Red Lips & Battlefields

Archive for the tag “Letter”

The Doll House

“Dance me to the end of love.” I had just been listening to my favorite Leonard Cohen song in the car, and was quite amused when your mother greeted me at the door, humming the same tune. As we sat down for dinner, I remember thinking that it was funny that she happened to be playing the same CD that I most often played on my iPhone. I thought that, perhaps, it was some kind of sign that we were supposed to be together.

In retrospect, it seems that I was always looking for these signs, trying to convince myself that I was in the right place. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t. That isn’t to say I didn’t care about you. I did. It’s just that I always sort of knew, silently, that we weren’t meant to be together.

We were much too different, you and I. We just didn’t see things in the same light. You were, for lack of a better word, very mathematical: every decision you ever made was based on a logical formula of sorts. I, on the other hand, was not quite so calculated. I had a vision of the future that I wanted with you, but it was built mostly upon frivolous daydreaming. I knew that it wouldn’t be too long before I snapped out of it.

I don’t know if I can say we were in love. I feel like it isn’t fair to say that we weren’t but, at the same time, I’m really not sure anymore. I feel like we tried to make things work because they looked good on paper. No outsider could have ever guessed that we were unhappy. We were both very good at playing nice. Eventually, it started to drain me. It even became a little bit painful. When I tried to envision the life that lay before us, all I could see were dead ends. I could only see a whole lot of compromising, and a load more of political correctness. Nevertheless, I somehow convinced myself [for a very long time] that I ought to be satisfied.

Leaving you behind was very difficult. I had developed a loyalty to you, which, honestly, could have probably withstood time. We could have probably built a white picket-fence life and filled it with children’s toys. I could have set a meal on our table every day, and you could have brought home the bread. We could have shared a retirement fund.

We would have both been so devastatingly miserable.

You are a wonderful person. One day, you will make someone out there very happy. Someone will choose you with adamant conviction, and you will help her build the most intricate parts of herself, just as she will seal yours. You will be the fabric of each other’s dreams. I could have never been that person. I would have always felt cheated, like I had received the short end of the stick because, with you and I, everything was based on compromise. In order to love each other, we both had to sacrifice the love of ourselves, and we both became bitter.

One day, you will find a love that completes you, and that does not ask you to change in order to earn it. Perhaps I will too. Only time will tell.

All I can really say to you, at this point, is good luck.

Good luck and goodbye.

– Anonymous
April 1, 2014

(For more information on the Kiss&Tell project, as well as access to other anonymous letters or to submit your own, click on the menu option at the top of this page titled “Kiss&Tell”.)

The Unrequited

I don’t know if you have ever realized… but I love you. I have done so since the moment I saw you. This is a feat in itself as all I saw of you was your nose and a bit of your eyes (it was winter so the hat and scarf were covering every bit of your face), yet I was blown away.

You may ask when that happened; a year ago, possibly 2. No, it happened 4 years ago and, to the shock of my friends, I still haven’t told you how I feel. Week after week we see each other, and yet I am too scared to say so. Part of it is due to the fact that I don’t want to ruin a good thing if you don’t feel the same way. I have to say, after my initial reaction, I tempered down my feelings for you. I didn’t want a repeat of someone else, or being disappointed. However, I was right to feel as I did all those years ago.

I love how you respect me. I love how you let me speak and we agree to disagree. I love how we like similar movies and TV shows, yet we also have different tastes in other matters such as music. I love how we watched marathons of those movies and TV shows until the late hours of early morning. I love how you understand my jokes or references to songs and films. I love how you always come to events with me even when you may not like or understand them. I love how we watch football together occasionally. I love how you got me into tennis when I didn’t enjoy it before.

I love all these things and more about you, yet I am scared to tell you. I could fill a page of how much I love you. Every thought of you brings a smile to my face as it does now. You are gorgeous inside and out, which makes me love you even more, if that were even possible.

So here is my confession on paper; you may see it or, very likely, you may not.

– Anonymous
March 20, 2014

(For more information on the Kiss&Tell project, as well as access to other anonymous letters or to submit your own, click on the menu option at the top of this page titled “Kiss&Tell”.)

City of Jasmine

Dear Damascus,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for a while, but I don’t know what to say.
It’s been so long since I walked in your streets,
seen your aging structures,
inhaled the sweet smell of jasmine that fills your air.

I am, not only, deprived of going home,
I am also deprived of seeing home.

I look at your pictures on the news;
I don’t recognize you.
I don’t know a Damascus torn apart;
I only know the one that exists in my memories.

My favorite part of Damascus is the old city,
A 15 minute walk south from my home in mazra3a,
Past the once great castle of Damascus.
I would enter the old city through Sou2 El Hamadiyeh,

A 300 meter long stone bazar.
For thousands of years, people would buy and sell goods here.
I would shop around for Shishas, perfumes and Jewellery.
After walking through the Sou2 I would reach the Ummayed Mosque:

A momument to the, once great, Ummayed Khalifa.
The entire Muslim world was ruled by this quarter in Damascus for 100’s of years.
Now, the muslim world has forgotten our influence and abandoned our people.
After starring in utter aw at this magnificent structure, I continue east to Bab Toma.

Bab Toma is a predominantly Christian area north of the Jewish Quarter,
A maze of narrow 7arat and Arabic style homes,
Filled with Christians and Muslims who have been neighbours for generations.
Getting lost in Bab Toma was a wonderful experience.

It was 3 am, I was walking through the 7arat with my sister and her fiancé.
As we passed the closed shops of the silent streets,
We talked, laughed and lost track of all time and direction.
I was taking in all the history I could,

Touching the old stone walls and wooden doors.
I broke off a small piece of stone and put it in my pocket.

