Dear Past Love,
You have recently been in touch. I am sorry that I have not been able to get back to you, its been busy and work and all. I hope you understand. You probably will not. Not many of you ever did, not really, and the ones that did I thank you for that. I also want to thank you for other things.
I want to thank you for early morning hugs. Running to each other from across a park on a cold winter morning. Cold arms sliding between my shirt and my coat and wrapping around making my ribs squeeze as you held on. I still feel your hair against my cheek as you crushed your face into my chest. Those were the best hugs, the warmest I ever had, because they came with abandon and want and smiles and friendship. Everyone should start their day with a long tight hug.
I want to thank you for late night kisses. First kisses on beaches as the sun rose. Last kisses with tears. All the kisses in between that happened by chance, on purpose, that were one sided, that neither of us wanted, that both of us needed. Kisses in the rain. That one time in the snow when you ran away after and I caught you and you held me, grasped me like tight and pulled me to you. That last kiss against the wall in an elevator of a hotel before we left. I remember you being surprised by that one and I remember feeling you smile as you kissed me back.
I want to thank you for passion. Fire, hot and deep found on a couch, in a car, in a bed, and that one time on a beach but never again, please, not after all that sand. Okay, maybe again, but we’ll need a big towel. Passion that raged and erupted and tore shirts and straps and skirts and lace and one time a quilt. Passion that could not be cooled by showers or snow or ice cream or whip cream or time. Passion that died too many times because of words misspoke, of deeds done and undone.
I want to thank you for talks. For the talks in the back of trucks as we looked at the stars and made plans. For the talks drunkenly had at a bar as it closed around us. For the talks over coffee in the middle of the night on a couch that neither of us owned. For talks in the cold and in the heat as we both puffed on cigarettes either in bed or outside the gas station where you worked, both times hoping no one showed up. For talks that ended in hugs, kisses, passion, and long glances as we left.
Because we always left, Past Love. That’s how you got your name. One of us walked away. Or both of us walked away. Neither of us stayed. We left and one or both looked back. Small waves happened. Maybe smiles. Maybe tears. Maybe promises to call on birthdays. We left each other for good reasons and bad. But so far we have left.
I love you, Past Love, and I am haunted by you. I can write you down a thousand times, change your face and your personality or blend you up and run the scene again in another way and that will help. But I will always be haunted by memories, of long ago morning hugs that warmed me, surprise kisses that widened your eyes, passion that melted both of us, talks that brought us closer and less alone, and of leaving with only memories.
I wanted to write this to tell you I know why you got in touch recently. I remember everything good and everything bad and everything in between. I am haunted by all the memories of all the times and maybe you are too. And that’s okay. But I am also content to let memories live in the past, ghosts in a full house with people all around, real people. Memories may possess, they may entice, but they are gone. I intend to create new memories, not relive old ones.
So thank you for all of the above and for getting in touch, Past Love. You have meant the world to me. I hope you find what you are looking for, what you deserve, but please do not look here any longer.
With all my heart,