Updated: Mar 28
Hey you. It is March 26th, and I’m having my typical breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. I can feel you shudder through the screen. I know you don’t like oatmeal. I’m watching a squirrel play against the backdrop of the neighbors’ fresh new siding. I've hung a new shelf, myself. Why I hung a shelf if I am planning to move, I’ll never know. Maybe I've finally accepted that I’ll never have another work office. Maybe I just needed a place to put some things. It’s in the Writing Room. I’d like to show it to you sometime. Then again, there are a lot of things I’d like to show you. I wish you would shock me by letting me. No, "shock" isn't the word. "Surprise" is the word. I wish you would surprise me by showing up in front of the house with your little car, or calling me out of the blue to say you were thinking of me. You see - this is what women want. To feel special. I know you know how to do this. You have done it for me before, really made me feel loved and treasured.
I don't really know what happens to us every few weeks or so - how we can go from so close to so distant with the changing of the tides or the phases of the moon. It seems to me that the planetary alignment has to be just right in order for you to say “good morning” to me, ask how I am, or hold me. Sometimes, it feels like something as mundane as a toe stub or as frustrating as a conversation with your boss will impact whether or not I hear from you for a week, two weeks, even a month. You blow so hot and then so cold with the wind that I don't know whether to put on a dress or a down jacket. You can probably tell I've been thinking about this much, and I have. I think you're very good at compartmentalizing, putting me into a little box until you feel able-bodied enough to deal with me. But my thoughts and feelings can't help but bleed into everything I do and am. The only thing I ever needed from you was some consistency in your interactions with me. Could you say "good morning" to me? Start a round of Scrabble? Ask me how I am? Take an interest in my life? And then there's the biggest one: hold me. I am touch-starved. Blame the pandemic. I don't know if that makes you a friend with benefits, or what. But I'd be lying if I told you that my body didn't want that. My body and mind want anything but the sickness they've been contending with for so long. Call it a respite. I struggle to call you a friend with benefits because I really love you. But I know people can be more than one thing to each other.
I guess I also feel like, when things are going badly for you elsewhere, you automatically file us into the "bad" category, too. I used to self-sabotage a lot and still do at times, so I get this. Maybe that's why it impacts me so greatly with you. Because you're me in so many ways. You are my mirror. We can both be our own worst enemies sometimes. But I'm the kind of woman who responds best to "I need space" rather than full on silence or an abrupt ending that comes out of nowhere because you feel stressed elsewhere. Do you think it's fair that you begin to self-sabotage when things get hard and in doing so, shove away the one person who will ever truly love you - me? No? Neither do I. We've got to go easier with each other. We're all fragile. There will never be another me. I know I am the Red Queen to you. But sometimes I feel like this title makes you believe I am some superhuman. I am human, just like you. I have always tried my best to give you what you need and to make you happy. But I have feelings, too. I don't want to have to tell you to care for me or see me. I want you to because you want to - because you cannot imagine your life without me in it. It sounds more complicated on paper than it plays out in real life.
Sometimes, I feel funny telling you all this - though, with the things we've done and said to each other - how could I feel funny? Then again, sometimes I can't find you to tell you and so, I write because I feel unseen and the words help. Sometimes, I fear that by telling you, I am trying to force your hand. Because the truth is, if you don't want to say "good morning" to me but only say it because I want you to, then it wouldn't really mean anything. I don't really know where I'm going with this. I just haven't been well for some time now and needed you to know that it isn't you causing it. It seems when I do tell you how I feel, you take it to mean that it is you causing me pain and go even further away. In reality, you and I are a bright spot most of the time. That is, until the cycle of disappearance and disconnect rears its ugly head. But we're worth trying to figure it out. Honest. Even if it just means a walk in the park again. My heart hopes you will agree, and surprise me. I wouldn't refuse flowers, but what I really want is your face. You know why.
As Tom Petty sang: "You oughta want her more than money. Cadillacs and rust. Diamonds and dust.... Good love is hard to find,"
Your (very human) Red Queen