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The Little Red Book

July 24, 2014

July 19, 2014

Z knew that I had written about him. When he was still here, he asked to read what I wrote. I refused. That would have been too revealing, too intense.

Then he moved away. We may never see each other again. He sent me gifts for my birthday again this year. His birthday was approaching and I asked him what he wanted.  “I want to read what you wrote about me,” he requested.

I decided to acquiesce. Maybe it would be a good gift. He was safely away and it was safely over between us, why not let him know what he had been to me. What I had felt and thought all along the way.

Instead of just copying and pasting the blogs and e-mailing the text to him, I decided to make a physical book. I found a little red, leather journal. I copied and pasted the text into a design file to fit the journal pages. I added illustrating photos. Some actual pictures from my apartment, some stolen from the internet and some screen shots of texts I had saved from our conversations.

I painstakingly cut out the pages and pictures and glued them onto the journal pages. This effort was given a boost when I got let go at my job. As I read and re-read the blogs, I started to get nervous about the idea of him reading them. How many times did I think we had broken up? How many times did I express doubt? How many times did I write, “This just isn’t working for me.” I wrote about what happened to him in Houston. Would he be ok with that?

I finished it off and mailed it to him. He was supposed to receive it the day before his birthday. When I checked to see if he had gotten it, it wasn’t there. It wasn’t there on his birthday either.

“You might not get it in time,” I warned.

“Have faith.” he said. Later that afternoon, it was in his hands. He started reading it right away, texting me comments.

He loved it. He was touched that I had gone through so much trouble. It was the best birthday present he had ever recieved, he told me. I was relieved. I was happy.

It had been a hell of a week. I lost my job and the blog-reader was still harrassing me. The truth is, I had hurt her and it was weighing heavy on my conscious. Say what you will about her, and I said plenty, I didn’t intend to cause her pain and the truth is I didn’t hope for her pain. I hoped for her peace. That didn’t lessen how awful she was to me. And it was continuing. I felt toxic. Like I had soiled someone else’s cosmic space. I felt like I was paying for a sin.

So when Z told me how happy he was to receive my gift, when he so obviously received it with all the love I had put into it, I felt closer to a balancing of the score, so to speak. It was a reminder that I do good things as well. That I can be good to someone. I can enhance, not just take away from someone’s life.

A couple of days ago I called him while I was walking a new path in a nearby neighborhood.

“You want to talk about the book?” he asked.

“I just wanted to talk to you,” I said, “but we can talk about the book, if you want to.”

He thanked me again and told me how much it had meant to him that I put so much work into the little artifact. He started reading his favorite parts to me. He read my words, so familiar to me after editing and re-reading the stories over and over, in his Indian accent and way of speaking. It was blissful. He kept reading section after section, saying, “I love this part.”

He read one of the last things I had written about him:

“Sometimes when he was lying next to me, I would reach over and put my hand firmly on his back, or his stomach. I liked to imagine that everything that I felt for him was flowing from my heart through my hand and into his body, his heart and his mind. I imagined that by touching him I could transfer the truth of what I felt for him into his consciousness and he would know. He would sense what he was to me. He would understand all the things I couldn’t articulate with words.”


It was strange to hear him speak those words to me. My secret thoughts revealed timidly at first into the world of the internet, then intentionally to him……he read it to me with his own timing, emphasizing words differently than I would. I walked down the oak-tree lined street with his voice in my ears and fought back tears.

He always knew that I was crazy about him. Now he knew the depth of my love for him. He read what I couldn’t say. And he accepted it as generously as I had given it.

“You gave me your heart for my birthday,” he texted me. “I will keep it with me forever and take it to my grave.”

How will I ever find somebody like him again?

He healed me. I will never forget that.


From → Rantings

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