Love, or a Literary Exercise?

Writers blockThank God my data plan now supports unlimited texting.  Date #7 and I exchanged 82 messages yesterday.  Eighty two!  Granted, he was sitting on a plane at the time so he was presumably bored and subsequently grateful to receive 50 text messages from Yours Truly, even if the majority of these were written with the emotional maturity of a seventeen year old.

It’s not my fault that his letter has undone every last ounce of tranquility I’d managed to cultivate (through a complicated process of denial, distraction and sleep deprivation) since his departure from Philadelphia a week ago.

I didn’t ask him to write to me.

I didn’t ask him to be all sincere and romantic and nice.

I didn’t ask him to make me cry, again, and this time in a good way.

Most of all, I didn’t ask him to give me the opportunity to write back, thereby unleashing the fire-breathing, stationary-wielding, Jane Austen-quoting monster that’s been lying dormant ever since my last love letter failed to elicit the desired results.

I used to love writing love letters—I’ve sustained empty relationships for years on nothing more than a few well-turned sentences.  And we’re talking toxic relationships—relationships that make nuclear meltdowns in Japan look like a walk in the park—but words are powerful beyond measure.  I can delude myself into believing just about anything with a few well-written journal entries (which is why I never even bothered to commit to majority of my dates to the page—until now of course).

The thought of writing back to Date #7 terrifies me.  He’s given me license to indulge my greatest love—the love of words—but six drafts and an entire box of hand-made, fair-trade stationary later, I still can’t figure out what I want to say.

How to say it, of course, is never the problem.  If I wanted Date #7 to jump off that plane, cancel his vacation plans and come crawling to Philadelphia on his knees, he’d be kneeling at my doorstep this very minute—not because I’m any prettier or more loveable than anyone else he’s ever dated but because I can be very persuasive when you give me a pen and a piece of paper.  I bet I could do it four sentences or less actually… and they’d be damn good sentences too.

But love’s not a literary exercise.  It’s not about manipulation or alliteration or any of those terms I learned in my AP English classes all those years ago.

It’s about sincerity.  And sincerity is something I’m not particularly good at.

Nonetheless, I’m going to give it one last shot.  Fair is fair and if he managed to let his guard down long enough to compose a proper, hand-written letter, I’ll be damned if I can’t do the same.  I mean, I’m a writer for f*ck’s sake.  How hard can it be?

8 Responses to “Love, or a Literary Exercise?”

  1. Josh

    And writers gotta write.

    You’re doing just fine so far, and there’s absolutely no reason to stop now. Even though we’re talking letters and not, say, a novel, let me give you some advice courtesy my friend and fellow penmonkey Chuck Wendig:

    Finish the shit you started.

    🙂

    Reply
  2. Kathryn Craft

    “I’ve sustained empty relationships for years on nothing more than a few well-turned sentences.”

    You are indeed a writer–LOVED that sentence!

    ~ From your editor friend

    Reply
  3. Lost in France

    Stick to the computer for the drafts, then pen the final version. It rather defeats the object of fair trade, eco friendly paper, if most of it goes straight in the bin.

    Frightening have to write, or speak from the heart.

    Reply
  4. Tech Support

    “If I wanted Date #7 to jump off that plane, cancel his vacation plans and come crawling to Philadelphia on his knees, he’d be kneeling at my doorstep this very minute”

    That worked well the weekend he was here lol.

    You 2 should just keep this fantasy relationship going but never actually see each other to avoid inconvenience of a real relationship. As unhealthy as that sounds, it would probably work for ya.

    Reply

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