An Unexpected Arrival

Ginevra LetterIt happens. The high starts to wear off when you leave the hotel. The chocolates on the pillows turn into wrappers in the dustbin, the rich meals become a decadent memory (and maybe an extra pound on the waistline, truth be told). If the weekend is especially delicious, the high lasts a little longer, but eventually, all good things come to an end. You come home and realize that indeed, after the ecstasy, there really is laundry. A lot of laundry. I soak the stockings, hang up the slips to dry, sew a loose button back on my skirt waistband, take a couple of things to the cleaners. I sort the darks, the lights. I think. A lot. About what we did. A little bit about what might have been different. Mostly about what will happen next.

I was just coming down from that high, just settling back into my daily routine, just getting back to some kind of normal; when it happened.

I was sitting on the sofa reading when I heard the mailman (mailwoman? who knew?) clatter the lid of my box, so I rose up and went to bring in the daily round of bills, sale flyers and junk mail. Thumbing through the stack to sort what I could immediately recycle, I notice a heavy cream-colored envelope. Hmmm… I wonder who’s getting married? Not recognizing the return address, I set everything else on the credenza, and turn it over to open the envelope. It’s not an invitation. It’s a letter. Nice… It’s linen finish laid paper. You don’t see that much for correspondence. A moment of dread fills me. It’s probably from some lawyer. But the envelope isn’t business sized, and the letter is folded in quarters. Like, well, like a letter. I slowly unfold the paper and read the following:

*****

Weston Place
June 17, 20–

Ginevra,

It wasn’t supposed to go like this. It was supposed to be totally about flirting and playing and seducing. I was supposed to be the seducer. I was supposed to be the one in charge of this affair. I was supposed to be Mr. Suave and Mr. Have It All Together and Mr. Sophisticated. I was the one who told you I would lead, take you to places you’ve never been, and ruin you for life. You had no idea what you were getting into. That’s what I knew. That’s what I thought.

And then the seducer got seduced. I found you willing to bare your very soul to me. Without revealing a single bit of flesh, you stripped yourself naked right in front of me. You revealed parts of you that you have never revealed to any of the men who have known you . And I was humbled and intoxicated at the same time. I found myself drawn into your essence long before I ever entered your body. Long before our lips ever met for the first time. Long before our fingertips ever touched.

I have no idea where this is going or how it’s going to play out. I only know that you have touched me in places that have lain dormant for many, many years. I only know that I have fallen for you, Ginevra, in a way I never dreamed possible. I only know that I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter of our story, the next scene of our play, the next page of our novel. I only know that right now, I cannot imagine anything more desirable than having those love-filled eyes of yours looking directly into mine, touching your hand, holding you in my arms, and kissing your lips.

I love you, Ginevra, and cannot wait until we are together again and together for the first time. For it will "Seem like the very first time," when our bodies entwine, our hearts unite, and our souls trade the very breath of life itself.

Steffen

*****

Oh, my… Oh… I sit down. Hard. Knees a little weak. Heart beating a little faster. I reread the letter. It’s real. It’s really real. The faintest, so faint as to be almost imaginary scent of cologne wafts up from the paper. It’s a real letter, and it’s from Steffen, and…and…now what? I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to do.

_______________________________

Special Note:
This is the followup to my “First Kiss” story.
This is a letter I actually received. Upon rediscovering it, I realized it would be the perfect “next chapter” in the Ginevra story. I contacted the sender and received his permission to use it in this blog, and, with changes amounting to less than twenty-five characters, I submit it for your pleasure.

Gentlemen readers, you can do this. Ladies, you can hope for it. It’s not impossible to do, It’s not impossible to receive, and well, let’s just say it was effective. Very effective.

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What was I thinking?

It was Friday evening, the 5th of July. Frustrated by a house that was a little too humid and clothes that were a little too sticky, I decided to go for a walk down to Boswell Book Company and the adjoining Starbucks and see if I couldn’t get some writing done there. I had high hopes. Surely a change of venue would jump-start my pen.

I load up my purse with a pen and notepad, and the magazine I’m currently reading, Taproot. The great writing in it had inspired me already, and just in case I couldn’t get anything written, there was no reason I couldn’t just sit and read. I walked due east and ordered a Cool Lime Refresher. I get out my pen and just sit. Here’s what happens.

***

StarbucksSitting here at the Starbucks on the corner of Downer and Webster. This may not be the most pretentious place on a street full of pretentious little shops, but it’s close. The weather’s nice enough that hardly anyone is here, and with three baristas, there’s literally one for every two patrons. I wonder what type of manager made this scheduling decision? I also wonder what makes the staff here think there’s nothing to do, despite the lack of patrons? But I’m not here to do a review.

I’m here to write. Or so I thought. The music is just loud enough to be distracting and the lack of customers makes every whir and grind, every tap and clatter wincingly loud. I know I’m being unfair. It’s a coffee shop, not my home office. But the house seemed stifling this afternoon; too humid to be comfortable. There are outdoor tables, also mostly empty, that I could go sit at. But, somehow, noticing the regular passage of cars, I know it won’t be any better.

There’s a man at a long table in front of me. From my perch on a high stool by a wall, I can easily watch him studying. His pencils and highlighters threaten to roll off the edge, though he’s careful to keep them corralled by his cell phone and wallet. Several sets of loose papers make up the outbuildings of this intellectual ranch. Another man is at the counter overlooking the street. He, too, is elbow deep in the tools of academia.Boswell 1

For the life of me, I don’t know how they do it. I certainly can’t. I pick up my drink and head back to the bookstore.

