I'm embarking on a week of open letters. How about you? Do you have a letter in you that the world might like to read? Post them to your blog and link up at the bottom of this post, so that I can check them out and maybe share them with my readers, too. ----------------------------------------------------------
An open letter to my boyfriend, in 2005:
You make me ache.
In all the best ways.
I was sick and waning when we hiked to the aquaducts. It was warm, for being late fall and I was sweating sour sweat in a pink sweater, climbing around on rocks in a river bed that had gone dry. It was only recently that I started touching you.
You might think I'm referring to that kind of touch. It's true that we've only recently become intimate, after six years of friendship, but that isn't what I mean. I mean that before a few weeks ago, I didn't touch you at all.
I should have seen it, how it meant that I wanted you with my thigh bones bending painfully, that I wanted you with a bone saw in my ribcage, that I wanted you with the way you disappeared, folded up in the corner like a lawn chair, sand all over your appendages after a day away with a book and a blanket, that I wanted you.
We've known each other since we were kids, and in that time, I've done a lot of touching. The people in our life, they have a propensity for being languid and for spreading across the furniture. They have a knack for seeking out the warm places that bend and never break. I kissed them, one by one, under a bare orange light bulb in my college bedroom, my head filled with broken mirror fragments, not being able to tell the door from my heart, always closing, always creaking.
I didn't touch you, though. I was sure not to. When we rode in your car to the liquor store, I didn't let my hand hang at my side where it might brush against your clothes. I didn't rest my palm on your gearshift. If I passed you in a hallway, I inhaled and pressed myself flat against the wall.
What might have happened, if we touched, accidentally? The world might have come tumbling apart. I might have been flung into the outer reaches of space, caught up in the violent gravity of some cold, mean planet. Maybe I would have blushed and stuttered and you would have known that I had a crush on you.
Years ago, we were in a bar with our friends. You offered to get drinks and went around the table, asking each person for a yes or a no. You were standing behind me, my leg in someone else's lap. You were wearing a blue shirt and your eyes were like place where the ocean meets the sky; a lonely cloud forms there and all of existence is an island in an impending storm.
When it came my turn to say, "Yes, of course, I want a drink," you put your hand on the top of my head, for just a moment, and I felt warm things come to life inside of me. I felt like staring at the floor until the feeling passed. I felt like rubbing up against you in the alley behind the building, like letting my thigh touch yours, sitting next to you on the couch. I had a boyfriend, and all he ever made me feel was mildly disgusted and embarrassed, and you were just somebody I couldn't touch, because touching you made my cheeks pink and the inside of my thighs stick together.
You touched the top of my head, and that was years ago. I remember it, because touching you has always been important. I want you to know that it was a nothing moment. Nobody even knew it happened, and I will remember it until we're married and old. We'll have children and own a home, and I'll remember how your hand rested on my head, and nobody knew what I knew.
Touching you, I will almost poison you, someday. Touching you will make our children. Touching you will be our hands on hillside overlooking the city on our gray wedding day in June.
Write an open letter to a crush or somebody you hate. Write one to your dad or the president or your newborn son. We don't care who you're writing to, just write a letter, and link up here.