From a letter I wrote to Katie, Saturday November 8th 2008.
He tells me he had no idea I wasn't wearing makeup. (Do you think boys really mean it when they say that? I don't know about that.) Anyway, he says I look great no matter what. And I mean, that's nice, but I don't put much weight on those types of comments. It's not that I think he's flat-out-lying to please me, I just don't fall on the floor in flattery, you know?
So then he says
"I've been thinking about something, and I want to tell you..."
This is how a lot of our conversations start out. It's kinda like saying 'There's this thing that I understand, but it's weird... but sometimes you understand my weird things-- so here it is..."
"I think every girl has her own thing about her," he says.
"Like... some girls are really charming. They tend to say lots of funny things and that draws people to them. Some girls are quiet and have a graceful way to them.... and anyway, I think I figured out what your thing is. You have a radiance. It's like a happiness, a bright youthfulness that comes out from within you-- and so when people see you, it doesn't matter what makeup you're wearing because they see this part of you too. It shines towards people. You are red. And golden."
"Lovie he is DIGGIN for you. Diggin so see who you are. I know you know this but it's such a big deal. Like it's one thing for a boy to let you dig for them-- to answer all your questions and nod when you say stuff about your soul. But he listens and remembers and applies. Woah. And he likes you for those things instead of just tolerating them."
* * * * *
There was a reverence there, at the beginning.
You remembered my name.
That scar was forming at the bottom of my thumb,
It was the skin over my bone-- my trapezium.
You kept watch
Over that burned skin
And my trapeze.
We were both surprised at how brave I was
in what I spoke to you
in the tricks I attempted up there.
"How is your burn today?" you'd ask.
I'd hold out my hand.
I'd let you see.
Did the transition of today's air feel familiar to you?
Because we felt it once together,
this space between seasons.
(It was conference weekend. The leggos and the roof.)
I used to think: "What's coming?"
Now I know: A Fall.
I was inside this air, when I jumped for that trapeze.
one. year. ago.
We drove away
to escape the cold,
You named the flame colors in my countenance.
Remember when you told me you'd found them?
On the road, I played this song for you:
If it is born in flames
Then we should let it burn
Burn as brightly as we can...
And if its gotta end (Let it burn)
It ends where it began
So hot with love
We burned our hands.
We drove home from the heat, and
in the end you were winter.
What felt brave, was now humiliating.
I grew tired of showing you my tricks.
So I came down.
"My love is like a blanket
It gets a little too warm
I wanna wrap somebody in it
Who can hold me in his arms
Cause when it got a little too hot in there
He was always steppin out for air
And he froze.
Oh he froze."
"How is your burn today?"
You don't ask anymore.
So I don't show you.
I don't tell you that
I have another scar now.
But I am still Red. And Golden.
Don't you forget.