No time to hey you, I've got to get this string of scattered, unspoken reflections down before I lose my nerve, and memory.
When I watched it the first time, I thought Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was preposterously farfetched. I stumbled upon it when I finally exhausted my usual list of romcoms. It's not your type, so you've probably never seen it, but it's counted among classics. I never really understood why though. To be plunged so deep into heartache that you need to have your memories erased? I don't think so. I didn't, at least.
I remember complaining about how we were too vanilla. I asked for theatricality and obstacles while we were still young and free and could afford it. Looks like we got it, and then some. Too much, clearly. Had I known this is how it'd end, I would've gladly let you go back to your football game while I snuggled up with my Kindle.
Before you, I always imagined that the person who'll take my fancy would be a certain kind of a man. Somebody who'd keep our photo in his wallet, and quote Neruda to me. Somebody who'd show up at my gate because the next day was too far away to see me. Somebody grandiose. But you, you beautiful you. You walked in with your quiet grace and your still-waters-run-deep persona. And you became the guy who showed up everyday, unfailingly. Grand, at times. Little things, other times. But always steady. God knows I needed it. You opened my eyes to my own prejudices and made me realize how wonderful it can be to not have your expectations met. Did I ever thank you for that?
I don't know if I ever told you this, but, my favorite exchange that we'd ever had was a two-email chain about a hostage situation with my phone. I don't suppose you'd remember it. It wasn't anything noteworthy, just everyday news from my loony bin. We undoubtedly have had more profound conversations, connected on a level that's rare. But see, that thread captured everything about you that I fell for. Funny, intelligent, doting. I still go back to it when I find myself in need of immediate warmth, or you. It reeks of you, through and through. God, that sense of humor. If I were ever to be funny, I'd want to be your kind of funny.
Remember Oh Wonder? They parted ways when the pandemic struck too. Then they decided to sing about their split. Possibly the only break-up album in history written with the person they were breaking up with. Surprise, surprise - it brought them together, and they got married last August. Musicians. Who knew art is so healing? If only you had a creative bone in your body. They called it 22 Break. Makes for a strikingly apropos background when I lie awake at night playing us back in my head. Hits too close to home for my liking though.
A few months before the hardest step I ever took, I wrote you another letter. Wow, you really bring out my letter-writing urges. Still cannot believe I used a software analogy in that situation, who have I become? Anyway, I intend to keep my word. I do, really, if you'll have me. But, for now, I'll take your band off, close our barren chat window, and quit going back to the what-ifs, hopefully for the last time. I still can't comprehend the concept of moving on. Seems broken to me at its very core. Continuing on as if a part of your life, a significant one too, never happened. Like erasing your memories. Preposterously farfetched, as advertised. Closure is never closure enough. But I digress.
This needed to be said, but never read. So, on the off chance that you're here, you should know that your purple shirt, the way you flicked your wrist while playing ball, and your name on my screen, will always have my heart. No more cyber-stalking though, I'm trying to grow up. You take care of yourself, mister. And remember, leaps of faith. Someday, they just might land you in a place you didn't even know you wanted.