My dear, my own
Why did you start calling me in the morning, before you go to the university? I was supposed to be sleeping but I was not. Yes, I was very happy to see you when you just got out of bed, your eyes shining, your face clean and fresh, your young red lips smiling. So childish and still you are not a child anymore. I loved your red sweater. I thought: she is beautiful as a rose at dawn in the garden. And you were giving me for nothing, unexpectedly, the pleasure of seeing you so early in the day? Lucky me.
Your tenderness made me feel alive and curious again about what’s going on in the outside world, which frequently bores me. You were brushing your teeth and you were a bit late for your Wittgenstein’s class. Still, you wanted to say me good-morning before you left to the streets. I thought: I can enjoy gazing at her face in the morning the same as if she had slept with me in my bed. Wasn’t it a special present you made to me? I was happy and so proud of you (or was it proud of me? what did I do to deserve your sympathy?).
And now I can’t sleep. It’s past midnight and I can’t sleep. Before I met you I was sleeping very well. But some weeks ago you told me that you love me. I didn’t believe you then. I still don’t believe you now. What do you know about love? You are too young, your ideas still need to be corrected by the painful experiences that relationship always bring with them. Your heart is a well of naive and touching generosity and I cannot fail to appreciate it and yes, I am grateful. But your head is full of wrong impressions and expectations about the world and about people.
I wish I could protect you from the wickedness that is threatening you in the journey of your life. But I know that you are on your own and that no one but you can take care of it.
Sometimes I ask myself if I should believe you anyway. Love is inspiring and tempting, it promises us the unknown and so many good things in it. We cannot anticipate what can happen when we are in love. Is there anything I learned in life that I didn’t first learn through love? I mean: through love’s pleasures and illusions, through love’s pains and disappointments?
When I first thought about being loved by an inexperienced and innocent girl like you I smiled. That you are taking a class on Wittgenstein helped maybe to get us closer. Thanks to that I could imagine you more settled than you certainly are and forget for a while that your impulsiveness puts you and me at risk. Your words are indeed very touching. Your enthusiasm is charming. Your idea of love is not yet corrupted by disenchantment, by betrayal, by deception. Could it be, however, that just because of your lack of experience you knew more about love than I ever was able to learn? I can’t figure it.
How is it then that having decided not to believe you I can’t sleep? And why am I so nervous, why am I so anxious lately? Is it because I want to love you but am aware that if I started to love you I would be very unhappy? Am I already in love with you and unhappy or anticipating unhappiness? I hope that my questions are just a brief symptom of my confusion.
Understand me: I am too old for you. If I started loving you I wouldn’t have the time to love you as you deserve to be loved. I wouldn’t have the time and most probably I don’t have the energy either. Your body is young and beautiful, your flesh is burning with lust; my body is old and not so pleasant to look at anymore. There are so many young boys around who would be so happy to have you. You could easily have one of them if you wanted. And, to be honest, I don’t know for how long I would be able to sustain my interest in you, or to be more precise, in your body. Does love get us closer to the deep truth of life, to life in its plenitude of meaning? Soon or later you would not fail to be disappointed with me. You would look at me at your side, you would think that our relationship doesn’t make sense and you would feel very unhappy. You would leave me because you may love my soul but you can’t love my body. And because you are a very sensitive girl you would be in pain because of me.
No, I can’t believe in your love and I can’t love you. Sure, I may love you in my own way, that is, I can love deeply and tenderly the person you are. I think I already do. But no, I will not take the risk of being ridiculous and unhappy because I fell in love with you and am dying to enjoy the pleasures of your intimacy.
We all know that if someone falls in love with us and we are not in love with that person... it’s a burden. It’s a burden too when we stop loving someone who keeps believing that she loves us (maybe she does and maybe her love, feeling the danger of the ending, suddenly awoke from a monotonous sleep; only it is too late). Knowing that, how would I dare to fall in love with you, risking being a burden in your life from the beginning? No, there is no way, my darling, my own. I will never fall in love with you. And I can’t believe in your love either.
If love was free of concerns. If we could love someone without ever stopping to enjoy it, if love did not bring with time disappointment, pain, boredom, how good would it be? Love without pain would be something like a delicious chocolate cake with no cholesterol. But when it comes to love you can be sure that soon or later you will pay for all the enjoyment and for all the great excitement and for all the pleasures you were allowed to experience all the way through it. You will pay for each of your smiles, for each of your moments of ecstasy. Yes, it may be true that it is better to be in pain than to live a boring life of solitude. I know that, but right now I am looking at the problem from another perspective; let’s proceed with method and explore one facet after the other without getting things mixed up. The topic is far from being an easy one.
Why are you telling me that you love me anyway? I haven’t seen you for more than a week now and when you talked to me lately in skype you seemed always busy and in a hurry to go someplace. I am not complaining. I am just trying to make you aware of your contradictory words. If you loved me as you say you do you would wish to talk to me every day, you would also complain when you don’t find me. That’s what people do. I don’t know what you have been busy with this last week but I guess that you have been perfectly happy without talking to me. You don’t (or wouldn’t) even mind not being loved, do you? Or maybe you are so sure of me, so convinced that I love you that you don’t see any reason to worry. Is that so? Oh, my darling, if things and life were so easy. They are not, I can promise you.
One day I will maybe spend some time with you, it’s not impossible. I have to think about it, give me some time. I may very well take a train, a boat or a plane and visit you. I will be careful not to expect too much from you, though. I will in no way take the risk of being a burden to your busy life. To say it shortly: I will be cautious; you will be part of the reason for my trip but I will have other important reasons to travel to the city where you spend your days at the moment; that way I will not be dependent on your smiles, on your dazzling eyes, on your uncertain and baffling love. If you had promised to have lunch or dinner with me, for example, and suddenly called back to say that you had an emergency and were unable to join me I wouldn’t like to be taken by surprise. Anyway I always have with me a book and a notebook. If, as it might happen, you failed to join me after having promised that you would come, I could easily comfort me reading and writing - and forget about you.
I am writing all these things and thinking at the same time that I should in no way be afraid of loving you. Am I that afraid? I don’t really know. I would like to have a more clear idea of what kind of love would be our love, your love for me and my love for you. In fact, I have to confess, I adore you. Since that day in the public garden in your city (I was enjoying the calm of the afternoon sitting on the lawn under the big trees and you came to me and asked where I was from and what I was doing) you didn’t stop surprising and impressing me. You are a miracle, are you aware of that? Besides being beautiful as a little bird you are generous, you are mature for your age, you are intelligent – and you love opera. There is something in your personality that I cannot identify and make clear that seduces me and sometimes leaves me breathless. Every time you say that you love me, every time you say “mi amor”, you make me smile, I forget all the miseries of my life. You are so dangerously and innocently crazy. Even if I don’t believe in your love, it feels good to hear you say the kind words. I have been so lonely, you know. Maybe you are a present of the gods who do not want to see me so sad, so lost in life. Maybe it’s their way of convincing me that life after all makes sense and is worth to be lived and praised, who knows? The problem is that I don’t believe in gods, so, I have to do without them.
Sincerely yours ( I mean it).