The pen is easy to pick up.
The paper finds its way to the table.
The words come tumbling out, hastily, too hastily.
I need to be careful what I write. Cross out the inked mistakes, should have used a pencil.
I was born not that long ago, when letters were exchanged regularly between friends, acquaintances. I had a pen pal, albeit short-lived, there were writings to a sponsor child, letters at Christmas from distant relatives with the years news. Have I so easily forgotten the art of letter writing; my news, musings , dreams now consigned to texts, emails and status updates. Easy to erase before sending, or easy to explain if misinterpreted or a hastily sent message needs retracting, explaining.
So I find myself in difficulty, in this time of great difficulty at any rate, with this an added burden, how can I communicate with him.
My feelings have never easily been expressed to someone with whom I am intimate. Its easier to write a poem or talk to a stranger then to expose my vulnerability with someone who I want to love me. Although now, I don’t want him to love me. Part of me wants him to hate me, so I don’t have to be the one, you know, that girl.
This situation I suddenly violently found myself in, him taken away on a lazy sunday afternoon in a blue and white vehicle siren absent. Me left alone, unknowing.
Phone calls are then daily, I try to explain that I have never been a phone call type of person. Text messages were, as far as i’m concerned, a monumental development in our society.
Me and telephones just don’t see eye to eye, or ear to ear. Ask my parents, they will readily regal you with stories of lost contact with me across continents and timezones.
Right now, with him, letters are the only other form of contact available, besides visits. A letter arrives, I begin to pen a response when the phone rings, again. Its too much, but I cant say it in words, hoping my strangled voice and curt responses are enough to convey what I cant say.
Maybe its just my personality, but I struggle with this discrepancy in time distinctions. I pen a response, carefully, choosing each word to convey a happiness and positivity.
I place the letter in the envelope. And there it sits. Too much time passes, it feels wrong to send it now. So it sits. But now, I have stopped answering the phone. Something happened . My feelings become to much to bear, so I do what I do best. I switch off. Literally. I don’t answer the ringing, ringing , ringing, I turn it off, on silent. The more I ignore it, the more persistent it becomes. I am a terrible person. The worse I feel, the more I cant answer. And so it goes back to letters. I write exactly how I feel, in my barely legible scrawl(should have been a GP) . I fold it up, spray it with perfume and place in the envelope. Write the address and place the stamp in the top right corner.
It sits there, glowing at me with all its bright yellow pain and sadness. I cant send it. He clearly didn’t want to be incarcerated, and I clearly didn’t either, and I know I could be so many things, but I cant be who he needs. I will tell him i’m sorry. I just don’t know when.