These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.
~ ~ ~ ~
We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.
Your literary love,
“I had found my own way of dealing with the loss: I’d found art. Photography, drawing, painting, anything hands-on that let me shut down my mind and my heart and just do. Currently, I was into oils on canvas, thick glops of vivid colors on the matte white surface, spread around with a bristly brush or bare hands. It was cathartic. The reds would smear like blood, the yellows would blot like sunshine through a window; greens were delicate and crusted like sap-sticky pine needles, blues like cloudless skies and deepest ocean and oranges like sunsets and tangerines. Color— and the creation of something beautiful from emptiness.”
“Ever…” he breathed, and I heard the susurrus of words unspoken thick in those two syllables. “Caden,” I whispered, and let my eyes refract the love I felt bursting from my being. Silence. Breath, sweat, tears, love. Purity of connection. Eternity. We slept, dreamed, twined together in body and in spirit.”
I was completely seduced by her description of the creative process of both Ever and Caden. Art acts as their salvation and part of the intense connection that they have to each other. So grab a box of tissue and get ready to be taken on a journey that will forever leave you changed…