A Letter Inside Nothing Afterward


Dear       “_____”,

What good will this do? In hindsight, all is lost, and the present that was given to me is now lost. My chance to go deeper has passed by like a ship on the sea.

What words haven’t been said that can now be written? I think you know this too: but a fundamental problem that I have and have had for all time since embryonic form is that I write a thousand times better than I speak. I know why now: It is because, in writing, I have a thousand chances to say what is in my heart, and a thousand more chances to change what I have just said. In speech, however, I have one chance – and only one – to say what is in my heart. How can you ask me to do that? I’m not Steph Curry: I’m not that clutch…

Nor did the time allotted for me to develop such a feeling allow me to say such a phrase as “I care about you”, or even a “I love you.” I’m simply not the type of guy to outright say that. You understand it’s not my lack of being able to, per say, because my musical passion proves that I have feelings, so, there is no other way to interpret my actions (or lack thereof) than by interpreting them as lack of feeling for you altogether.

Maybe it’s true, or maybe not. I believe that time is the master, father time will teach us everything. Because what is time? Nothing but a veil, a label, to describe the invisible but ineluctable existence of change itself. That’s all it is. My feelings could have changed. Or, rather, they could have grown, from something shallow and small, to something deep and large and as resplendent as the sea. But now, we’ll probably never know…

Even though you’ve told me with your woman’s conviction that I only liked “the idea of you”, this doesn’t mean that it will be true for all time. Who really knows though? I used to take it for granted as we all do, but I now know that a woman’s intuition is one of the most powerful forces of the universe. Especially yours. Because of it, mine grows stronger every day.

I may be interested in your looks; and I may have been attracted to your looks when I first laid eyes on you, but I knew nothing else beforehand. I am infatuated, nevertheless, with the idea of love, and in the truest sense. Maybe, it’s not the idea of you being pretty, but the idea of love, that I liked. But really, only time can really tell. Or, in other words, change and action spurring inertia to get off its lazy recliner.

Do you, even you, know what love is, and more importantly, what love takes? Like, how much time it takes for it to even exist? At least for me, it takes a tremendous amount of time.

I believe that I have always lacked patience. I know that about myself now. I am no longer in the dark, in denial. I am working industrially and economically, with every fiber of my being to craft a more patient self out of the marble of flailing turmoil that is my mind. Not in order to impress you, but to make my life easier. Time is the greatest gift precisely because it is the only gift. This life is too precious too waste and to be idle. We can’t afford to spend time people who want (or don’t know they want) to squander it for their temporal “desires”.

Another thing that I am astonished about you, is that you can understand that fact in the first place. That you can even have a conception of wasted time and shallow people is astonishing to me, and gives me back my faith in humanity. The industry and conviction of a human. The will to be compassionate. And, like I said, before, it is even more astonishing and wonderful that such a pretty girl could reach such a level of wisdom at such a young age!

This wisdom of yours can tell you many things, my dear friend. But can it enlighten you to the point of psychic abilities?

You said something which made me think. That the idea of you – a pretty girl – being my girlfriend was more appealing to me than you – the entire you. That your image elevated my status in the eyes of others. Being my ultimately submissive self, I had to agree, wholeheartedly. And I still believe there was grains of truth in the statement.I do. My esteem for you was, and still is, strong. It wasn’t merely my own awareness I bowed down to. It was my appreciation for your intelligence and respect for you that broke me.

I know that you gave me a chance to redeem myself. I know this now. But tell me, how could I retrieve something from the depths of my heart when something that deep can only germinate and then grow after a long period of time? The time I am talking about takes more than a year. I know that in our society, time is compressed. “If you’re not first, you’re last”, Ricky Bobby’s Dad once said in Talladega nights. Well, so be it. It’s already been longer than most people my age. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that i am a late bloomer. This is alright. As long as I finish at all, it will be alright.

But, this doesn’t mean that time passed is time wasted. You see, if a guy falls in love with a girl and remains in love for eleven years, (nothing ever coming to fruition because of a unique mixture of pride, cowardice, and coyness), then a matter of three years i will estimate will at least have to pass before those kinds of feelings express themselves.

Of course, “i” realize that you probably don’t want to wait so long. But, I don’t know. Many of the things you said were so vague that I have no choice but to ponder them, as I am now. you do know that life is short, and that five years taught you something, probably a great deal about people. That’s why you have the gall to teach me, your elder by several years! You were right every time, of course, and I will be the first to admit that.

The compulsion to write this manifested itself before I went to work this morning at 6:45 a.m. I wanted to write it so bad, that I wrote some notes down in my little brown journal during work on the times in which business was slow, so that my ideas wouldn’t leave me like fly-by lovers, like so many dry leaves in Autumn. I wanted to write these down and then put my little blog, so that i may indirectly tell you all this. You say you block everyone off for want of privacy and peace of mind. If you’re telling the truth, then I not only respect and understand that, but I love that about you. But, I feel like Maurice Ravel, alone in his study with his kittens, composing long letters to the woman he’ll never see again; I feel like Levin, wondering how to approach Kitty on the ice rink; I feel like a baby bird who fell out of his nest on the eve of Spring. I feel abandoned and confused, even though your explanation was as transparent and as clear as a wiped window and a clear summer’s day beyond it at my grandpa’s old house in Sonoma.

But your objectivity… This always baffled me. It was as clear and as cold as bitter chill in Chicago’s winter. It always complimented my powerful sort of artistic subjectivity well. My passion. What you know of my passion is analogous to how well a mother knows her son’s desire for chocolate chip cookies. But I will ask you this: Do you really know how much I long for those cookies? Or in what way – why I love them so much? Yes, my passion is my music. Yes, my dedication to the development of my craft is evidence of that. But are you not merely a forensic scientist examining her evidence and making indirect, objective conclusions based on them? Or do you truly know?

You know, I wouldn’t doubt the latter. You’re that perceptive.

But, if not, then I wouldn’t doubt that either. My passion is life. I love my well-being more than my music or my writing. those exist to serve life. Not the other way around. If my music or writing functions to drive me to utter loneliness or insanity or even death, then I consider every note I play moot, and every word I’ve ever written worthless, because they ended up killing me. To leave me be so I may pursue these passions by myself is laudable, I agree, but i would rather not. Every time I draw my bow across the strings of my bass would be like dragging it across drying mud; every word that I write with my pen is drenched in delirium and pointless gravitas. And yes, i am ashamed to think this – and am ashamed of my own shame – but I still believe that art, throughout the ages and still – is a poor substitute for real satisfaction in each artists’ life.

In any case, this whole “letter” is meant to serve as a metaphor. I’m sorry if it offends you, if you ever read it. Like I said, matters of the heart, especially for me, take time, tremendous amounts of time.

Take care, and good luck finishing school,



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