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"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather my spark burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy, permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time." ~Jack London

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Beginning Again

I have no excuse as to why I stopped writing here. I think it’s best to just begin again.

A friend of mine sent me an IM earlier this week just to let me know that the letter I wrote him quite a while ago is still sitting on his desk, the envelope smudged and bent from rain and travel. Whenever he comes home, he looks at it and smiles. He thanked me. That is, after all, what those letters are for.

I wrote you over nine months ago now, but never could figure out where to send it. After a while the letter seemed outdated, inappropriate, unparalleled to where our friendship had traveled. I tried several times to rewrite it, but it was different, difficult and forced. It wasn’t at all the ten pages that had flowed from heart to mind to paper the first time around. It wasn’t at all right.

We kept all of the promises we had made to each other before I went away. We call one another more often. The time that passes between each visit is less than it ever was before. Still, part of me – most of me – would give that up in a heartbeat for a chance to have the kind of conversations we used to have. It just feels like we’ve grown so ordinary.

Because what made this, us, so extraordinary, so unique, were those words we exchanged through writing. That’s why I began loving you. That’s why I love you still. You inspired me to be the kind of writer, the kind of thinker, the kind of person I wanted to be, and I genuinely miss that side of both of us. I miss feeling inspired by you.

Perhaps that’s unfair of me. I haven’t lost any respect for you. I don’t love you any less. It’s simply that you treat me like any other friend, and selfishly, I wanted more than that. I wanted to be the one you shared your secrets with in the middle of the night, the one you called when you were having a bad day, the one you had some special connection to. I appreciate you making me feel like your equal, but I somehow preferred looking up to you. I preferred having you as more than my friend. I preferred having you as my hero.

I think about it constantly, and I wonder if you do too. It keeps me up at night sometimes while I futilely try to pretend my insomnia has derived from something else. I get out of bed at 2am to balance my checkbook or scrub the bathtub, foolishly hoping that’s been the problem. It hasn’t. It isn’t. I just miss you. That’s all.

And it’s so frustrating that I can’t get out of bed at 2am and fix that. It’s so frustrating not to have a means of expressing that want, that longing, that loss. I wish that I were brave enough to ask of you the thing I need from you most. I wish that I could somehow say “I miss your words.” Why is that so difficult for me?

But I do. I miss them. I guess the truth is, I hadn’t realized how much I had been writing for you until our words stopped and my writing followed. I guess I know here at 1am, now that my checkbook has been balanced and my apartment is sparkling clean, that the only thing left to do is think of you. And write about it. I think it’s best to just begin again.