i wrote this to my best friend eleanor; she was leaving for south korea and i was stuck in some strange purgatory in seattle and soon headed across the country.
to el (7:41am, aug 26, 2014):
i hope your flight was seamless, i hope the drugs did their job and that you sleepily floated through the night sky and i hope that you’re rested, but not too rested because traveling weary is traveling lucid and i think that’s the best kind.
i hope the cab wasn’t too pricy and i hope the cabbie spoke just enough english to answer the questions i know you asked and i know you’ll find a place to live and i won’t be surprised when that place has a balcony and windows that touch ceiling and floor and i know you’ll be fine even if that’s not the case and your dorm room happens to be just a dorm room.
i hope you don’t dance too hard and too long so that you forget me; i won’t forget you. i won’t forget this summer, this year. i won’t forget you, no, no, no. i won’t forget veraci pizza and paddleboarding and jumping off that rock twice not because it was fun but because of the face you made when i popped my frazzled head out of that cold water and i won’t forget the farmer’s market; no i’ll never forget the farmer’s market and we’ll find a new farmer’s market some day, me and you, maybe it’ll be smaller, maybe it’ll be a grocery store or a fruit stand or maybe just a plum tree but it’ll be our farmer’s market.
and i won’t forget your bed and your hugs and your eyes and i won’t forget waking up next to you and i won’t forget pulling you out of bed — you: run over by last night’s booze — no, i won’t forget pulling you out of bed against your every wish to do something as trivial, as whimsical, as meaningless as digging through the fremont flea market or visiting estate sales or trekking all the way to magnolia where the houses have pools and the kids not much to do.
i won’t forget mars bar and i won’t forget their shitty drinks and drunk bartenders and i won’t forget you; i hope you don’t forget me. and i won’t forget reading to you: be it pamphlets on the bus that warn us of fire and brimstone and make us miss our stop or tales of shady furniture dealers getting their comeuppance. and i won’t forget how many letters your name has (seven to you, two to me).
and i won’t forget the shittier times either, i can’t, i wouldn’t want to. the times when we’ve been pissed and hurt and tears have been shed and passive aggressive texts traded and barbs thrown and i won’t forget them because they mean something , they mean something to me because they remind me that i cared, you cared, that shit mattered; they remind me that love is beautiful even when it’s ugly, love is beautiful when it’s hungover in tattered clothing, with its face smeared with dirt because it’s still love and i love you el.
i was looking in the mirror just now, in the bathroom at solstice and i made eye contact with myself and i felt a pit in my stomach growing and i heard your voice: “holdennn.” The way you hold that last consonant when you’re annoyed with me or maybe intrigued by something i say or do or don’t do. and i almost felt your arms around me. almost, almost.
you’re my best friend and seoul doesn’t know how lucky it is to have you and i’m know i’ll see you in the future; we’ll both be different people, that i’m sure, and i’m excited to meet you on the other side.
i love you, el.