This letter is one of a series I write to my future partner. In my youth, I became so invested in every individual who showed me love that I pushed each one out of my life with my affection. I had to learn to love with detachment, to believe that true love exists and does not require so much effort between us. Instead that effort must be channeled into making ourselves the best possible partners for one another.
In retrospect, I can see patterns; traits which attracted me to men who remind me of the man I want to marry. They have been like signposts, slowly helping me form the map in mind. The friends and lovers not mentioned in this passage were detour signs, revealing I had wandered away from my path. I have learned much from both, and this letter is a message of gratitude to all who have contributed to my journey.
I want to call you husband, but I do not even know your name.
I will call you Prometheus in this letter- for Ayn Rand's character in the book Anthem. I chose this name because you are my beacon of light, guiding me from a distance, promising me you exist.
We have met many times... with many different faces and names.
The first time I recall, I could not have been older than 3 or 4. We were climbing a tree together, and suddenly I felt something I'd never felt before- I wanted to kiss you. No, I wanted you to kiss me. I knew if I kissed you, you would have been shocked! So, I sat longingly, trying to bid you telepathically to touch your lips to mine.
The next time I remember... I was about 7 or 8. We were in your basement playing video games. Actually, you were playing. Each time I was given a turn, it lasted only a few anxious minutes before I died and the game reset. Instead, I preferred to watch and cheer you on! It was exciting, the way you dashed across the side-scrolling board with confidence. You showed me secret shortcuts and treasures that I would have been unable to reach on my own. It may have taken a few attempts, but you showed me how to kill the final bosses- and the congratulatory fireworks that followed the game's end.
These chance encounters happened again and again...
When you did finally kiss me, you were a musician. I was 16 and adored your creativity. Although we lived far apart, you would call and play guitar for me for hours. I lay on my bedroom floor with my eyes closed, the receiver resting on my face, and just listen...
At 20, we shared our love of writing. We wrote deep emails to one another, using movies and books as devices to describe the emotions we dare not share just then.
By 27, we revealed we both struggled with depression and anxiety... And we were relieved to have each other with whom to commiserate.
Less than a year later, I picked up a guitar and began writing songs for you.
I was so shy, so lost in my head. I couldn't see outside myself. Perhaps it was a gift- Because it enabled me to perform on stage without shame. I was having so much fun that my fears fell aside... and suddenly I was less concerned about whether you would keep this face or name- It was the feeling you inspired! That magic that made me sing!
I told myself it was like the first time in the tree... I had to wait for you to find me, call me, kiss me.
I had to learn to avoid distractions and detours- to take care of myself so that we would be ready to care for one another...
I swear I feel your pain. Prometheus, I know you suffer for knowing more than men are supposed to- For wielding power that was once only for the gods. I know the burden you feel, the desire to help others less fortunate than yourself... You anguish for your attempts to share this fire in your soul.
Some days I wonder whether you can remain still in just one body, or if you are an eternally wandering target. Are you lost too? How can I shine my light on your path? How can I show you the way home?
I love you.