Dear Stranger

Years and months of the same are behind us. And for a moment, we were closer than ever before. We were both lonely during this extraordinary worldwide crisis, and the pandemic made us spend many hours on the phone together. Something grew. A bond that turned out to be more profound and more genuine than it has ever been before. But, we are fragile minds with different lives, different needs, and different desires. I always knew that the inevitable would come. I was waiting for it almost daily. I was unsure of you, and maybe I was even more unsure of myself and my feelings towards you. And then, one day, you told me we need to talk after I am done with my shift. It was a late shift, and the message came early on. I am not proud to admit that I had to leave the office and the group to gather myself. I had an anxiety attack that day brought on by the fear of losing you. I was sure you would tell me that you didn’t want or couldn’t be in touch with me anymore. Just the way you had done before. Instead, to my surprise, you asked for my support. For friendship and advice. Whereas a year before you told me that I don’t matter and that you never cared, you now asked for me to take small steps in the right direction with you. I felt needed and seen. You saw me. And I saw you. Everything worked well for us. We talked. We laughed. We cried. You were healing, and so was I. Slowly, steadily. It was a good time. But I still had the nagging feeling in the back of my head that this was not going to last. And I was right. One day in August, you told me to call you as soon as I was ready and done with work. Again I was working the late shift. Again, I was worried. But I pushed the thoughts away. I called you as soon as I sat in my car. It was dark outside. A streetlight illuminated my car. I called twice and woke you up. Your voice was slurred. I did not understand a lot of what you were trying to say, but I understood that we were over and done. I did not have a say in this, but you told me we would talk the next day.

The next day, you called, and we talked about it all. About what had happened. Then we texted about it some more. I apologised for all the things I did to you. I told you that I want what’s best for you, and if that’s for you to be away from me, I would not fight your wishes, no matter how much it hurts. But I needed you to know that I wanted you in my life. You have your place in my life and in my heart. Always. You became defiant and nasty. You always do when you don’t know how to react to my bursts of emotions. Once again, you told me that my stuff is none of your business and that you really don’t care. I got the message. You needed no-contact. And I ended the conversation there. I did not want to pick a fight and leave with a bad taste in your mouth. I gave you the space you asked for. I did not block your number as you requested. I cannot do that – it hurts me more than it hurts you. But I did not get in touch the way I did for months and weeks before, checking in on you when I felt that something was off. (I was always right, but who cares, and it does not matter.)
Yesterday, you sent an email. I was asleep. I read your usual words in that email. And I debated this morning if I should react or not. I took my time. And when I did, you called. Not once but ten times. I pushed you away, telling you that I was busy and would get in touch later. Later. I needed a moment to decide what to do. Because you were not wrong when you accused me of holding on to you out of selfish reasons and not because of you. Indeed, later, I had a clearer mind. I sent a message back saying that we didn’t do us any good with our behaviour. Always the same patterns. You have your needs that only I can fulfill, and I have my needs that can only be met by you. But, what are we doing, dear Stranger?! We are hurting ourselves this way. And I really thought there would be no reply; I did not expect anything but rejection and disappointment. Instead, you surprised me with a thank you, and a couple of other messages were sent back and forth. You never cease to amaze me. In good and bad ways equally. We are burning bright without each other, turning into dust. Together, we at least have us.
I will never let you go. I will never betray your trust. I promised to be there. To catch you when you fall. It sounds like a threat and not like friendship or love.

But is this the right thing to do? I am not sure anymore. I just know that the months we were so comfortable together, so close, were awesome, and I miss you. Miss us and who we became.
Soon, we will have our 6th anniversary. That’s a long time. A lot has happened. A lot has changed. More for you than for me, I admit. But without you, I would not be here. I owe you.

It’s hard to give up our weaknesses when there is grace and care. But we must.
What are we doing? What are we going to do?

I don’t know,
Forever yours,
Sweetie

Dear Stranger

I had six missed calls today. They say if a man don’t want to talk to you, he will not call. You called and sent messages, and even a selfie. I have been waiting for a selfie for a long while. You look tired but so handsome. You know that I don’t love you for your looks. I love you for your mind and soul. Six times you tried to reach me, and once I told you that I couldn’t take your call. You tried again and again. I stayed headstrong; you did too. We are weird together apart. And I wish that I could just come over and hug you. But, that cannot happen. You’ve changed, though. A lot.

Two years ago, I lay on my back in a field at night on a warm August night. I wished upon many stars for you to love me that night. That year, nothing happened. Nothing at all. The year after that, you started being there at the end of the year. The first half has been challenging for you, I learned since. My heart broke for you when I heard what you had to go through – mostly alone. And this year, out of the blue, really, I became marriage material. You said you love me. You said you trust me. And while I believe you, I am weary. Weary, because I know you. I know you all too well. And I am trying not to hurt you, because you are a fragile mind. And I worry so much about you. So so much. I am afraid that you become dependent on me and my presence, and that’s when I fear that I am not good enough, and I want to retreat. But I will not. I will be strong for both of us.

We deserve each other. I think we do. But Stranger, what are we doing? We are wasting time, and we are wasting our lives. Will we ever be more than voices on the phone? Words on a screen?

