You Took A Chance

Open Window (1928) by Raoul Dufy

Open Window (1928) by Raoul Dufy

12 November 2013
3:08 AM
Manila

My dear, my darling M.–

It is past three in the morning. I am sitting on my desk with a half-finished cup of tea and tissues strewn all around me. I don’t know where the day has gone–but grief has sat beside me for hours, it would seem. I feel much like an empty shell tonight, unable to give. Unable to write. I hope you can forgive me if this love letter is a failure to show you my affection, more erasures than declarations–

I think, for the most part, a lot of good things that has happened in my life involved people taking chances on me. For example: my fifth grade teacher, who told me that I could write, and that I should look into it, invest more in it–more than math and music. For example: my friend who took me up on my offer when I said I was looking for someone who could help me organise disaster relief and rescue-related information, and create a database that would be vital to saving people, four years ago. For example: readers who come by my blog where I don’t offer much except other people’s poetry, and sometimes my errant thoughts on things, and life. All of them saw through me, and said yes.

You took a chance on me when you sent me that letter more than two years ago. You read something I wrote–and I don’t know what about it made you reach out, but you did. In a world full of strangers whose lives intersect and form strange knots, you held out a hand and took a chance. And now, look at us. Here.

I am thinking, maybe you were meant to find me. I, for the most part, was waiting to be found. I just wasn’t sure by whom. I was tired of looking, and for a time all I wanted was to sit in a corner and mind my own business, and mend my life. Hoped someone would come along, so I wasn’t so alone. Nevertheless I tempered my expectations, got used to keeping my own company. Talked to myself. A lot. In a space I’ve created, my own cave, my own cathedral. Let friendship, or love, or curiosity come. Or not. I can manage. Then one day: there you are.

What I am trying to say is: thank you.

I think, for the most part, I wanted to have this project because I was lost. I needed something constant. Something that would ground me. That would anchor me. If not my own words, then yours, because the way that you look at the world makes me look at mine again. I look, and I try to see through your eyes, and sometimes things are better. It’s selfish of me, I know, conning you into this.

You took a chance on me when you said yes, let’s do it. And every day I show up. I never miss it. I mean–my own letters might be late, but I always show up, on time, for yours. And I sometimes wait a little while longer, until your letter arrives. Because it is worth waiting for. Because it is worth reading and savouring. Because knowing what happened to your day is important to me, no matter how shitty my side of the world is.

I am thinking, you are light. The brightest part of my life. Yes. When I think about light, I think of you.

What I am trying to say is: thank you.

I think, for the most part, my cowardice is a handicap. I don’t know why I am so afraid most of the damn time, but I am. I can’t even remember when I started being afraid. It’s baffling to me, too, because fear is supposed to limit me from feeling, from getting hurt, as if my heart has learned how to defend itself in the most primitive of ways–and yet every day is a brush against ache.

You took a chance on me when you’ve told me, in a few letters, you’re lying. It’s as if there was a veil between us, and you lifted it, and suddenly we are face to face and you are looking, really looking, and I am waiting for you to recoil but days later you are still there.

I am thinking, you are selling yourself short when you think you’re not being honest in your writing. I mean, M.–it’s all here. This is me. This is you. What could be more honest than this?

What I am trying to say is: thank you.

Love,
T.

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