An “Open” Letter

Dear So-and-So:

I wouldn’t be writing you now, except to express my deepest anger and regrets. While past writings to you were kindhearted and meaningful laments to lost love and poor timing, the time to mourn something perfect that has died has past. It has become the detritus of my romantic life and something which I hold in lower and lower regard as the time goes by. There was a time I was certain to reflect upon every single detail and word uttered every single passing year. That time has passed. It has passed because there’s only so much of your 21-year old self that can be held inside before it is hatched and rebirth occurs. Rebirth has occurred for me in a way I never would have suspected or expected. And while it is something that should be happy and treasured, instead I live in fear and I am terrified; of what, you might be wondering, to which I would answer, I am afraid of getting hurt.

As I’m sure you are more than aware, I have been long-‘suffering’ and I write that in quotations because I know what real suffering is too; of course, in the aftermath of something deeply wounding and heartbreaking there is suffering, and there is also ‘suffering’; the difference between the two I believe, is in the time period by which suffering is being felt, recorded, and pressed into and onto your skin like bruises, like tattoos, like stick-on earrings. Suffering for me meant waking up each morning wondering why you did what you did, and why I was left to wonder and bleed inwardly for almost two years after that March day when the snow gave way to the first signs of a warm and fruitful spring, that for me, ended without bearing any fruit. I think of all the other people who have been in my life since you, in similar capacities as the ways in which you were in my life. There have been a few; some for who I cared for deeply and had hope for, and some that I knew would never fill the hole you burned with your cigarette into the dumpster of my heart repeatedly before you dissipated like smoke into an already-smoggy atmosphere that surrounded me. There was something you, and, so I thought, only you could give to me. And I thought, without you, what I need, want and deserve to feel whole again after a lifetime of people letting me down as you did, would never be granted, given or earned.

I was wrong. I was so wrong. And yet, I don’t feel wrong. I am confident in my heart of hearts and that confidence repairs fractured beats, replacing them with strong shoutings of “I’m alive!” again and again, so that everyone and everything can hear them. There has, in my very recent past, been a resurgence of bloodflow, of spring, of deep healing breaths. I’ve found something again, and I am confident about how good it feels and what it means to me. And yet, with that confidence comes crushing and debilitating fear; is confidence and faith worth getting hurt over again? Will I get hurt again? Or will I somehow manage to finally walk in the sun wearing emotions on my sleeve like Indian cotton that loosely drapes from my fleshy arms? I want that. I want that. And because of you, my shadowy fear of never having that stalks me in the night and destroys any rosy-glasses views I have of the future – my future, his future, our future – and I have some people to blame for that of course, but I blame you for that the most. You and your abandonment, your silence, your inexplicable decision to leave me when I needed you the most. All of that is a swift current of water under a sturdy, long, high bridge; the waters have run to the ocean and I am more than free of them. And yet, sometimes I feel they push through the warm fluid undertow and continually drag me under despite that I thought they were gone.

It’s not fair So-and-So, for you to do this to me again and again. You are still, unbeknownst to you, in a certain way reflecting the ways in which I know and celebrate love and commitment. It’s not any man’s fault that you did what you did. It’s only yours. You will live with that – steep in it, be swallowed and coddled and smothered by it. And whether you know it or not, it will permeate. At least, I hope so. Because you would deserve it, dear. 

I don’t want to allow you to hurt me like this anymore and I am going to let go. I am disappointed in you as always, but this time, I am disappointed in myself still thinking of that tiny insignificant speck of flame that still burns. Sometimes I hover over it with my palms cradling it from the wind and other times I want to breathe on it with hot, sweet breath and extinguish it forever. What remains though, is still me, and my memories. I have you to blame for them and I will set myself free. For if you deserve to be happy, then I deserve that happiness even more. In the meantime, I’ll be here realizing what you could never have given me.

Yours Sincerely,


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