Letter to an absent friend (July 27)

Childhood_under_the_Sun Dear friend,

I apologize for my late reply, your letters never seem to arrive these days, I guess they just get lost on the way. Yet, I know you write to me every day, I just know it, I refuse to think that you have forgotten me. I refuse to believe I now linger at the back of your mind like one of those memories you refuse to acknowledge.

I would like to write to you about happiness, this imaginary friend that we all look for at one point and in whose company we feel like nothing could go wrong. But things can go wrong, sadly, and happiness is always greatest the minute before you realize something has gone terribly wrong. You’ll think I’m selfish, but selfishness, in my case, is like a declaration of love to you, dear friend. Only I know how many declarations of love I’ve written praising you and your beauty. Your beauty, the one that feels like the innocent cruelty of the sun.

I’ve been places lately, places I cannot even name because in the geography that we humans have created for ourselves they do not yet exist. Our friendship is a place. Despair is a place. Solitude is a place too. This very letter is a place. That is why I’m writing about happiness. I want this letter to be a happy place, its walls filled with pictures of happy people under the sun, smiling, loving people, the people that we both long to become. They are all happy, I swear to you, and because they are happy we must be happy too. I’d like to tell you about how the happiness of the others is really the happiness that we should live for, that I should live for. Think how, really, the kind of happiness that you experience every day is nothing compared to the happiness that we share like the jagged wheels of a huge mechanism powered by those who hold hands, and kiss, and can tell these things to each other while having breakfast. This might sound idealistically grand to you, but I swear, it is the most selfish thing that I could ever fathom. I am happy for you, really, because I know that when you are happy at least one tenth of that happiness descends, like the tentacles of a drug, into my own bloodstream, until I become like a sponge feeding on the remnants of that feast we call happiness. Like the prodigal son I return to you begging for forgiveness. Forgiveness is a kind of happiness too. The kind of happiness that I desire. Will you offer me that?

 

Yours.

My Second Letter to an Absent friend

I do, it is true, it is as you say. I live by my artless art of fiction when I fictionalize you, because next time we meet I’ll try, as much as I could, to live by the things already settled in words written during the morning. You see, mornings are not always about coffee, they’re also about fiction because since you do not exist what else can I do but seek you in the most absurd places. On top of the fridge, I think it’s the most obvious place. Then, when you sit with me at the table I know for sure you do not exist because there is only one cup, and one spoon, and only one croissant, half eaten. I try to eat the other half but I can’t because I know your lips have touched it and if I were to feel you scent on it then I’ll know for sure you do not exist. This morning I noticed something very strange: the croissant was missing and the cup of coffee was empty. I checked it twice to avoid one of my existential fears. I forgot to tell you about it, about this existential fear of mine. I’m afraid that at one moment somebody is going to come to me and say that I haven’t done a thing that I already did, and I won’t be sure whether I had done it or not. So then I’ll be shocked because I’ll lack the possibility of saying that I’m sure I did it, because I checked it twice. When I switch the light off in order to go to bed I check every room twice to see if there aren’t any burning candles even though I know there are no candles in the house. So the croissant was missing, and you were missing too. You weren’t on top of the fridge. I even tried the restroom to see if you haven’t drowned into the toilet. I checked it twice. And I panicked because you did not leave any note on the fridge. I tried to fictionalize this disappearance but it didn’t work, so I tried to fictionalize you again but you appeared to have blue eyes and not yellow as you used to. I checked every corner of the house but you weren’t there. Then, something even weirder happened. Somebody else got into the house and I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t listen. He looked right through me like I didn’t exist. I noticed some similarities between you and him, the same hair, almost the same clothes, except the eyes. He had blue eyes, you have yellow eyes.

He even sat at your computer and started writing something which I couldn’t understand, something about an absent friend with yellow eyes. So I left him alone and went to the restroom to wash my face hoping that this illusion would soon vanish and you could come back. But as I looked into the mirror, as normal people usually do, I noticed that my eyes had suddenly changed, and they were yellow. Yes, I’m sure of it. I checked it. Twice.