(Letters is my series exploring a war-time relationship
across the miles. Here are Parts One and Two. )
I feel unworthy of Christmas this year.
Mother put up the decorations (including that hideous Santa with the crossed eyes), while I drowned myself in self-pity and eggnog. The sprig of mistletoe was the last straw. I ran crying from the room. Of course, Mother thought I was insane. And maybe I am. Or maybe it was just the liquor. I can’t tell anymore. Days are like dreams…I drift through them. Hoping to meet you somewhere in the haze.
Oh, darling, if missing you were a disease, I’d be dead by now. I’ve never known how to be halfway. It’s always all or nothing.
But you deserve more than soggy fantasies drained from uncertain rivers. Your letter brought that (and you) home. And so I will shed this dissatisfied skin, and try harder.
Yes, I finished that scarf for your mother. It was rose, like the wine we drank on our first date. Do you remember that? How clumsy I was, how much I spilled down that silk blouse. You laughed (I wanted to kill you)…until I laughed, too. I was already drunk on your eyes, which never left mine. How quickly we traveled from high laughter into that valley of knowing. Time a mountain so easy to slide down. Not even breathing.
You asked about our tree. I still take walks down there, although its naked limbs make me shiver in the noon sun. It is beautiful, though. Even without you. It seems to hold up the very sky. And that’s something to feel supported by. So thank you for making me mindful of its presence. That’s my real Christmas tree. No ornaments needed to mar its native beauty.
My bath? I’d like to say you made me blush, but you already know how shameless I am. I think it’s enough to acknowledge that the thoughts and feelings that soap my heart are always rather…dirty. But I better stop there. I can see your ears redden from here, my love. Which makes me laugh for real.
I’m not sure if I’ve given you what you wanted, Patrick. I have a hard time focusing on these small features of daily living. So let me end with that most perfect of details. A kiss on this page.
I’m standing under the mistletoe.