Lately, I have been hinting heavily at my boyfriend that I would “appreciate” receiving a love letter. He’s been spot-on so far --- big boxes of chocolates, scouring shops and shelling out the bucks for my “craving of the month” munchies, flowers in vases and fluffy stuff to clutter my bed with. Everything except the Letter.
See, some girls dream of breathtakingly expensive proposals, some of big fabulous weddings, and some fantasize of babies in a twin carriage. But ever since I was young, I only had one romantic notion and that is to receive one heck of a searingly honest, non-sappy, ultra-passionate love letter. The kind of letter that bares the soul and seals in ink the reasons and unreasons of Love --- so real it makes all other literature pale in comparison.
I guess on the off-hand, it sounds like a tall order. I can imagine litgeeks balking at this request. And my guy, who like my sister believes that reading and writing are things you suffer through only for a perfectly iron-clad and inescapable logical reason, might not be comfortable trying to find the right words. And so I thought, maybe I should give it a try first before I ask it of anybody else. But I hit a problem.
I honestly haven’t written a love letter before --- and given it to the person I wrote it for. I managed to write a few which were supposed to be unsent, and they are now populating the bottom drawer of my study table along with clippings of articles about Boyzone and Backstreet Boys.
A love letter meant to be read however, must not just be heartfelt. I suppose it has to be relatable. It also cannot have any signs of delusional psychopathy (just like signing it off as Yours forever, Mrs. Liv Gately).
Unsure on how to proceed, I decided to do what geeks and nerds do whenever they are faced with a new problem --- research, of course. I have no intention to plagiarize. I was just wondering, really 100% wondering, how other geniuses like myself (oh wait, yeah, we agreed on a zero delusions policy so scratch the last part) wrote love letters.
And as it turns out, they weren’t all what they’re touted to be. I came across a lot of “Ohs” ( as in Oh, oh, love, thy light is oh, oh, so bright) and “Dears” (Dearest of my heart; I hold you dear my darling) and over postulated sentences such as “Your scent a thousand sultans crave… it perfumes the onerous, palpable night, my beautiful, breathtaking (insert name of flower here)” which in the end really only wanted to say “You smell good, babe.”
No, I was looking for the perfect balance of beauty and practicality with a dash of imagination and science. A person could say, “ The nearness of you intoxicates, blurs the line between here and there, today and tomorrow --- a heady mix of truth that is present and truth we wish will be” or settle with “You drive me crazy insane, love.” Both are acceptable, but neither suits my taste. One is too flowery and sounds too much like prescribed reading for English class and the other one fails to justify the parameters of insanity.
So maybe… Napoleon Bonaparte said it better to Josephine? Let’s see:
Paris, December 1795
I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?... My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for you lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!
You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.
Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.
Well, yeah, I guess that’s not lame stuff. Miles better than what Mozart can cook up with a pen. Seriously, the guy should’ve just stuck with sheet music. How would you feel if you were the lucky recipient of these fond words:
"I now wish you goodnight, shit in your bed with all your might, sleep with peace on your mind and try to kiss your own behind. [...] Oh my ass burns like fire! What on earth is the meaning of this! ---- maybe muck wants to come out? yes, yes, muck..."
Mozart. Ever the romantic. Aren’t you glad his music never had any lyrics? One could wonder what words he sang under his breath while composing the Hallelujah chorus. Thankfully, he’s dead and we will never know.
At this point of my research, I decided how pathetic my endeavour is. Seriously, nobody SANE researches love letters. Only me and 54,900,000,000 people have looked it up.
Besides, love letters aren’t something you force on people. It’s most beautiful when unprompted and unscripted. I may not have the pretty yellowing paper to show for it someday, but I have heard it from his lips and I have seen it with my eyes.
I am somebody’s true north. Knowing this, I can wait a little longer for the letter. And if it never gets written, I wager it’s because it got lived instead.