How To Build A Skeleton Heart: love letters

How To Build A Skeleton Heart: love letters

November 2009

Dear All over the place hi how are you? Im fine thank you.

‘Hey there, are you on your own?’
He asks me as I stand at the entrance to the beer garden. It’s 7pm and cold.

‘I am right this moment.’ I say.
‘I’m waiting for my friends.’

‘You can come sit with me till
they get here?’ He says earnestly.

‘Thanks, but I have to stay near
the entrance so they can see me straight away.’ I say, stamping my left boot
into the cigarette

butt littered.

‘Oh… that makes sense.’ He says.
‘’Well, you should come sit with me later. I’ll be sitting over there.’ He
points to an area of table through a huge beer garden. I would never find him
in this crowd even if I wanted to.  I
pretend to look where he points.

‘Oh, thank you, you’re so nice.
What’s your name?’ He smiles and says a name that I forget immediately.

He is wearing a t shirt with
sunglasses on it. I feel validated by his interest in me as I was  starting to fear depression had ruined my
mojo completely. The only person I want in an amorous way is too far to touch.
I remember the shape of your lips perfectly. How your whole body shuddered beneath
my own.  I look around the large beer
garden with so many fairy lights glittering.

Could any of these strangers see
it on my face? The things I was thinking? Was I emitting pheromones unwittingly
throughout the expansive courtyard? Little lusty particles carried by the cool
crisp breeze. Did these particles tickle peoples’ nostrils and cause sneezing
fits. Did the lust dust tickle ears?  I
smile at the thought and the bottle of beer I have purchased with a friend’s
money, slips from my hand and smashes. The contents fizzes and foams around my
boots. I am wondering how to react when my friends finally burst in through the
entrance.  

 ‘Sorry, love we stopped at the off license to
get cans of Red Stripe.’ Lauren explains. I laugh and say. ‘’I bought a beer
but I dropped it,’ as a member of the bar staff cleans up my mess.  We find a table and settle in for the
evening.

Lauren had known of Alex for
6years and crushed over him something fierce. The opportunity to speak with him
directly never seemed to present itself; She marvelled at his dark eyes and
hair from afar. Until, one night drunk off her ass at the Rochester Castle,
while throwing herself around to an indi anthem. Her friend spun her around.
Suddenly she was face to face with Alex and he smiled at her as she felt her head
inflate.  It was nine months till she was
leaving for Europe.

They started seeing each
other.  Alex was thoughtless. He made
plans and forgot plans. Would not call. It was fine though, so much more than
fine. The last thing she wanted was the sort of relationship where you got
calls asking what’s for dinner. So Alex’s behaviour which could be construed as
that of a modern day insufferable bastard, went unquestioned. He was charming
you see and funny.  He would get Lauren
drunk on red wine and dance with her to his Genesis records till 3am. Even
though she had to work in the morning, it did not matter.

She merely snuck out to her car
at lunch times for power naps. No dramas.

She knew his record collection
better than he did.  The time came for
her to leave and leave she did. Her heart remained.  She worked and lived in Scotland, sending him
records. She worked and lived in Manchester and sent him records. It was while
in a truly awesome record emporium called Piccadilly records that she sends a
text message asking if he has the white album.

Her generosity is rewarded with
the following.

‘Why are you sending me records?’

‘Because, I hope to listen to
them one day.’ She replies. It’’s been six months since she left but he has not
faded at all from her thoughts. Her phone beeps with his retort.

‘That’s very presumptuous. Fuck!’

Lauren replaces the record with
the other Beatle records. She puts her phone back in her bag and exits the
store, after browsing without looking for five minutes.

 She deletes him from her social networking
site, stops sending him records. They stay in touch via e-mail. It’s easier for
her this way.

It is this very story that stops
me sending the gift I purchased for you. It keeps in the bag that it was placed
in at the store. The present seems silly now, hardly worth being short on rent
for.

‘Just return it.’ Lauren tells me.

I drop my head low and say
softly. ‘I can’t, I have already written an inscription.’ So three months after
purchase, I will send it by post. Typical, the first Christmas in ten years
that you, you son of a bitch, is single and you still get gifts from abroad.

You write me messages on my
social networking site, messages explaining how you are being ruined and
ravaged by intense feelings that scare you. They come for you like a thief in
the night.

 At first I’m thrilled to be told this until I
consider the possible consequences. I’m not within arms reach of you to
experience any of the ramifications. Had I been closer I know that there would
have indeed been a shift between us. A good shift?  If I was there with you on the night that
this inner fear grabbed you, then yes. It would be nice to imagine that the
shift would involve an emotional evolution 
and your heat opening would 
effect the feelings for me in a positive way.

My skin is not there, I’m here,
and dammed if your latest profile picture did not make your eyes seem electric
blue. Fuck you! Fuck that frankly impressively confident 16 year old after you
with her Betty Page features and body. I know nothing happened and you were
merely being an English tutor. That she got a crush and nothing more.  I’m spiralling again. I close my eyes and try
to take a few calm inducing breaths.

It’s so pathetic getting jealous
over someone an ocean away, a time zone away. A person I only knew existed for
three months before I left and it nearly killed me.

When the overwhelming pain of
emotion washed over you, crushing you to the depths of which were unfamiliar.
At any time throughout it all, did you remember me when it hurt?  In truth if I had wanted to make an impact, I
should have got to you sooner. 

Until nest time

my hand hurts from holding the
pen so hard for so long.

JX