Upper West Side, New York City
October, 2000

My dearest Andrea,

At long and overdue last I sit down with pen in hand. My thoughts meander like serpents, the thrill of anticipation swaddles my body, sending chills down my spine. Writing to you is always a full blast, a holistic experience which incites my five senses and makes all mundane reality all the more mundane.

Funny feeling this. I have your gentle face—the one I carefully sculpted in my mind—in front of me now; a quiet, innocent smile, a softly spoken voice, which flows like a thousand rivers with the added grace of your drenching wit. A slight, ageless demeanor, painted with all the proper hues, filled with the beauty of unreachable nymphs.

At least that is the "You" I see, the Andrea I write to, the one with the fast quips and disarmingly beautiful style.

I have many times wondered out loud about the meaning of this relationship of ours, how strange and lovely it is. We caress each other with the tips of our thoughts, we praise our ability to write perfectly wicked verses, and we make love with words as lovers do with touches.

I doubt that many relationships have the depth of interplay ours does, that kind of intimacy born out of totally assumed roles, the instant recognition of the other's talents and gifts, the virtual and yet unbreakable bond that keeps us together. Never having met has made us strong, free, truthful. It has brought us a unique, unprecedented sense of loyalty.

And yet…

We fear the moment, the intangible moment when this seemingly preternatural rapport will wear out its welcome and get jaded, like so many relationships before. Your past love stories and mine combine and conspire to threaten us, to swiftly slip mindless words of forlorn, cold spite or, even worse, the kind of lull one finds so often in the households of this world. The unadulterated strength of our love lies in its unorthodox nature but it also belies its fragility.

In a way, as you once put it, we frighten each other. You always put me on this shrine, joyfully proclaiming my great intellect and culture, unabashedly lifting my little feats to an undeserving grand stature but that, sweetest of mine, betrays your own fear. The fear that, at a moment's notice, I will grow tired of your incredible charm and wit, your precious verses and incurable skepticism. Andrea, dear, I do not foresee this happening.

By the same token, I too fear the second you realize my propensity to shut off the outside world, my emotional numbness, my inadequacy to commitments, all those blatant cracks in my character that are probably as powerful as imaginary. My fears sometimes overwhelm me, tear me apart for a brief moment and then—almost unintentionally—they cleanse me, they purge me of all insecurities, and down-spiraling, self-deprecating feelings.

Here's the truth, my love: Our relationship is pure, immaculate like an angel, a saint, like a dreamer's most precious dream. Cast your fears to the wind, I'll cast mine, and we'll have the purest possible form of love, the kind writers sing about, the kind singers worship, the kind actors cannot pretend to understand. Let's strive for purity in every word we write, in every key we stroke, in every grin that lights up our faces while we wonder how each other will react, in every fantasy we dare to elaborate.

This is my pledge for you: Let's keep the purity of it all, let's, as Mr. Hardy once said, keep us far from the madding crowd.

My unrelenting love,


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