've been thrown back on shore.
And why haven't you dropped me a line, anyway? Do you get so many like submissions? Quotes from E.D. letters spring to mind : "Oh, did I offend it?" (#248, one of the Master letters). Was it too much? Or, to Thomas Higginson, "Are you too deeply occupied to say if my Verse is alive?" (#260) Really! I mean - you came out of the blue to request it. And I was delighted to oblige, truly. I tried to be crystal clear as I knew how. I am happy to re-caress ambiguities, perhaps to amplify - but my dear sir - under the circumstances is it too much to expect a word?
And yet whatever is going on I instantly forgive you. Though that's hardly the word. We're so stuck, both of us, it seems.
It's the gloaming, the radio pleasantly plays downstairs, D is in his workshop tapping away at something. He recovered my grotty old desk blotter with a fresh bit of the same fabric, a rich burgundy and persimmon pattern of stylized hearts. I imagine the cloth is from India, and I get lost in it, it's very romantic and erotic at the same time. I'm glad to have it back bright and new, along with beautiful new silver coasters for my wine glass.
My mind always restlessly works at problems, tries to undo knots. A dance card of possible number two's floats to view. But I thought you were gay, I did. You didn't seem interested in me at all, and there were all those images of nude men about the place. It is hard to imagine it's you. Another fellow or two - like this: you are very, very married as far as I could ever tell, and besides I'm acquainted with your lovely wife. And then the guy I did try to flirt with last spring - well it seems that Pamela Anderson's his type, and besides he's single so I don't think he would need to be reticent. I might have hoped it was him, honestly - but am sure it isn't.
Other than that it's who - the postman?
So I beat on, head against the wall, borne back ceaselessly onto the same old shore.
Good night, my darling angels.