Thursday, 1 September 2011


I overheard at the club last Saturday that you've now got yourself a scar? Or car? Actually it's probably definitely a car. What would a new scar even mean? A tattoo? That doesn't make very much sense. I was sitting three tables away from the Alburquerque sisters but was practically horizontal from trying to hear them. J, of everything you've ever done to me, this is the worst. You have made me envy those vapid idiots with their colourful drinks and small, mice-like breasts. How lucky they are to know your family, to know so much about you, about your life, about your new car (or scar). And I sit there, silently willing those horrible girls to turn my way, let me hear them better. How ever did this happen? All these changes are too ridiculous to even process. Sometimes I wonder if I've suffered five years' memory loss and someone's forgotten to mention this to me. I passed your mother on the church stairs later that evening and she smiled at me, gracious as always. She has no idea who I am. To think it was I who never allowed you tell her about me. I made you swear on Loops, do you remember? My god, what an idiot I was. I deserve to eat those Alburquerques' dirt, I do.

Don't chuckle. I know you are. Or will, when... and if you read my letters. Have you received my letters, J? I don't dare to hope for a reply just yet but I want to believe that you're reading them, slapping your forehead at my rubbish. Smiling, even? I had this idea that maybe none of them had reached you. Nineteen of them just lost somewhere, misplaced, opened by strange fingers, saved at the bottom of a drawer we'll never find. Will my letters become somebody's anecdote that he or she tells with great flair. Don't laugh but I have thought about writing better here, with more flourishes, some embellishments, not too many. Attempt some poetry, maybe. Engineer the ghost of a romantic epic and give some poor girl the chance to mouth off to her cynical friends. She'll wave my letters in their faces. "Here, I told you! This love exists! This love can be had!" and they will shrug but inside they will feel suddenly excited and frightened by this.

I am smiling J, I feel so ashamed of these silly thoughts. It's why I began writing this letter in the first place. I was at Pemb's this afternoon, remember it? The tiny little place next to the tailor's shop, with the great burgers? Anyway, I was drinking the best glass of basil lemonade I have ever, ever had, and right then, with the glass still raised to my mouth, it came to me. For the first time, ever since I've known of romantic love (that would be, say, nineteen years? Colin, his name was) I realised that that transcendent, big love opus I've always known would be mine eventually, might not. I don't know what it was. The glorious lemonade? The empty burger shop? Those adorable red and white awnings that flapped disconsolately? I cannot know. I ran out of there so fast I almost knocked over a chair. Mum thinks I have met someone and I'm keeping a love secret. How shall I tell her how much it is not that?

Read my letter, please. And remember me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful :)