Every morning, when Bear leaves to do whatever he needs to do for the day, he leaves me a ‘love letter’. Usually scribbled on the back of a late-payment reminder or on an envelope for some bill he hasn’t even opened yet. Without fail, he does it. It’s become a ‘thing’ now. It’s one of those things that I don’t think I could live without now. Okay, so that’s probably a little dramatic, but you know what I mean — that would be the thing I missed so much if he were no longer to be in my life.
They’re simple. They take a couple of moments to scribble out. They make me laugh. In fact, they make me beam with happiness. I’ve met a few romantic men in my life, but grand gestures have got nothing on this shit. When we have nothing, literally nothing — Bear and I — he still romances me, in his own little way.
This morning, for example, he left me a note to say that there were ‘fags’ left for me, and he’d bought me some Diet Coke. There were also biscuits just in case I wanted to dunk them in my tea.
Not romantic at all, right?
Romantic as fuck.
He’s a pain in the ass, and a grumpy wanker at times, but I don’t want or need anything. We don’t run out of stuff because he makes sure it’s already replaced BEFORE it runs out. He’d rather go without than make us go without. In my experience, that’s a rare trait. You’ve seen my dating/sexual history … I have a lot of evidence to back up my claims.
These notes have become a way that he can communicate with me, too. We all know how tough it is for men to talk about their feelings – full stop – but we’re talking about a “
paranoid schizophrenic” here. [Later edit: his diagnosis was changed to Borderline Personality Disorder.] Our communication can be strained. We misinterpret each other constantly. Sometimes he can’t find the words to say whatever he wants to say, gets a bit stuttery, struggles to piece sentences together, especially if he’s really angry. Words on a page are easier for him. He’s not avoiding face-to-face activity because that always comes afterwards but first comes love letters. I understand this. Tapping out angry words on here has been therapy for me, for years.
If he was shitty with me the night before, he says he’s sorry via the medium of love letter the morning after. Just like the little love note above. It’s perfect. He’s out the house, so I have plenty of time to read it, giggle to myself because he’s cute as fuck for such a gruff dickhead, and then calm down. He comes home, apologises again, gives me a hug and a kiss on the nose, and everything is right as rain.
It’s a bit like testing the waters.
Send out a test-apology first, following it up with the real deal when he sees me face to face.
I love a good love letter.
I really do. Reading words that someone has *handwritten* on a page. There’s something terribly romantic about that. Words that wouldn’t mean anything to me via text message have the power to reduce me to a tearful mess when they’re jotted down on paper with ink. Bear knows that. That’s why he does it. I think he might know that I never throw them away, too. I don’t care if you think it’s lame, I can’t bear to part with them. I have a shoebox of memories that’s full to the brim and flowing over, but I still cram more beautiful little scribblings in there, not daring to waste even one of them.
What if they were to stop one day?
To you, those notes are just hastily written see-ya-laters, but to me, they’re something much more. They’re a reminder that I was the last thing he thought about when he grabbed his shit and ran out of the house. It’s usually the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. If it’s not messily taped to the front of the TV in our bedroom with micropore tape or something equally inappropriate for the job, it’s literally hanging from the door frame, ready to lightly waft across my forehead and scare the shit out of me as I plod to the bathroom with my eyes still half-shut. There was even that one time that he taped it to the mirror in the living room but it fell off and under my desk, so I didn’t see it. I missed it. I missed the goodbye/good morning love letter. So much so that I started an argument with him that I then kept going for the rest of the day. He’s never taped the love letter to the mirror since. Poor guy.
I talk about a lot of bad stuff on this blog, so I’m trying to make an effort to balance things out with the good. And love letters are most definitely a good thing, even if they’re only a few words long. He spent the time to actually, physically write those words out and not just tap them out in a text message.
That’s why I gotta keep ’em all.
I’ll need a new shoe box soon.
(Perfect excuse to buy new shoes if you ask me.)