for better or worse, i pushed send this time.
I was sitting in Clark watching it snow today and I was struck by a sudden spell of missing you intensely. I found myself thinking of a thousand things I wanted to tell you, show you, share with you, and I was nearly overcome with the sense of your absence. It seemed in that moment that you had been gone for years, decades. I suppose it surprised me in large part because it was so random and unprovoked. That and, strange as it may sound, I've gotten used to your absence.
I realized last week that I've gotten used to the absence of a great many things. My life no longer resembles its former self - the only remnant is Monday night, where I feel somewhat detached. It's not the same without you there. It's not the same in general. I've changed and no one seems to have noticed. I humor them by making the same old jokes and keeping my metamorphosis to myself.
The Emperor and I have been getting along well the past few weeks and I'm glad for it. He is unhappy and he seeks my advice and sympathy - I suppose some things remain ever the same. I would worry about him, but he seems determined to make things difficult for himself. I think it's what he needs to do right now. Not even his "distracting fling" with the Queen of Wands makes him happy (which makes me wonder what the point is). These days I sit quietly as he rests his head on my shoulder and tells me he is doomed to remain unhappy. I do all I can, which is to say I offer a kind word, a hug, and go on my way. It is all I can do. It's all I ever could do, except now I'm aware of my limitations.
Most of my other friendships have settled into near stagnation. Since I moved up here, and winter hit, I haven't seen much of anyone. We still have five feet of snow up here and it has snowed every week for two months. The weathermen are beside themselves, as is my poor father. I passed the stir crazy stage a month ago. I'm resigned now to living and breathing snow, textbooks, and solitude. I figure I'll dig myself out next spring.
The Prince of Swords has returned to school (woo!) and remains chained to S at the hip. I'm glad for him, but I miss him as well. I haven't seen him, just the two of us, since October. I only vaguely recollect what being around him without others is like. I miss the side of him that only comes out when there is no one around to impress.
The Prince of Disks and I, on the other hand, have been closer the past few months than we have been in a long time. I edited his book for him and he's excited about revisions. He seems happier than he has in a long time. I think he's finally coming to peace with himself. I think you'd be happy to see how much he's grown this past year.
The Princess of Cups and I have a bit of a falling out. After a couple months of snippy passive aggressive phone calls we finally had an ill-fated dinner that ended in shouting across the table in a busy restaurant. We've since reconciled but things aren't the same. I doubt they ever will be. And strangely I feel nothing for the loss. To much has been lost over the past year for me to care as deeply as I once did about such things. I'm afraid I've become cold. But Disney movies still make me cry, so all is not lost.
It's very dark out tonight, the snow clouds have blotted out the moon and the lights from town. I've lit my room with candles to take the chill off. (It's -7 degrees.) I'm supposed to be typing my paper for tomorrow's lecture on Byron, but as soon as I opened my laptop I found myself thinking about you again.
I've been meaning to write this letter for weeks. I'm not sure why I didn't. I suppose it's just because I have so much to say. And I don't just mean all of the crap I wrote above this. I mean so much more than that. Even now I can't find the words or inclination to write them. Suffice it to say that I have a lot I wish I could tell you. And there is a lot I wish I could hear. I want to hear you describe the ocean in New Zealand, or the cliffs of Ireland. I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your distinct way of speaking, and seeing the world. I suppose I just miss you, as I said at the beginning.
And I do, miss you. I love you, R. I'm not sure what that means anymore, if anything, but I'd be remiss not to say it. Don't worry. I expect nothing in return. I rarely even hope for anything anymore. But I do still feel something every time I hear certain songs or see familiar sights. I think to myself, "once upon a time me and a boy I loved were there, and I was happy", and I'm thinking of you. Strange that despite our lack of a romantic relationship I feel so connected. I'm not sure why I bring it up, except that it has been clinging in the back of my throat, something unsaid and heavy, for quite some time. I've been careful to tiptoe around the words, and I've grown weary with not saying what's on my mind (much to the chagrin of others). So please, forgive my candor just this once, and take it for what it is: an offer of honesty and affection.
I hope you are well. I hope New Zealand is the paradise it seems. I hope you are happy. I hope you dream wonderful dreams. I hope for a great many things, all of them good, for you. Know that somewhere on the other side of the world someone is watching a snowflake melt on a pane of glass and thinking of you. Know that you are, as always, loved.