tagLetters & TranscriptsLover Come Home Ch. 07

Lover Come Home Ch. 07


Letter 7

Dear V

I have not forgotten that I started out by recounting the story of our journey together. How we came to find one another and crossed the divide from friends to something much more. I have been putting off the next part because it is a painful memory.

But by definition lovers must be brave, so I will continue.

Finally the time came when we felt we could see each other again. It was to be dinner instead of our usual friends lunch. A sudden unexpected change in schedules had freed you. I had planned to go swimming that afternoon, but a self-created crisis precluded that. I now realize how impossible swimming would have been. Dense with desire, I would have sunk to the bottom of the pool like the clogged piece of soft meat I was. Just as well that I had to bend myself to solving a problem that needn't have happened.

Once home I put on some clean clothes and waited for you on the front porch. I wanted to see you drive up and not have to wait for you to ring my bell. A few minutes saved for us. You had on what I knew was your favorite shirt, though I had never seen it before. Brown stripes. I wore my tiniest shorts, it was hot but I also wanted you to see my legs.

We set off for a restaurant so out of the way and remote that the FBI under orders from the President could not have found us. When we finally got there even the waitress was surprised to see us. After what must have been years of waiting, her first customers had finally appeared. Strangely, I thought, she had on a skirt that was even skimpier than my shorts. Had she been waiting for you too, and was now horrified to discover that you already had someone?

Because you had me. I had determined to do anything you wanted. Run away to Zanzibar, take up ice fishing as a hobby, learn to ride a leopard. I was ready. Anything you wanted, even leave you, if that was what you deemed was necessary for your existence.

We talked at dinner about mystics, and how they managed to describe the seemingly indescribable nature of their experience. It did not take any wisdom to know what we were really saying. For the first time, we were talking in code. Friends just blather on openly. We were waiting to become lovers, so we talked about the ineffable thing that was awaiting us by discussing St. Teresa and Rose of Lima. In the meantime we ate, you with your usual enthusiasm. I moved the food around my plate. I didn't need food, I lived on the air that streamed from your nostrils and mouth.

You seemed perfectly normal. Perhaps I did too. But that is not how I felt. What was going to happen next? Where would we go after we left the restaurant?

You drove, taking a strange route, through a part of the city I had never seen. We passed a prison. I told of a youthful incident, silly, but that caused me to spend a night in jail. You had an ancient brush with the law too, but refused to tell me exactly what you had done. I was surprised. Why after all these years of laughing over all our mistakes and foolishness, were you suddenly secretive about something unimportant, long ago, and faraway? Dumb of me, of course. Now things were becoming important between us and you wanted to protect yourself. From me, I wondered? What harm could I do? How naive I was.

We returned to my house. You produced a bottle of wine from somewhere, and even a corkscrew, left-handed. You are always so well prepared. I relaxed, we now had something else to do. We would drink in the garden in the waning light. Perhaps we would get drunk, that would make things easier. I decided not to.

Out to the garden we went, lugging wine and glasses and ourselves.

You had things you had decided to tell me. Intimate things from your past that I felt no one else knew. They were not anything unusual, but they were meaningful to you. I accepted the intimacy of knowing them. And watched it get dark, though around us there seemed a glow of light, keeping us able to see each other. Perhaps it was the fireflies that beam their messages every night in that garden.

We did not finish the wine, excellent though it was. There were other ways to be drunken. You suggested we go back inside, and I numbly got up. I had been paying such close attention to your stories that I had lost myself. Obedience was all I was capable of. Way back in my head the thought came that you were going to go home and ........

but I couldn't get past what would happen if you went home. Would I simply go to bed, or die, or cease to exist, or all three? I followed you into my house like a puppy.

My courage has just failed me. I am either angry or jealous or maybe dead, but I cannot finish this tonight. Perhaps tomorrow.


PS. I love you. Damn your eyes.

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