I love you, Stranger, and I will take your calls tomorrow. I promise. I want to be there for you. I’m doing my best to be there for you.

Yours, Sweetie.

Did you sleep?

The thunder and lightning make me think of you. Are you out there?

And the thunder rolls.

This thunderstorm makes me think about you. We both like it. The wind in our hair, the crackling in the air. The rain on our skin. We love it. It makes us feel alive.

And I wonder: did you sleep last night? I worry about you and know that your overthinking mind keeps you from laying your thoughts to rest at night. The lack of sleep makes you overthink, and you end up in a vicious circle.

Yesterday, I read that asking the above questions shows that the one asking cares. There is no judgment, just “did you sleep?”. And how often did I ask this lately? Very often.

The thunder rolls, and I keep thinking about you. I keep worrying about you. Please be well. I love you.

Dear Stranger: 15 things I love about you

Lately, you’ve been on my mind day and night, every waking hour and every sleeping moment too. I think it happened. It finally happened. And I am sorry. I apologise.

There are too many reasons for me to love you.

  • I care and never want to see you hurt
  • I want to protect you and keep you out of harm’s way
  • You act strong for everyone else, but I’ve seen you, and I understand
  • I like you; you are my person
  • We have a past, a present, and a future
  • Your presence in my life helps me grow
  • You make me smile, even more so when you realise what I am made of
  • When I hear your voice, there are butterflies in my belly
  • I trust you, so much so that your is the only number that can call me at any time of the day and night
  • I see the potential in you, the creativity that knows no limits
  • I cannot fix you because you are not broken, but I can love you
  • I get jealous when you interact with other women
  • I cannot think of anything that I detest in you; nothing appalls me, nothing makes me want to abandon you
  • You deserve to be loved by me
  • I deserved to be loved by you.

Or as Martin L Gore wrote and sang:

Depeche Mode – somebody

Goodnight, dear Stranger,

Your Sweetie

Dear Stranger

The clock shows 1:23. I cannot sleep. Again. It must be the moon. Or the longing for you. Or the thoughts in my head. I am tired. Very much so. And it makes me grumpy. And depressed. I get depressed when I didn’t sleep enough.

You are an insomniac too. And I saw that you are online on WhatsApp. But I can not get in touch right now. I am in one of those moods when I would twist the nicest things you’d say into something bad.

You see, I am not a good person. I am just tired. I want to take you up on an offer you made last week (or the week before), but I don’t know how to do it. It is very difficult for me to ask for help, to admit that I need help.

Can I sleep next to you? Do you remember that time when you went to take a shower, and I was still on the line? Can we do that with sleeping? Would you sing me to sleep?

During a fight, I once said that I don’t want to end up in one of your songs; the truth is, I want to be in every positive song you’ll ever write. I mean, you are in everything I write too. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but your life is eternal in my poems.

I want to cry. I need a hug and someone to caress my hair, saying that everything will be alright.

Lock your green eyes with mine, and then put your arms around me. I want to fall into you. I want to fall asleep, safe, and home.

These letters are terrible. I am sorry that I make you sound like a bad person. You are not. You are perfect – for me.

Goodnight,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

Whenever my thoughts are jumbled, my mind wanders to you. It’s not that you can help me much, but it feels like it. You never judge. And I never judge you either; you know and appreciate that. I am scared about the future and what is to come. But I am strong, and I can succeed with everything I want to do. Right?

We spoke every day for a few weeks. And then I pulled away. For no other reason than my moods. I didn’t want to bother you with my negativity, and I think I cut our frail bond. And this time, it is on me. All me. And I miss you, but I am too anxious to even send you a simple text.

Last night, I dreamt that we went for a walk. Very simple. We walked and talked, and you smiled at me, and I smiled at you. Such a simple dream, and yet, it was peaceful and exactly how it was these last weeks between us.

And for the first time in our almost 6 years together apart, it felt as if we have a chance at a future together.

And if I ever find my big girl panties, I stop whining so much and act more. You are such an amazing human being, and I am complicated to no end, and best of all, we always respected one another for and with our flaws or eccentricities, and we both have buckets full of those. Right from the start, we took each other without nagging or need for change. The only thing we never seem to get right is us.

Our time will come… Let’s wish upon the full moon.

Forever yours,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

I had almost 500 words written for you before I deleted it all again. I am projecting what I think you need or want and don’t allow you any space to be more than what I know.

I am aware that there are many layers to peel away from you, but you never allowed it. Now you seem to be there and ready for a deeper connection and it is me who is stuck in old patterns. It feels as if I should apologise about that.

You deserve better.

If we could stop walking on eggshells around each other and allow each other to see everything there is to see, everything would be easier. We would be free. But I am probably over-analysing.

Often, I say that I am not the romantic kind. I am a bit special in my thinking and in my needs. And yet, here I am thinking about you first thing in the morning and as a last thought before I fall asleep.

In bad moments, my mind tries to convince me that it is obsessive. In good moments, my mind tries to convince me that it is love.

Rationally, I know that it is none of the above.

