Dear Daisy Fay,
This letter is two years too late. Never might have been better, but it never felt right.
I am the Duke of temporary relationships – I only seem to fall for the girls that leave sooner than expected. The fact that they are already gone is probably why I fall for them. Their presence in my life is fleeting, and they buzz like flies through perforations in Swiss Cheese. The dairy is poisoned. I’m not just addicted to any love. I’m hooked on tragedy. I’m hooked on the idea of love, not the love of the girl.
Why is this suffering so attractive? Why am I writing this?
You must break what you are faithful to. Why else do these faithful things exist? Should I be faithful to my liver and stop drinking? Faithful to my lungs and stop smoking?
Should I be faithful to my heart and stop loving?
We loved to live, and we both knew that it was important to suffer to live. We lived together in fast times when having something meant that we had to abuse it. You wouldn’t disagree with me if I said that it was probably a malady specific to our adolescence. Despite that immaturity, I am an older man now and I still find myself tangled up in you, still naked to your eyes, still aching for the feel of your flesh.
Sometimes, you meet someone so fucked up that it offers perspective on how fucked you are yourself. That’s alright, it’s a good thing. Everything’s relative. I’ve met these people with frightening frequency all my life, disregard what reflection that casts on the friends I make or the life I live. You were never like that. I saw how messed up I was in contrast to how perfect you were. Are. I don’t know anymore, sometimes I worry if what I idealize in you was just a mirage that my subconscious cooked up to make living tolerable, but even the hope that it was reality warrants this. Perhaps you weren’t perfect. Perhaps you were as flawed as I was, but the hope that you were perfect for me warrants this.
Ah, hope, the quintessential human delusion. It is also the most beautiful one there is. I drown without it.
I know I was closed off, swinging hard when we met. It was still magical. And we were still too young. Now, I think we’re old enough. I need to stop dicking around and actually weigh what I’ve kept and lost in my existence so far. This is important to me and I hope I can convince you that it should be important to you too, but I don’t believe that a single human being has ever changed the mind of another in this world with mere words over unbridgeable distances. That time of our lives is important to think about, if only for hope.
The strangling influence of family telling you to do this and not do that is what smothers the potential intelligence in kids and teenagers so they don’t end up smart as adults. We were alone, we were pretty much family over that year but it seemed like you had wised up. I was never perfect. Loneliness seems to be the cost of brains.
I know that I come across as arrogant and narcissistic but my self loathing is stronger than the two, and the arrogance is only affirmation that keeps the demons at bay. The self loathing is strong today. The self loathing is strong everyday, may the Farce be with me. The loathing does not fish for compliments, they never seem to assuage the void. It sustains itself by feeding on me. I wonder if this is where Stoker found his vampire.
This might be the price for creativity. To underscore my arrogance, is it too steep of a cost for my intelligence? I’m beginning to find that given the fact that I am happy often enough, it isn’t too steep. I’m okay with things not going my way for an hour if they are for five minutes. The sociopath tendencies are worth it. They add to my quirk – to my charm, if you will. Still, most people who get close enough to me to see the dark hollow abyss within run for the safety of the hills. Deep within my Id is a scary place, a dark forest peopled by creatures of strange whims. More importantly, that dark place is a place they’re not used to. It’s a force field keeping everything outside safe from the landmine inside. Would I have it any other way?
Absolutely not. You were proud of my personality disorders, and I have learned to love them. I find that I can keep them happy more easily than I have ever kept any human being happy, be it you or my family. This is the product of years of therapy, the result of thousands of dollars paid to those behavioral analyst vampires. Thanks to you, I now believe in Ego as the highest common denominator, so this narcissism is inevitable. Everything else wrong with me is built on that. You helped me be proud of this gruff, crass exterior, but you did warn me that it is just a veneer for the intensity and sensitivity I carry inside me. I don’t know what happened then. I don’t know why I never did anything about what went wrong. I never knew anything about what went wrong. I still don’t.
Maybe you got too close to that interior. Maybe we were too young to be that close, I don’t know. The thought is saddening, the detachment after that closeness is absolutely maddening. I look for you in everyone I meet, and everyone I meet is a disappointment.
I fall in love every time I have a real conversation that brings real mirth into my eyes. Maybe this is why I can never again have a woman consistent enough to have one of those conversations every day with me. I’m spread too thin now. My equal opportunity loving stems from the self loathing, my hunger for a real connection, my thirst for the one that got away.
I am now the Duke of temporary relationships, I fall in love with people that were never with me to begin with. With people that were drifting away on a completely different orbit than mine, their lives revolving around a different star than mine. Their sun does not rise and set with mine. The directions are skewed. From my perspective, they live their lives in gymbal lock, gyrating wildly without any bearings or hope of landfall. Their zodiacs are out of whack, they irritate me. They are not for me.
I’ve been fooling myself. The center of my galaxy has always been you, and you are a red giant of a star that will probably shine for my eternity, and beyond, when that eternity is dust. These new yellow suns shining bright are fake halogen lights, doomed to burn out and crack into ash and shards.
I just miss you. The sun shines outside, but the curtains are drawn tight and the cigarette butts smell stale. It feels like night, like I’m living in gray pastel while everyone else is living in decadent oil. We looked so much better in color, but every picture in our photo albums is in that once edgy Sepia tone.
All these people I meet and fail with, it’s like I tell them what I feel without saying out loud, “I belong to someone else.” The dividing space is automatic, its absence is unthinkable. Their colors are plain.
My newfound contentment with life is a flawed ambrosia that tastes like regurgitated cigarette phleghm, all while my Tonsilitis is rearing up. You remember those mornings, where I husked sweet nothings to you through a throat so infected I sounded like Leonard Cohen on a coke-binge. I suppose living with this vile, bitter taste in my mouth is the sacrifice necessary, just like every other self-respecting adult has had to sacrifice something of worth in their lives to find contentment.
Being with you was the most peace any man can hope for on this world. Anything more is just providence. Luck. I’m trusting to luck that this letter is brilliance, that it begets a semblance of the love we once had. I know it can’t ever be the same again. I hope I just sound like I love you, because I do.
Cheers, tables, floral arrangements,
Mister Jay Gatsby.