Hours later, still lost, we turned a corner and saw an open door.
Peaking inside we saw a man watching TV,
He spotted us and quickly approached.
We apologized for intruding but he insisted we come in for tea and ka3ik.

After reluctantly stepping into this strangers home
We saw a tree in the middle of the living room, extending through the ceiling.
Only the trunk of this thick, aging tree was visible from the ground floor.
The man said this is a lemon tree that crowns in him bedroom.

We asked why he keeps his house door open at 4am;
“Why close my door?
I grew up with everyone who lives here; if any Shami wants to come in
we will be more than happy to greet them” he replied.

Although i didn’t realize it at the time,
This is the moment I learned the true Arabic social fabric:
Having so much trust in the people around you
That you leave your door open at night without a worry.

I don’t remember the man’s name.
I didn’t ask him about his religion, he didn’t ask me.
Through his generous Arabic spirt I realized,
He is more brother to me than stranger.

Oh Damascus,
I long to walk your streets again.
Oh Damascus,
I long for your jasmine scented air.

However much I want to visit Damascus,
I dread the day I will arrive.
When I see the destruction that has fallen on you,
The images in my head will immediately become distorted.

This letter I am writing
Doesn’t have a recipient
Because the Damascus I know
Doesn’t exist anymore.

– Anonymous
March 20, 2014.

The Dirty Little Secret

“We only said goodbye with words, I [cried] a hundred times. You go back to [earth] and I go back to…” The closer we get, the quicker you go back to reality, reminding me that ‘we’ could never be. I guess in a way you try to remind yourself too but why remind when you can’t forget? I will never forget one of the most surreal and real moments in my life–heavily and sadly crying while I was given one of the best gifts of my life. In your arms, driving where the wind would take us (literally) reminded me of how carefree we were for that split second when nothing else mattered. You showed me that I can have emotion again, you showed me that I could love without boundary even if for a blink of an eye. Thank you. Thank you because I know that if my world crashed you would not let me crash with it. Thank you for kissing me with love and with lust. Thank you for looking at me ‘that’ way.

There are some things better left unsaid, but I know whenever we look into each others eyes they do the talking. I suppose this is what this letter’s meant to be, a brief look into my eyes. And then you hold me tight underneath the sun and moon in various nooks and cracks in the city and it’s like for those few moments there are no obstacles in the way. 2 am road trips, sneaking off into waterfalls, falling into the embrace of dangerous excitement all came crashing my way for years. We can thank that moment by the mountain, during the sunset, and after just a few days of talking, when we just knew. Something unmistakable, something forbidden, and yet, something so wonderful was about to occur. I use that word because I can never explain it to another human being. And that’s why you’re my dirty little secret. Well, for other reasons too of course.

These obstacles… I don’t want you to ever think that I won’t abide by them or that I will try to make you change your mind. If I could turn back time and be in the position to erase one of the obstacles, I would in a heartbeat. And then you would be mine. But you’re not unless it’s temporary. I don’t know why we put walls up when vulnerable; I can see that even in writing this. The last time you pushed me away tore me apart more than I could ever explain to you. Maybe it’s because I felt it was really goodbye; like this was it. I wouldn’t want to ever fully let you go, there is a magnetic force in me latched on to you. I know one day I will not have a choice in the matter but I guess I’m still on my first stage of grief- denial. I hope you never read this. I hope you never know how much it actually hurts or how much I care. But I hope you feel the same way. Sometimes you win—sometimes I feel insignificant to you. Maybe in the realm of everything that is logical I am, but if I was emotionally insignificant then I would not be pushed away just to be held tight… I don’t get it, even if I participate in it.

Why is it that people play games? I guess to prove who has the power. But in this case none of us do… and yet we’re stuck playing, hiding, masking, and not saying all that is true. So don’t read this letter because the games will be over. And once they are, I’m afraid you’ll go with them. Love me from a distance, dream of me, and hold me in every breath you take… This is just the beginning of my goodbye, my dirty little secret. I will forever keep the memories sealed within my heart.

-Anonymous
March 12, 2014.

(For more information on the Kiss&Tell project, as well as access to other anonymous letters or to submit your own, click on the menu option at the top of this page titled “Kiss&Tell”.)

The Far-Fetched

We’ve been talking for quite some time now and our friendship has grown to a point where there are days where we would spend endless hours, day or night, talking about anything, which is so often criticized as impersonal and distant.

I don’t think I’ve ever “talked” as much with anybody or any so-called friend as I do with you.

Some people talk about the risks and dangers of knowing someone you just met, to the point of becoming suspicious of their own shadows. But I must confess that our contact, even at a distance, has become really important to me.

But, more importantly, I feel the need to know that you are well, that you had a good day, that things went well for you and all those curiosities that true friends have about one another.

By writing this letter, I acknowledge my intention of maintaining this almost daily contact, until the day that we can tighten this relationship and make it more physical.

Anonymous
March 10, 2014

(For more information on the Kiss&Tell project, as well as access to other anonymous letters or to submit your own, click on the menu option at the top of this page titled “Kiss&Tell”.)

The Byron

You’re a difficult memory,
But you’re a wonderful one.

You challenged everything I believed in.

You tore me apart and then made me a whole different kind
Of whole.
Hole.

You nourished me, re-energized me,
and sheltered me.
You kept me warm.

You made me feel at home; you were good at that.

You were also good at leaving.
So was I.

All the roads lead to Venice, after all.
All the roads lead to love.

They lead to nothing.

But the wind blows.
And, when it blows, we have to go with it.

Don’t we?

– Anonymous.
March 1, 2014.

(For more information on the Kiss&Tell project, as well as access to other anonymous letters or to submit your own, click on the menu option at the top of this page titled “Kiss&Tell”.)

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