From Leopold Courting Rose, a book of year long thief letters in an attempt to steal young girl’s heart… It worked.
Okay, you’re lucky. No notes about thighs, eyes, sighs—I shall write to you a confessional. That is my desire for this Tuesday morning, a little over a year gone by since I first held your hand. Always in the library I am on these fall days when I have a greater sense of the life within me. Since childhood I have revered these moments spent in the gray cool morning. As a man I am still overcome by them. They take my breath away. Delve me into dream. Retard me for the betterment of self.
I am the happiest man alive. Now at twenty-nine years I scan the shelves of books with the small part of my brain that seeks to know some other man’s happiness or misery, and this I do for a good long hour to end up cursing the great ones, because I know that good behavior will never get published in a book I write. I hate them, and deliberately misplace their works back on the shelf because they don’t deserve all the attention I give to you in dreams. This makes me happy. Dostoevsky will mingle with Thoreau probably until the next time I arrive at the library to mix things up again. Then I will carry that Russian idiot over to the Hindus, and all the dead philosophers can argue over who is more miserable in their time, and therefore deserving of recognition. The Hindus laugh. The Buddhists snicker. Saint Testicle wears a hair shirt. Good god, they’re all jealous of each other. Petty fools. They’re dead! I have nothing to share with them. I am certainly not going to give you away. No more sacrifice. You are mine, and these skinny legs holding practically double my body weight will prove it. I hoist my pile of books up to the counter, check them out, and take our happiness outside where it belongs on this perfect day. Here in the gray light. Shoulder my backpack, hands thrust into corduroy pockets, and the long walk back kicking the leaves high. I am alive with you. That is all we need to read about.
Two years ago about this time I was being haunted by a dream ghost. You were coming into so many dreams at a time I was out of myself and delusional. Stuck in New York to wallow in my misery, which I did very well, a strange man equipped with the special powers to plan and execute his own demise. I was well aware of all my moves, fully conscious and sane, for I knew all along that I was torturing myself. Oh, but I felt alive. I went on long walks throughout the city. No different from today, except the feeling was different. I could lose myself. With both hands in pockets, I walked through Central Park oblivious to all around me beside the sound of my own breathing and footsteps.
Today is a day like many I lived in New York. Inspirational feelings abound… They take hold, control me, pull me back to the realization that I was “chosen” for this day, so I better make the best of it. Humans share this ability to not take for granted each moment of their lives. The novel won’t amount to much if it be replete with paragraphs about shopping for shoes.
Anyway, I feel then what I feel now. Every move I make I make for the biographers. I live my life as though I am being watched. A one man act, who writes his own plays, and performs on the road. These are the romances I have been writing. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this type of behavior. It’s original for sure. And it gives purpose toward realizing fatherhood, companionship, poetry, self-liberation… Whom do you know, other than yours truly, who would live a whole sober day in this super economy, solely for a meal? Who but village idiot Ron would give up certain lifetime security if it meant losing his ability to dream of you and the impossible requited love on a ten mile walk around New York City? Who besides a fool could claim one of his happiest days penniless with a borrowed cup of coffee, sitting on an Upper West Side stoop dreaming of her? Just dreaming? She didn’t even know him in that way. She barely knew him at all! But he knew about her. All the important things. He knew that if she ever took the plunge with him, he would always use a good olive oil when cooking for her, no matter what the cost. He would over-elaborate in poverty. It’s what poets do. Every man would become a poet for the woman he desired. And the woman would only respect poetry offered. All dealings with security and pension into old age would be mutually respected, after love. But love must come first, and love can only be born of poetry.
So he walked a long day and in the evenings sauntered into any neighborhood book store. His story gave him the strength to seek comfort in the stories of other men, dead and gone, who would never get the chance to know his joy and suffering.
From the stoop on gray days like this I would watch the many girls pass by, think of you, and suddenly see your body down the street on your way to class. Your face on every woman. Your eyes glaring into mine. Eyes so sleepy, wanting a warm boy to curl up with under covers. I thought of you thinking of me on a walk and talk along the lake shore while having conversation with a friend. You wanted me to hear your laughter and listen to your speech, its tone and vibration reaching all the way to Larry’s cold November stoop. These Autumn days I would keep with you. In evening the street lights exaggerated the wet of rain. You dreamed of me in the Chelsea bookstore walking up an escalator to my favorite authors. They were going to write about our life together from now on.
Rose, you are in time a mystery to me. I will not become familiar enough to let you go. I still cannot pronounce your name correctly. This time spent with you has been streams of evenings on Larry’s stoop wondering how perfect the world would be if you would just let me hold your hand.