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Posted on June 5th, 2018

The Geography of My Mind – Love Letters

So, I plan to be a writer someday. I think that is every aging derelict’s fantasy, the one thing that will keep them from a real job, this side of a wife they can’t keep, anyways… I must let you now, I’m damn-near blindingly drunk right now. I’ve smoked a lot of reefer and I’ve daydreamed dangerously. I’ve seen rock n’ roll and I’ve written off old allegiances. Nothing I’ve written here before captures the intimacy, or honesty, of my potential. Not on the page, not in life. I’m guarded, and a criminal. I’ll sacrifice the kin for the kitty. One of these days I’ll take control of my life. Until then, you’ll find the source of your tears here, in this column. I am Everyman. I’ll carry your burden when you can’t. Not a martyr, not a saint, not even close. But a predictable dirtball. Loyal as they come when cleaned up, as nasty as a rabid possum when he’s left dirty and isolated.

I wrote a letter this evening, read it, tell me what you think:

I figured what better time to write you than when I’m drunk. Oh, and I’m listening to “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” on repeat. It reminds me of you. A lot. I think that’s why I listen to it…

I listened to it (on repeat) earlier tonight before I went out. I went to see this local skater-pop-punk band, Totally Slow. I think I sent you their CD once. It was at a bike shop. Pretty cool.

I’m going to say something that would sound creepy to most people, but I think you’ll get it: I have a lot of photos of you that you sent me. I was looking at all of them (well, the ones on my phone) tonight (admittedly after I got drunk) but I was imagining if I was there with you when they were taken…

I know we’re elsewhere now, but I figured it was still cool to share that with you now.

Yes, this is a love letter (obviously). But she has no idea I write this column. Hell, you don’t have any idea I write this column. You’re likely halfway through a porcelain push at work; you need to stay regular. BUT, I can’t shake her. She’s been written about here before – many times. I wonder what dirty smut-rag she writes for; am I out there in the ethereal amber waves of civil discussion? I’m a story worth hearing about, no doubt, but few get that opportunity. That’s okay, I’m sure family vacation at Disney World will suffice…

As I spill my guts…

I was never one of those people who could listen to music and study. But I was never one of those people who could study, either. But now, tonight, I listen to music while I write to you. Maybe it’s not the same, maybe it is, who knows. But the point is that, tonight, I can write through the distraction; or maybe I write because of it. Who knows? The lyrics dance inside my head, crawling through my ear holes, pushing apart my brain matter ‘til I get a fuzzy feeling. So, I guess, I’m catatonic as I stare at the dim glow of this technology, a technology that is rundown and in search of its grave. “They” say that things aren’t made the way they used to be. But did that ever apply to the internet age? When was the last time we truly had a modern marvel?

Nonetheless, I’m continuously reminded that I’m getting older and becoming more “single.” How does one do that, you might ask? You become comfortable. Being set in your ways becomes a mark of success, no, of transcendence. In some ways I’m like a monk or a priest; not that I choose to be celibate (I feed when I can), but I choose to walk alone. It sounds sad, but only to those who truly lead sad lives. There is never a feeling of being more alone than when you’re with someone you don’t love or doesn’t get you. Sometimes “togetherness” amplifies the pain and disgust. A friend reminded me that there are always beautiful women whose men are absolutely sick of them (and vice versa, of course; as well men/men and women/women, of course…). My point is that we’re not made to be happy together. But we are made to want to be happy with someone. That’s the cruel joke.

So sometimes I write drunken love letters to old flames. I don’t drunk dial or drunk text; somehow I either learned that lesson or am smart enough to avoid the act. But the old school romantic in me writes letters – and sends them. And awaits the consequences of the actions… What did she say, I imagine you responding. Well, life is ephemeral, so too are the feelings that make us up during that lifetime. This isn’t to say that she rebuked me; quite the opposite. Only that we were too far away, at too many times, for it to matter. I now know what Bill Murray said to Scarlett Johannsen in Lost in Translation. I’ll take it to the grave…

Maybe a decade ago, maybe less, maybe more, I was on hold with my veterinarian; their office had NPR on for the hold music. It was the first time I’d heard Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac (which I miss something fierce), and they were reciting the daily poem, this one by Bukowski, it was titled, “On the night before my 72nd birthday.” In a nutshell (seek it out on your own to see if you agree), it was finding peace in your station. Life wears you down, eventually you realize that; usually it’s about the time you’re getting close to the end. I don’t think I’m there yet, but I am finding peace, in bits and pieces. I’ll probably still write love letters, but I don’t expect their grand delusions to become reality – I’m not a kid. I don’t expect them to be responded to; at least not now. Maybe in the future. Hope springs eternal, said the Pope. Right now I’m just getting comfortable, by myself…

Marco Esquandoles
Write of Passage

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