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Anonymous Love Letter III

Dear Mom, I went to the little cafe yesterday with Anna to do some work. It was rainy and cold and the semester was rearing its head at us. When we sat down at the table, I looked over our opened computers and into Anna’s eyes to ask if she was okay. We talked about how she couldn’t sleep the night before. She had spoken to Georgie, who, in her own way, had been falling apart. The conversation brought with it so many things, as conversations often do, and she spent a while wondering that night if she was going to stop breathing (I told her I understood. She laughed—she knows how much I understand). I listened to her quietly. In my head I repeated, “everything is okay, have faith in the okayness of everything,” hoping the vibrations of that voice inside me would somehow make their way to her. We worked for an hour after talking. She emailed a potential therapist (that was part of the little plan we ended up devising) and I drafted an essay on the experimental dance show I had seen. At some point, we shut our computers. I told her about my night. I thought it might be light, or even fun: silly problems sometimes help. We could laugh and be that kind of angry that wasn’t heavy. I got a letter from Joey, I said. She had been up to date on the whole of our little drama so far. She knew we had been sending emails and that they ended after I had sent my angry one. It had become too much to hold. I felt like he had given me something in telling me he had feelings for me, but as I picked it up, and turned it over, and felt that weight in my hand, he ran and I was left behind. And I would never tell him, but the world was more exciting when we did it together. And, to him, I took too long to say it. Anyway, he wrote me an email in response. I let Anna read it, and she got angry. “He’s an ass,” she said. “This is brutal.” I found myself defending him: “But he is right! He is right about all of it! I left him, too. I was a coward, absolutely.” I started to cry. I told her he said that maybe I like to suffer. At this point, Anna reached over our cold coffees. She grabbed my hand and held it. I told her he was wrong about that. I didn’t like the pain. I was terrified. Through the tears that I wasn’t expecting, and amidst the story I thought would lighten it all, and in our little bookshop that we had come to love so quickly, I said, “I am so mad at him because I don’t feel safe loving him. And I love him.” And, Mom, I don’t know why it is, or if it has something to do with you or something old and hidden away, but I do not often feel that I know how I am feeling. I fear certainty. I run from all of it. But this boy had been telling me for months that I was certain, and the second that I entertained the thought it all changed. I called Bruno that night. He was sick and lost his voice so he listened as I spoke and texted me in response. “Hi Bruno.” Hi. “I’m crying.” Just breathe. He told me that whatever I do next, make sure I am sure. With that I felt like I was being flung back to the beginning. I’m sure of nothing, and never have been. But he clarified brilliantly: Being sure is just being mostly sure. Educated guesses, that’s all it is. I would like to trust myself, Mom. I would like to find a way to believe in my feelings. I would like to take pain seriously, but not indulge it. I would like to believe in love, but not fabricate it. I would like to not fake anything. I would like to be seen. I would like to be able to talk to Joey everyday. I would like to be able to be alone, to write, to make, to breathe, to take all this little living in at once, but also unbelievably, incomprehensibly slowly. I would like to change. I’m the only one that would look at all the evidence and still doubt it. But I’m not doubting it today, and I hope that, if anything, that isn’t momentary. It is hard for me to speak to you casually. I am pretending while writing this that we are in the car together, alone, driving somewhere, and both of us have no reason to stop talking. There is more to say, but there always is. I love you, Lola

Anonymous Love Letter IV


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