There’s a thousand reasons why I can’t write in a bookstore. Maybe ten thousand, or even more. They call out to me from the shelves, from the tables, from the racks. Cover art or only spines, it doesn’t matter. Moleskine black books and pads of artsy-fartsy Post-It notes. Pens, stationery, bookmarks, tote bags. An old man chuckles over greeting cards while two women compare notes on short story writers. The in-store stereo plays jazz and the low moans from a subdued saxophone and the subtle buzz of brushes on a snare tickle my eardrums just enough.

There are no tables here, and I’m forced to balance my notebook on my lap. The scuffed leather sofas are empty, and except for the one I’m sitting in, all the cloth chairs are too. You’d think it would be easy to write in an atmosphere so congenial to the written word, but it’s not.

I pick up my things yet again, and go outdoors. I guess I’ll just head back to the house.

***

Marybelle AptsHeading West down Bellevue I passed Henry’s. Already noisy, though it was still light out, one table of elderly German-speaking men were laughing uproariously over some joke and nearly spilling their pilsners in the process of back-slapping each other. They were viewed disdainfully by a nearby table of young women who were clearly pondering whether to move to a different area.

I continued to the next block where a large, multi-apartment home sported three young man lounging on a balcony. Their music was loud enough that I’m sure the other residents had neither need nor ability to play their own stereos. It’s a good thing I was walking, because there was no way I could get any writing done in that environment.

Just before crossing Maryland, I noticed a young couple kissing on the stoop of the Marybelle apartments. I can’t remember the last time I was that oblivious to anything but…uh…the matter at hand. Or at lips, as the case may be.

Stopping at Maryland for a police cruiser, sirens screaming, I wondered what on earth could be the matter. Despite its being a Friday night, the streets were oddly empty. Everyone is probably at Summerfest, I remembered.

I continued back to the house, and while I unlocked the door, I laughed to myself. It was a beautiful night. I had the house to myself and I could put the air conditioning on if I wanted to. Maybe I’d play around on the internet.

I don’t know what made me think I’d get any writing done.

Five Minute Friday: Present

The Chinese character for mindfulness means bringing the heart into the present moment.Being fully present, fully alive to the moment, is the only way to really live.

When I give myself the present, that awareness, that mindfulness, I am also giving myself a present. It is only during this moment that I can be fully appreciative of the things surrounding me. This is the time for gratitude. Right. Now.

This is the moment. And this is the moment. And this is the moment.

I am writing this now. I did not write it yesterday, when my life was different. I cannot write it tomorrow, when my life will be different. I can only write it today. In the present. The present which is my present to myself, if I choose to unwrap this moment and fully live it.

And I so want to. I am alive right now and in this moment, this present moment, I am living and breathing. I am smelling the incense on the altar, and seeing the glow of the candle. I am hearing the hum of the fan and feeling its light breeze across my skin. I am seeing the sunlight casting misty shadows as it falls on the bed through the sheers. I am brushing my hair away from my face and typing this post.

I am alive. As this moment I am present.

Are you?

*****5-minute-friday-1

What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

Today’s Five Minute Friday selection is also here!

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Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Movie Poster David Niven Mitzi Gaynor

Seems like just yesterday…

Five years ago today, I started writing this blog. It’s both hard and easy to believe. Some entries have flowed from my pen like water. Others, less so. I’d like to have more of the former, but who wouldn’t. Instead, I’m going to just plug away and have more entries. Period.

I’d like to thank you, my readers. Your comments and positive thoughts have really helped. More than I thought.

Let’s hear it for another five years! Huzzah!

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Living a Lie

Living a LieLife is hard.

I know that. I’ve been there, done that. My God, how I have been there and done that.

But now, now I’m the happy one, the one for whom life is good, so good. And it’s easy to forget that some people are just faking it. Just faking that happy face. Going about their jobs, their home lives, their times with family; the dial set to the comfortable smile channel, the easy laughter station.

Inside, though, they’re just a nudge away from tears, from breaking down, from screaming ’til the throat burns raw and it hurts just to breathe.

And they, these capable-of-winning-an-Oscar performers, what are they thinking? Have they fallen for the lie that says, "No one wants to hear about it"? Are they turning away from intimacy, from self-revelation, because, "No one likes a complainer"? Do they, like I once did, succumb to the thought that, "No one cares"?

And have we let them?

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Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

Beautiful“When I saw you, I just thought you were so beautiful.”

My God. I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I’m one of the lucky ones, those blessed among women, those who are gifted with attractiveness. But when he told me that, I just went dumb. I had no words. I didn’t know what to say.

Not because I hadn’t heard it before.

But because he meant it.

That kind of sincerity can’t be faked. And when I heard it, I knew it. I can spot flattery a mile away. I’ve got 20/20 vision when it comes to schmoozing. Enough men have tried to pick me up that my feet need never touch the earth again.

But this was real. This was so real.

These are the words that every woman wants to hear. And I was hearing them. And I was crying and laughing all at the same time. That’s a feeling that can’t come from a bottle, be it booze or pills.

That is real. That’s beautiful.

*****5-minute-friday-1

What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after midnight via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

Today’s Five Minute Friday selection is also here!

Enhanced by Zemanta