My dearest, I was so delighted to get your shower of page hits this afternoon. You travel more than anyone I've ever met, by far. I wonder if you're an air marshal to boot, so that beyond FF miles you get some add'l spare change for all that mileage you log, plus something else to do besides reading the inflight magazine cover to cover -- you're probably done with February's already, and it's still January. Oh sweetheart, I just looked at your picture, the one of you gazing down absently while you peel a clementine, your wife looking away in her own world entirely -- everyone in their own worlds - at least in that single snapshot I surreptitiously managed to take. Except that a couple of other people, extraneous from my point of view to the subject I was trying to catch, are grinning at me as if posing for the camera. As much as I like them (as far as I know them) I have cropped them out of the shot, so as to better attend - to you.
My mood isn't so much better today, maybe a bit - I don't know - what's my temperature? is there a thermometer for this? I feel quite certain in my gut that that letter had to do with who I think it had to do with, and really there was nothing too surprising or new for me to learn in it, except maybe - well, a few very general sketched details, as to a way of life. He doubtlessly is forming the word 'lurid' in his mind, with reference to my imagination, but I believe he has given plenty of - words fail me - bait? grist for the mill? reason for me to 'go there'? I have got to work this out of my system - and I will, I will - I have in the past, I will again -- it was just a fresh shot, so unexpected.
Words I wish to lay out today like tiles, or flash cards. Distaste. Horror. These differ from yesterday's.
"... the wheels go round and round." Do you think it's because my father was a violent alcoholic, very physically and verbally abusive to me, and otherwise "emotionally unavailable"? Though he was never, as far as I know, sexually abusive. But maybe that kind of girlhood does predispose one -- all these years later, to being absolutely drawn to someone "charismatic," a bit out of one's league. (I'm paraphrasing; I've killed the letter, in an effort to try to stop torturing myself. I never was a physical 'cutter' or 'hair-puller' - no I pick at scabs - well yes I do do that - in a very different, cerebral way.)
I think I relate to letter-writer too. She's on the outside looking in. I have an image in my mind's eye of charming him having lunch or drinks with an attractive woman - or women. (You would be impressed with your competition, he once wrote me.) Letter-writer isn't invited to those fun & elegant lunches at the local Swoon. Instead he arrives at her rental condo. That figured in my fantasies today. I was her. I came, so did he. And then he left - he had places to go, chores to do.
The guy who used to live across the street from me has a poem in the NYRB that arrived in my mailbox this morning. I went across the road in the brilliant sun to check the mail, was delighted to see the NYRB, stood there right in the road perusing the contents, surprised to see his poem - "wow, he's all over the place now," I thought, and I turned to the page, and I read it, and I liked it, though it's a bit too exquisite/arcane/erudite for me -- I would have to look up many references to fully get it. Still - I did get it - what with the scene, and the longing, and the alliteration, and the general hotness. I was about to go for a walk, changed my mind, went back in. I had to have it, right then.
Great minds think alike.
Gotta go. Feed the cat, I don't know, fill out a grant application, go to the deli with my wife -- see you sweetheart, don't call me I'll call you, maybe - what's today? Tuesday? Yeah, I like you, and I feel guilty. Probably Saturday. But if not, then maybe next week sometime.