loving her: a letter
part 1 of 2: "she's gotta find a lover"
it has been just over a week since we last bade goodbye. you put on your best face, shining brightly, as i, more than melancholy, refused to look you in the eye as i rode away. it was cowardly of me, but you already know this. i'd apologize, but you understand me so well that saying, "i'm sorry, i must return to my current lover," would be a mere insult. because of this, and other things, i love you.
though her decembers and drastic mood changes from sweltering hot to tempestuous and windy cold have made me strong, they have also made me bitter. and, i find, it is near time for me to bid adieu to the one who has been my love for nearly four years. oh how wonderfully exciting she used to seem to me. worldy, yet as comfortable and recognizable as home. big, expansive, yet always welcoming. with her, i became a woman. she took me, young, virid, and immature, and molded my malleable self into someone who can now only desire you. i will forever care for her. i often recall how, before i knew her, i would yearn to be with her, to walk amongst her grandness. and now, she is fully known, so familiar, only sporadically exciting. that once blazing flame has now been diminished to slowly smoldering embers, which will never extinguish, but also never burn in the same way again. and that thought--which had for some time been nothing more than a tenuous conclusion-- is now an indubitable truth, because i have gazed upon and dwelt inside of you.
love at first encounter, is it not? forgive me for being so forward, but i sense we fit like an old pair of slippers, and because of this i feel more than compelled to return to you--soon, and permanently. we had the loveliest four-day affair, no? and she knows this. benumbing was her greeting when i returned. tall, dark, frigid she towered above me. and at that moment, i knew all the reasons why i love her, and all the reasons why i must leave. you? you are small and dense, intimate, predictable...with periodic earth-shaking suprises to remind those who adore you that you will sharply wake them when your magnificence has gone unrecognized. shaking them back into consciousness from tranquiling pacific dreams. telling us: walk up and down my hills, dwell in my valleys, yell from the edge of my cliffs, cleanse yourself with the waves that brush my edges.
and though i've only encountered you once and briefly, i am firm in my faith that, once you see them, you will love me more for my faults. my occasional unhappiness, my polyamorous ways. the fact that you already know and accept my lust-filled affection for harlem is more than amazing. you know that my love for her, though intense and exciting, by no means compares to my love for you. my appetite for her is impermanent, fleeting. she is "watercolor," she, "washes off."** a mistress, she is, but my desire to eternally grow with and through you is as evident as the fact that the words i write will never eloquently articulate how deeply and passionately i feel for you. but i know you know this already. and i know you love me anyway.
oh san francisco, oh berkeley, oh oakland. how i think of you often and always. i will return to you soon--fully. all of me. i promise.
*hey harold, tell that string playing quartet they can shut the fuck up now.*
**anne sexton, "for my lover returning to his wife"
so there you have it, folks. i love not a woman, but an area of california. so much so that i wrote it the (most) corniest love letter i could muster in about 20 minutes. thank you for your attention. you may now return to your regularly scheduled program.
coming soon part 2: why i love the bay, california.
next week: the hateration is back, playa.
have a good turkey day.
language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison