He found it strange that he would have to write a letter to his wife. His former wife, not exactly yet but it helped him to think of her as part of his past. The cigarette found itself in his mouth, he knew he could multi task with the best of them and he looked at his computer screen, the fucking Internet would even steal from him the physical release of an actual letter. He had been sitting there for such a long time thinking. and he had no idea how to start, but he knew he had to.
“i can still remember the first time I met you and why I talked to you. It was your smile you had a way of smiling that opened you up to the whole world. Like the smile was a confirmation of everything right in the world. It opened up your soul and you seemed so vulnerable. And that was it. I needed to be around you to keep you safe and protected. I felt like you trusted the world too much and it was all in the smile. I find it strangely fitting that there was nothing at all in the world that could have been protected me from that smile.”
then he smiled at the memory of her. And he remembered him and the bile rose. He shouldn't be apologizing, he shouldn't be so accommodating, this letter deserved a different tenure. He took a deep puff and started again.
“you know I couldn't give a shit about you right now, well that's not true just recently I had a particularly bad bout of diarrhea and I named one of them little shits for you. I gave you so much and you threw it in my face.”
no he didn't really feel like that. He didn't want the letter to be the last form of communication between him and her. They had shared too much. Too many memories, hopes, dreams, fears, tears and smiles. He hated he yes but it wasn't that simple and usually he wouldn't even admit this to himself. Maybe it was the liquor swirling around and unlocking the secret places that he couldn't ever find.
“the truth is I knew it was over or i should have known. The lies we tell ourselves are the worst of all, the most deceptive . Things must have been over for a really long time and I only held on too hope because it created a world for me, a world of glass and lies and I was scared that if I tried too hard to see through the lies the glass would shatter and all I would be left with was the horror of the truth and little piercing shards of glass. I was afraid to confront the truth. Until I was forced too. And even then I could only confront it's present presence but I know the truth is more than what's right now. It draws on the past and history, it draws on what came before and on all the other little truths. And I know too that the truth owes much of it's nowness to the lies of the past. And my heart is heavy because I never confronted more than just the present of the truth. I am scared of what happens if we confront the rest of what happened between us. And am more scared too admit to myself that we'll have to, so I don't know how am getting the nerve to admit it to you.”
he didn't want to say anymore. He knew he had betrayed her at least as bad as she had him. But a human being is nothing if not a sea of contradictions. And even now as he drowned in his he could not begin to understand them. He would not grasp that maybe he had no right to ask for anything. He had lived his life hard and that could be seen from the black of smoke resting on his lip just below his cigarette maybe the problem was he had never been one of of those people who just push the envelope he liked to light it on fire and throw it bodily off the edge of the cliff so it rains down on the ocean, a spectacular shower of ash and white and danger just like the end of his marriage. He tipped off some of the ash and white that had accumulated. Took another deep breath and continued
“i really haven't been able to sleep for a while. I get in bed and toss and turn. I get in bed and think too much. Too. Much. It's always already 3 am and there's always a cloud of smoke surrounding my room a symbol of the bad spirits and evil thoughts that come to me with every memory of you. then I blink and the sun is outside checking in on me. Making sure I still live. And that's when i get scared. Because I have no idea who put out the cigarette. That's not even really it, I get scared because I do the same thing over and over gain. It's like my waking life is this dream I can't get out of, a hell that I have to relieve over and over again” no he decided he couldn't let her see that much he deleted that paragraph.
And started again almost immediately.
“you know I read this poem that said in part
feelings nowadays are expressed in back spaces,
haunted memories having only digital traces.
I want you to know it wasn't easy for me to do this. but I had to. And I know it looks like a measly 2 paragraphs but it was not. There are hundreds of digital traces everywhere. And in me there are too many to even count. I miss you when I wake up ad when I fall asleep and when I can't. I miss you when am angry with you and when I hate you and when I can't stand to think about you. I miss you when the fire goes out and the sun goes down, I miss you when all I have to keep me company is thoughts of what could have been-should have been-would have been. I don't like that I miss you this much. And am not sure if this can even end in forgiveness. But i realize one cigarette was perhaps too little time. I want another chance to wait is all am trying to write.”
and for the first time in a long time he remembered to turn out his cigarette before he slept.