Act 3, Scene 7

Ancient Rome, The Italian Renaissance, And Postmodern Love

by Frederick Noble

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Um... wow.
"If you feel like it - do write."
So many things to say, yet are any of them of any consequence? To you, probably not.
So much anger, so much sorrow, so many things happening to me emotionally that I'm hardly capable of remaining sane day to day sometimes, much less expressing myself in a calm, rational and intelligible fashion. Every few seconds I'm tempted to delete this and not bother, handle it the same way you apparently handle things. Then I get pissed and want to lash out and think this might be a good way of doing it. Then I feel sorry for you since either A) you're really stupid or B) you have a lot of emotional issues to deal with, or maybe C)
"(sigh), So you're evil, huh?"
"Well, it's always something."
from The Tick
I pause between every few words and am stunned into a momentary coma. What to say to someone who, for a year, you were utterly in love with, that left without so much as a phone call, then sends a "hi, things are great out here." postcard? Something full of frustration, pain, and anger that will likely get about as much response as all the patience, care, joy, and love expressed before? Or something shallow and fake, "things are great here too, glad it's going well, knew you'd make it" in hopes that maybe someday she'll come to her senses?
It's tough to admit there's no hope of that. I'd reserved some faint glimmer deep inside, some little thought that I'd run into you someplace and ask when you were leaving and wish you well, all in an effort to have you keep me in mind. It became obvious that wasn't going to happen eventually. I finally broke down and called and you'd already gone.
Which leads me to "she doesn't deserve a response at all" thought in there too. Sounds like I've a lot of reasons NOT to write and not a single reason TO.
And I have to wonder if your postcard was just one of many, sent to all those on this coast dying for a word from you. I wonder all the time just how much I possibly mean to you.
I don't know WHAT to tell you. I want to ask "What the fuck were you thinking when you left, not even saying goodbye?" Perfectly appropriate postcard, black birds and a figure in a heavy coat, flying away.
And "What the hell were you thinking writing me now?" But I know your answers would give no satisfaction. Back to A) stupid, or B) crazy, or C) evil.
Should I bother noting "You could have had it all. You could have been it."? No, probably not. If you haven't figured it out by now, "you haven't been paying attention", as I've said.
So here's your response - a lot of questions I don't expect to be answered and am not sure I even want to know, and a few odd quotes and references, since that is how my brain works.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying Nothing."
from Macbeth

SO I let the part of the letter up to this point sit for a week. It calls from the back of my mind like some lost child and I come up with a zillion clever little things to add, some sad, some happy, some vengeful, some healing, all of which quickly fade from memory with the mood swings. I talk to a friend about the situation and fill her in on the majority of the tale. I tell her about the postcard and she asks "What the hell are you supposed to do with that?"
"Exactly." I respond.
"Are you going to write her?"
"I don't know. I should just pitch it in the trash and let it go."
"You can't do that!"
"But you love her!"
"Yeah, but I gotta protect myself." I think.
Your card was timed perfectly, just when I could get through most days without thinking of you 'till the lights are out and I'm staring at the walls of my bedroom. Also two days before Valentine's.
Needless to say, you've been on my mind a lot. There are SO many things that seem to force you back into my thoughts, without my control. One that won't go away, so I'll share it in hopes of dulling the effect on myself, is the Smashing Pumpkin song Thirty-three:
"speak to me in a language I can hear
humor me before I have to go
deep in thought I forgive everyone
as the cluttered streets greet me once again
I know I can't be late, supper's waiting on the table
tomorrow's just an excuse away
so I pull my collar up to face the cold, on my own
the earth laughs beneath my heavy feet
at the blasphemy in my old jangly walk
steeple guide me to my heart and home
the sun is out and up and down again
I know I'll make it, love can last forever
Graceful swans of never topple to the earth
and you can make it last, forever you
you can make it last, forever you
and for a moment I lose myself
wrapped up in the pleasures of the world
I've journeyed here and there and back again
but in the same old haunts I still find my friends"
There's more but that's the best part for this discussion. Every time that song comes on I get sucked in and feel compelled to listen all the way through and end up melancholy all day (I don't know why, there are other songs that remind me of you and I immediately change the channel.) It doesn't help that it's getting tons of airplay lately. It has SO many references that remind me of things we share in common. One thing I miss a lot about our time together was how LONG every day seemed to last. No doubt it was due in large part to the exploring we did together, Italy and otherwise, that packed the days with so much that it seemed life would go on forever. Now that I don't have anyone that seems to give me that feeling, I feel like time is flying past and I'm doing nothing with it.
No, it's not your fault or responsibility, it's all up to me to get out there and find someone new, get over it, move on, etc. etc. And I'm working on it. But the inevitable comparisons come up and everyone seems to fall short. I've already been told by one that I set my standards too high. Another issue to hurdle. Couple that with the existential loneliness, a phrase you coined perfectly, and my natural shyness and things are tough. Again, my problem.
So I guess the answer is "Yeah, I feel like writing for a variety of reasons but I can't think of a reply you could send that would be good for me."
If you sent back more "Things are great here." type postcards I'd always have that nagging "Dammit, wish that had worked out." pain, reminded with every letter.
If you sent deeper, meaningful true friend stuff with what you were feeling and such I'd probably get burnt when you told me of the inevitable new friends, and more, you're making, and how with the passage of time I've become even less and less significant.
Then there's the ain't-gonna-happen "I fucked up, will you come see me?" fantasy that would make me really confused, REALLY confused, and I wouldn't know what to do and would likely suffer through a long time of "What if..." going through the possibilities only to decide I need to stay put until I graduate or pay off the Visa bills, one or the other, and not take another chance on someone who's gotten ample chances with me already. Then the wonder and confusion of if I've made the right decision. I don't believe I'll have to worry about that letter arriving, however. Which leads me to my response, finally.


You fucked up, kid.
Thanks for the card and I'm glad you're doing well. I knew you would. However, leaving without saying goodbye... That was the final straw, exactly what I needed to force me to move on. I still love you deeply. How could I not? I love myself. But I can't be your convenient whatever-you-need-at-the-moment-but-almost-never-anything-more anymore. Admittedly, in my head, I've made you into someone you're not but I do know I like you too much to be a casual acquaintance. And I know I'll always be interested in trying again. If you're ever in town and you're interested, you can call.

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