Love Letter to Tommy, by Katherine Indovina
I am sitting at the kitchen table right now. My hand is cramping up but I’ll be damned if I don’t handwrite this to you. I look outside. The breeze is making the trees go crazy. You may not believe this, but there is a lightning storm going on and there is a full moon.
You know I’m not so great at these things. I have the will and the wish to be romantic but it’s like those gears rusted up so long ago that when I try and make them turn again the gear teeth crunch against each other and that powdery red rust fills the air. I’m always scared to breathe that stuff. What the hell am I talking about? Oh yeah. Maybe I should have typed this out instead of handwriting, but I guess you’re used to my rambling by now. Or you put on a very good show of being used to it.
I have to admit, those gears weren’t always disintegrating and rusty. I know you won’t believe it, but there was a time when I was younger when it felt like words of love, lust, and affection sprang from my head with grace and poise. They spun into the center stage like a pair of flamenco dancers. People gasped and applauded. I was a certified hopeless romantic. No rose too red, no sigh too deep. Casanova held up his hands and was like, woh. I got nothing on you, girl. And I was like, it’s cool Casanova. Romance isn’t a competition. When romance is done right, everyone’s a winner. Casanova agreed and then we made out under a waterfall composed of stardust and whispers.
Not really. I’m kidding. We made out in a field of lilies, tipsy on cheap champagne and tickles while on the radio the single More Than Words played by the band Extreme.
I’m getting serious. I promise. What I’m trying to avoid saying for whatever protective psychological reason is that I let those gears get rusted up. I assumed long ago it was best for everyone that I forget about that romantic stuff. I didn’t want to admit I was too bruised and tender and I was terrified of getting hurt again. Even worse, hurting someone else again. But you inspire me to get out the brushes and soap and clean off those gears. Get them back in working order. Take the risk and get my romantic on once more.
Am I scared? Can I lie and tell you no, of course not! True love has no room for a quibbling emotion like fear. But you would know better than that. I’m terrified. You are terrifying.
That didn’t come out right. What I mean to say is- the fact this relationship has potential to last is terrifying. Alright. No really. You terrify me. You’re smart and handsome and funny. You don’t have a criminal record (though even if you did in your past, I’d be okay with it). You haven’t freaked out about my need to keep everything in alphabetical order. Or that sometimes I still can’t sleep with the light off. You haven’t even recoiled in horror at my morning breath. Seriously, are you an angel in disguise? Are you trying to buy your way into heaven? I’m sure there are easier paths to take than tolerating me. I don’t get it.
Even your faults don’t bother me all that much. I can’t think of any right now. Um. Oh, sometimes you blink a lot. For no reason. Or you grumble about your cousin for a little longer than is necessary. I don’t know. These aren’t faults. I don’t care. I’m sure someday you’ll do something to freak me out, and I’ll do something that makes you freak out. The difference is that unlike my past relationships, I don’t think- it will be the end. THE END. I think- we’ll learn to handle it when we get there.
I’ve filled up like four pages worth trying to get myself to say that I love you.
I love you, Tommy. I love you and nothing makes me happier than thinking about spending the rest of my life with you. Driving each other crazy about the little things and supporting each other through the big stuff. I know some people might say it’s emotionally immature that I have to tell you by letter and that I have a hard time saying it to you in person. I’m not proud of it. I wasn’t always this way. Like I said, I’m cleaning off those gears.
That’s why you have to pull through this. Because if you don’t, you’ll never have a chance to hear me say it. You’ll rob me of the glory of saying it to you in person. I can’t tell you how mad I’ll be if you don’t wake up and don’t get better after the surgery. I will freak out like you’ve never seen me freak out before. I’ll tell everyone what a mean person you are and spread terrible lies about you if you die.
If you up and croak, I’m retiring the gears for good. I can’t stand the thought of anyone but you touching me, much less a lifetime of breakfasts and Sunday afternoon naps with someone else. I don’t know what crazy voodoo you’ve cast on me, but damn it, it’s worked. I’m yours. Better or worse. Sickness and in health. Till death do us part.
Just- not yet. Please, Tommy. Come back to me. I love you.
Katherine Indovina spends a lot of time sleeping. When she is not sleeping, she tries to find out how to turn sleeping into a profitable business venture. Until then, Katherine hides in a scary basement. In the basement, she writes and curses the gods for bestowing her with narcolepsy. Her first novel, The Definitive Guide to Rochester New York is now available, and she is working on her next book with Pro Se Press. Keep up with her at KMIndovina.wordpress.com
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Tags: Katherine Indovina, letters, loss, relationships, romance