Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silently Stoic Amidst A Sea of Sounds. To Catherine One.

Dear Catherine,

I've been reading about language all day and I have been thinking about your unique relationship to expression. I have infrequently met someone so gesturally and facially expressive with so few direct, vocalized observations. I am similar though. I keep my thoughts in my head and only let them loose in very calculated language, very direct and careful turns of phrase. I suppose this is evident in my life within words- more alive than my daily, spoken life in every way. The memories of nights we spent together, enraptured by one another's presence but stoically silent amidst a sea of sounds, serenade me in my snoring sleep. I dream that we are laying together on the ocean beach, the sand solid but slowly sinking beneath our entwined forms. We do not speak in the dreams, as we barely spoke- sometimes in whispers- during those few real nights we spent together. They were so brief that they feel like a dream and this letter feels like some long forgotten entry in a long forgotten dream journal.

But, the dreams that I have of those times are what betrays them to the reality of existence. I know the events were more than a dream because the dreams are vivid memories and I wake with a rush of emotion which is so distinctly attached to a physical memory. In the dreams I can feel your hair brush lightly against my cheek. I can smell the salt of the sea and hear the swells as they spill out across the sand. I don't often smell my dreams but some sensory neuron in my brain, triggered by the thought of you, engages and every sense is heightened. I wake up in a sweat (perhaps another cause of the smell of salt) and I look around my bleak and empty room, the sun shining through the window. My alarm goes off suddenly- breaking me from my sleep induced stupor. And I stumble to work, half-blind to the world around me, startled by thoughts of you.

I feel like I have written you this exact letter time and time again. And perhaps I have done so in dreams, as vivid as the others I have of you, only I can't recall. Perhaps I am only clutching desperately to the memory of someone who has long forgotten me like I have done so with so many others. But, perhaps I continue to write you because I do not believe fully that you have forgotten completely. There is a part of me, yes, who idealizes and etches in bronze, who glazes and polishes each memory of you so that it shimmers perfectly and brightly in my periphery. But, there is also a part of me that remembers your flaws and even if I do not frequently re-read your letters, I still glow with the impression of your humanity. I still think of you and shine with the memories of your careful concern for your aging parents, the close consideration you paid each passing thought, each tiny detail of life.

I remember your letters as lustrous, radiant admissions of thoughts of the most delicate kind. And, I remember your touch- equally delicate and equally engrained in my perception of reality. For you see, Catherine, the world looks so much bleaker when I forget that you are in it- somewhere- even far away from me in thought, in action, in physical body. I remember your letters and the brightness they brought to my being. I wonder if my letters ever did anything similar for you. Often, I am prone to go on and on about my own problems. I seem hermetic and cantankerous and yet still frightfully hypersensitive. I miss engaging you in rich, detailed literary speak or even in pretty descriptions of a limited number of events which have been already excessively described.

I care little about my own repetition. I know that I feel the same way about you often and I do not think I sound excessively redundant, even if I do. Were I to sit and read my letters to back to back- my opinion would surely change. But, as it stands now, I simply want to have your narrative form again grace the presence of my mailbox and my weary old mind. Sufficed to say, I miss you.

Fondly and For Always,


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