The Letter That Stayed In My Pocket
My name is George.
If you’re reading this, it means that I am braver than I thought. It means that I took a leap of faith. This leap will result in me falling flat on my face and hurting so badly – don’t worry, I’ll survive. Or, and this is my preferred outcome, I will get to experience how it feels to soar.
We’ve met. My apartment is on the fourth floor. Yours is on the third I believe. If I stand on my balcony and look one storey down, I have eyes on your kitchen and bedroom window, and your balcony as well. We’re neighbors. Also, when you’re leaving for your evening jog and I’m coming back from my walk, we sometimes pass each other. I always smile. You always smile back. Dare I say, you have the smile of a dozen sunshines put together?
Sometimes I lie to myself. I tell myself that I should send you these letters that I write to you as I watch you go through life. I lie to myself and imagine that even though I cannot make words with my lips, that you would only need to look in my eyes and listen to my heartbeat and you’d know how I feel about you. It feels so romantic when I lie to myself like that.
Sometimes I come to my senses and stop with the lies.
I’m intrigued by you. I’ve seen you reading in the balcony of your apartment. I’ve wondered how long it will take you to complete James Joyce’s Ulysses. I’ve admired your patience because no man or woman reads that book that has no patience. As I puffed on my cigarette yesterday, I thought of my copy that sat half read with a bookmark trapped on page 238 for two months now. You’ve now given me a reason to finish the book, damn you, Frida. You’ve also given me a reason to seek you out and pick your brain. Did you like the book? Most importantly, was it worth your patience?
I’ve seen you hang your clothes to dry every other evening and clean your balcony immediately after. It has intrigued me how you do things in reverse. Most people I know, I included, do these things in the morning. I’ve fetched a chair on several occasions and sat on my balcony as I smoked and watched the sun going down and you lying on a mat and watching the stars set in from your balcony. You have no idea, Frida. You don’t have the weest clue how this view calms my soul. I have watched you and admired how you do life.
For the last week or two, I’ve spotted a man in your balcony. I’ve seen him bring out the clothes and hang them with you. I saw him hold you the other night as you watched the stars with him. I went back inside.
I can’t stand him, Frida. He is using words on you. Spoken words. Words laced with emotion and everything that feels. He is touching you and laughing with you. He is doing things that I only dream of when I watch you from a distance.
This causes my heart to ache. I would give anything to whisper in your ears.
Sometimes, when I’m lying to myself, I allow myself to believe that you don’t like that douchebag. That you’re only using him for sex. Otherwise, what would you see in him, Frida? It must be his voice. It’s deep, isn’t it?
Seeing douchebag has compelled me to dig deep and find those feelings that have been hiding in my gut. Now all I need to do is try to convert those feelings into words. Since my words could never pass through my lips, here I am with a letter carrying words freshly ripped from my gut, freshly bleeding too. My motivation as I do this is that someday, these lips that will not allow any words to pass through them, will redeem themselves by leaving an imprint of my heart all over you. Spoken words be damned.
When I go for my evening walk and you go for your jog, we will meet. I will smile and you will smile back. I will hold out my forefinger to ask for a minute of your time. I will hold your left hand with my left. I will reach into my pocket and pull out this letter. Then I will place it in your hand and fold your hand securely over it. You will turn it over. You will see your name printed on the envelope and I will nod and smile again then be on my way.
If I’m lucky, you will read it more than once. Then you will come out to your balcony, take out your cigarette and smoke while looking over at my balcony where I’ll be sitting. I’ll look over to you and wave, all the while happy about douchebag’s absence. You’ll wave back and smile. Then I will go back in, allow your smile to calm my nerves as I pour myself a drink.
If I’m lucky. Damn it, Frida, if I’m lucky, I’ll wake up to find a letter slipped through my door. It will be the same envelope I gave to you. The name Frida will be crossed out and George written above it. As I drink my morning coffee, I will read your letter. I will run my fingers through your delicate handwriting. You’ll say in the letter that you’re glad to read from me. That you like your words read anyway, not spoken. How will I ever stop myself from smiling after this? Why would I even want to?
When I show up at your door, you won’t notice how hard my heart will be beating. I will be on a confidence streak and so I’ll knock on the door anyway, beating heart be damned. I will stand tall at your doorstep, pen and pad in hand. You’ll be surprised to see me I guess. Cup of coffee in right hand, you’ll smile again and say hello. I’ll give you a wave and nod hello. Then I’ll hold out my pad and pen. On it will be written, “Could I please have your phone number?” You’ll take the pad and pen from my hand and write down your number.
I will thank you through a text message to your phone. And then, oh, then, Frida, my life will finally begin. I will live every day of my life making words for you.
Kissing them into you.