Thursday, 27 November 2014

To You~ From The Airport Hater

(Backstory: This may only be the second, but it already is one of my favourite To You letters. I fell in love with this story of the 4 Year Wait-er and The Airport Hater. Because Love's favourite hurdles had always been time and space. This is being sent out, typed out on a typewriter, all the way to London.)

To You
4 Year Wait-er,

I was sitting next to her on that flight, while her fire-brown hair fell over her face, most of which was buried inside the folds of a book. I hate talking to people on a flight, they always end up telling you more than you want to know. This girl, though, had four different boarding cards sticking out from four different places in the book.
Curiosity trumps most things (except global warming).

Hi. I was just wondering. With your, erm system.. how do you know, where you left the book last? Which of your bookmarks actually marks the spot, and which are for decoration?”

She smiled a brilliant smile I would come to know in flashes, Who says you have to begin only where you left off?” 

I knew then, we would spend the next two and a half hours talking. I just didn’t know it would be all about you.

If I told you that she could not tell a story straight, it would be half the truth. If I told you that I pieced her story together from mostly U2 song lyrics she narrated to me, unnerving excitement about coffee and a deep, simmering hatred for airports, it wouldn't even cover the preface. All you need to know (as you read this) is that you filled up every pause between every broken story, none of which began where they first left off.

You’re wondering by now why a strange girl you've never met is writing to you, about the woman you love.

Because she’s never going to. Her words are too full, too big and impregnated by you. Oh, and remind me to ask you, when I’m done, why you live in another country. Though she never once mentioned it explicitly. 
She didn't have to. She just said with a steady voice, “I hate airports. Standing at one gives you more clarity than years put together.” 

I wish now, as I write to you, that she’d told me which came first-- the surprise package of dark chocolates and Pope’s book of poetry at her work desk, a song she saw on your Facebook wall or the wedding where you met. She never stopped long enough to clarify and I kept forgetting to interrupt her.

Did you know that she spoke of you like her fondest memory and fiercest secret? It was almost like she was airing out details just to remember them right. No questions or sudden movements were allowed - the conversation threatened to go back to her uncontained love for coffee at any point.

I told her about the loves and chances I had found and lost, maybe it was then that she made it her 2.5 hour mission to convince me. Or maybe she needed to unravel you from inside of her and air you out again. And there you were, 4 year wait-er, a proof of her theory on believing, her prize and her pride.

Her fingers carelessly traced the jacket lettering of Murakami’s After Dark, as she alternatively encouraged and warned me, “Hey listen, if you've never been, just go to Vienna right now.” “Also, piece of advice: it’s easier when the person you love is in the same time-zone. Did you know that?”

I didn’t know that.

Did you know that some days her heart is strained to the point of breaking, without even losing you, but for never having you present when she needs you. Did you know that sometimes pockets of space need to be filled out by a physical presence- especially one that’s carelessly running his fingers behind your ear? Did you know her voice darkens like thunder when she talks about what 5.5 hours of time difference can do to someone? Did she tell you it can age you? That it can drive you to reading subtext on lyrics which were only meant to be fillers for the bass solo?

Loneliness was never a privilege of the truly lonely.

Did you know, 4 Year Wait-er, that she, Airport Hater, carries you around in her purse, folded neatly next to her cigarettes and mobile phone. This invisible shape of you holds her hand or becomes the cloud over her head, depending on which side of the time difference (warp) she really is on. On particularly bad days, this shape of you is so bruised and blackened with her longing that it can barely sit up at the dinner table.

“I only really like Norwegian Wood, the best”. I told her glancing at her copy of After Dark, as we got up to collect our overhead luggage.

“Maybe you need to have a boy stand in line at 6am in the morning, in the freezing London cold, just to get you a signed copy. And when he doesn’t get one, he goes to The Savoy to explain to the concierge why Murakami has to sign this particular copy. And when the concierge doesn’t oblige, he sits across you on vacation and signs it himself. Maybe you need that .”

And you know what, 4 Year wait-er, maybe I do.

Your Nameless Friend,
Seat 4F.

(Why don't you, Damn you.)

(To You is a letter writing project I started because there are not enough letters and love going around. If you have something to say with love-- for your ex girlfriend, you current husband, pizza (promise not to make it cheesy), your landlord who let you skip rent or even Ryan Gosling-- I'll write that letter for you.
The final letter will be up on my blog and a copy will be handwritten/typed on a typewriter and posted to you or to an intended recipient. Kisses on the envelope only on my discretion.
Give me a shout at: )

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