An Open Letter to my Writer’s Heart
I’d always been warned that love would be a crazy whirlwind that would completely bowl me over; drive me insane in the best of ways. I thought love was only meant to be loud and brash and colorful. Perhaps that is why I did not recognize you when you calmly knocked at the door on a lazy Sunday afternoon in a tan dress and cream shoes and timidly asked if I had A Farewell to Arms in stock.
To the stargazing in cemeteries, to the rainy summer nights in the city, to the cigarettes with black coffee at the park, to all the hours in between, To the people who loved me and left, the ones who didn’t, and those who, even after the human I’ve been, still do.
I am writing this to you.
I would like you to know I am learning. I would like you to know I have grown. I have fallen asleep in more beds than I can count, making a home in every heart I can find. I know where you keep your silverware and how your shower works and where I can sit in your house for half an hour without being bothered. Hand me the words that keep you up at night so I can smash them on the pavement. I know you. I have learned you. I know the way your eyes look when you laugh and how your shoulders fold in on themselves to keep you from crying. I know the tone of your voice when you mean the I love you. I know when you don’t.
I have spent midnight with just me and you on far too many occasions, watching stars collect and letting the silence say more than it needed to. I have wakened and watched one of us walk away far too many mornings to not have learned that this vulnerability doesn’t guarantee permanence. I may still walk away from you, even after all of this time, when I hear a lesson I cannot be taught yet. Come after me. I promise I’ll come back, sheepishly, and in need of more grace. Come after me.
I want to be with you, do life with you with the black coffee in silence, in the sleeplessness, in the lovely too. Let’s write. Let’s dance. Let’s everything. Let’s never stop laughing. Let’s count days and miles until they’ve become nothing. Fall asleep with me. Draw our dreams upon waking. Let’s stargaze and watch night fade and all the while, let’s never stop writing. Let’s visit our childhood homes and never leave them. Let’s do it all over again. Be a novel with me. Be the hand to hold. Be afternoon resting space for each other. Be mountains of Colorado. The smell of wood and whiskey. Be hymn of old in hollow bones
Still, I hold these moments more precious than anything. People talk about leaving as if it makes the love go too, yet it’s been years, and I still know how your voice sounded the night you called to say you wanted to know me.I was home for Christmas, but home is changing. Most days I forget which country my heart belongs in.
Most people just can’t date writers. There are some people who are fascinated by the way I make stories out of strangers in line at the grocery store, how I spend Saturday mornings wandering the streets downtown, how I use my guts for paint on a page.
But there are some people who look at me like I have lost my damn mind. There are some people who grow frustrated when I share our flaws with the whole world. Some people trip over my metaphors, basket of issues, and abundance of sensitivity with impatience in their throat. They tell me, “God dammit, can’t you just turn off your brain for once?”
Some people just can’t love writers
Some people don’t deserve to.
But know this, my dear heart:
I’m going to move when you say “Pack your bags and go there.” Surely, you must be tired of my panic over the future by now. Still, when I say thank you for helping me heal the wounds in my chest, know that I mean it with every fiber of my being. You’ve plans for my future, and I’m just here for the re-incarnated ride. I know I keep trying to peek at the plane tickets in your hands, but in my defense, you’re far too good at keeping secrets.
The day I stop believing we’re going to make it, I know you’ll be there to say the words that coach me back to hope. The hour I finally understand what all this life means to me, maybe I can say the words back to you with the same emotion you’ve always shown me.
I love you.
Thank you for being here just the same.