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The Letter You
The Letter You
Weekends are always weird for me. It’s when we have the most contact as we coordinate taking care of the pups. I know there will be phone calls or emails involved and I’m getting used to them now as I learn to deal with you post marriage. I was, however, unprepared to deal with today.
I found the plastic bin in the garage right where you said it would be. I fished around briefly but it appeared to be all my stuff so I just threw the whole thing in my car. Little did I know, I would find much more than physical stuff.
First off, why would you bother to include one shoe? Did you get a chuckle out of this? Then there is the XBOX . Finding it kind of made me laugh. You bought it for me but always hated it. You hated that I could disappear in it for hours, that my friends would come over and the tournament of drinking, laughing and verbal abuse might last a weekend. Childish? Sure but damn did we have fun.
Then I found the cards and letters - maybe ten of the dozens you gave me over the years. I’ve never been sentimental about these things and I don’t even know why I kept them. Maybe out of obligation to honor the effort you put into them. One of them was eight years old, I think the first letter you ever sent me. You couldn’t sleep and instead of waking me with your tossing you made tea and wrote that you’d love me forever. Next came a series of birthday cards, Valentines Day cards, and Christmas cards. I didn’t remember any of them. Last was an apology letter. Who knows what we were fighting about but you were glad we worked through it and knew that in the end it would only make us stronger. There was nothing else for me to do with them but walk outside and set them alight. Please believe me when I tell you that I didn’t do this out of anger or spite but that I needed them gone, destroyed, disintegrated so they would never haunt me or taunt me again. I didn’t enjoy doing this.
But now that they are gone, the words still linger. I want to feel that these were all lies. More than anything I need to know it was all bullshit because there is no way to go from where we were at the time these letters were written to where we are now. There was such beauty and love in these letters where now, not even anger or hate survives. There is only nothingness.
Sadly, I know that it was all me - that I was selfish and lazy and took you for granted and no love can withstand that. I also know that you have forgiven me my faults yet I’m disgusted by my own actions. To have driven you to this place is a failure of cosmic proportions.
The last thing I found was a small maroon box. I knew what it was and hoped a thousand hopes that it was empty. Lifting the lid revealed a small velvet pouch held closed by a thin crimson braided cord. I loosened the string and out tumbled that item that can only be described as the albatross around my neck - a small silver frog adorned with tiny golden crown. I always felt like your frog prince. Like I had so much more inside of me that would blossom in your presence. I am still that man that has come so far and still has so far to go. It sits next to me as I write this and I don’t know what to do with it. It sits here taunting me, a symbol of all my failures. If you were here you’d know what to do. You always were the smart one. Maybe I’ll keep him around a bit for now. Maybe I still have more to give.
I hope you are well wherever you are this evening. I hope you are smiling and laughing and feel loved because you are and you always were.
p.s. I did find my passport so I guess you take the good with the bad, eh?
8/7/2006 1:52 am
I know that empty feeling all too well. It's hard to decide which hurts worse: the empty chair at the table, the empty side of the bed, or the empty place in my heart.
It does get better in time. Hugs to you.
Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.