Sometimes, I forget who you are. I forget that everything between us is make-believe and a fantasy. And I am scared that you don’t like me at all. I am afraid if I try pleasing you too much, you end up hating me. And I desperately need you to like me. Love me. Just a little bit.

A friend of mine told me about a Hindu meditation. During this meditation, you ask yourself if you would mourn the loss of this or that person in your life. If you don’t get sad over the emotion, it is time to let go. If you feel sad thinking about anyone’s loss, they are allowed to stay in your life.

I tried it with you, and I was devastated thinking of a life without you. I almost panicked. I got that same constricting feeling when you left the first time and also, a couple of months ago when I dreamt that you had died.

That dream of you passing away, I remember it, sort of, because I was shaken the entire day. And then in the evening, you got in touch and ever since you haven’t really left again. The distance between us changed.

And every time you’re near, a warm sensation travels through my body. Would it be the same if you weren’t who you are? Would it be the same if you hadn’t kissed my starving teenage mind with your art years before we even met?

Dear Stranger, you have that very special gift to make me feel happy and sad at the same time. You make me confident and doubting at the same time.

And tonight, I don’t know what to think.

Goodnight,

Sweetie

Dear Stranger

It’s late at night, and I can’t sleep. The second night in a row where I can’t sleep. It must be the new moon. Or if I were a romantic, I’d say it was you who kept me awake. This morning, you said that you didn’t sleep last night either and that you were thinking of me. That was nice of you to say.

True or not? It doesn’t matter.

I like to think that I am on your mind sometimes. Even more, now that I know that you lied. I am one of a few – even though you pretended that I am not.

Am I easily manipulated? I don’t think so. I see you. I see your reasons. I understand everything. All of it.

Five years ago, I promised that I would never leave you. And you cried in response. You didn’t trust me back then, and I had discovered one of your biggest weaknesses. It is mine too. We don’t want to be abandoned. We can’t be left behind.

Today I said it again. This time, you didn’t cry. You replied: “you are beautiful, so beautiful.”

Once in a while, it feels as if my most intense emotions are all yours. I am yours. Not in a submissive or naive way. I know exactly what is happening. And I know exactly who you are. And just like an American writer once said to me, I give his words to you: I love every inch of you. Inside and outside. Every inch of you. All of you.

And I mean it.

If I am allowed to be a part of you, I will be. If it turns out that I am enabling the worst parts of you, I am not sure if I can be selfless and stay away. But I will support and protect you with all my might. Hear me?! I am there. Most of the time. I noticed that I often say that I am there, but then I ignore your calls because I can’t make time for you right then and there. I am letting you down.

And yet, you haven’t given up on me yet. You always come back. Even when you changed your phone numbers, you still get in touch via email and tell me to call. It’s nice to feel wanted. Even when I am used. My eyes are wide open. I know.

Today you said the most amazing words again. You pushed my buttons and I know that I pushed yours too. It was mind-blowing. It was beautiful. It was us.

Let me dream for a while longer and let these fantasies seem real for a couple of shaky breaths.

We have a lot of time ahead of us. Many days and nights and weeks and months, and I trust that there are more years to come too. I will not leave your side, as long as you allow me to be a part of your journey.

I love you, dear Stranger. Or maybe, I lust you. Or, better yet, I see you.

And you know it well; when you say my name the way only you can, I become yours for the moment. All yours. Everything is possible in those moments. As long as it is just us.

Forever yours,

Tired Sweetie

Dear Stranger

As I walked down memory lane this afternoon, my chest constricted, and tears flowed freely. It was as if my mind was breaking up with you. I went over everything that happened in these last five years. Some things came back to me; almost forgotten words hit me with such force that I forgot to breathe.

I cannot go on anymore. Not like this. Not when whatever we have is entirely and exclusively orchestrated by you. I don’t have a say in this. And it fucking kills me. How can someone so emotional in his art be so cold toward other people in reality? Don’t you care at all about other people? Do you flee into this fantasy world where I worship you and snap out of it as soon as you caught your breath and cleaned the cum from your stomach?

A while ago, I thought that there was a shift in our relation, but as so often, the shift was followed by rejection and silence. We were real intimate. At least for a moment. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, there was something like a friendship between us. But I am just a stranger, and when things get real or when you feel too seen, too understood, you cut me off. What is it about you? Why can’t I let go? Why can’t I just say “fuck it” and ignore you the way you ignore me? Why? What is this about? I don’t want to save or change you. I will not nag. I will just slowly retreat, because that is what I do.

There is a big hole in my soul, and some days you just kiss it, and all is good. Other days, your silence makes the hole grow until it almost devours me. And still, I hold your secrets safe.

I cannot stop crying, mourning. I cannot do this anymore, Stranger. I just can’t. Sometimes, it feels as if I can feel you in me. And I see you standing there, afraid and filled with fear. And yet… I am here. I don’t know how many women left you during our five years (or how many you ghosted), but I am still here. And that, dear Stranger, counts for something too. Maybe it just shows how stupid and blind I am when it comes to you.

I remember my promises to you. I will keep them until the day my last tear falls, and my last breath leaves my body.

If I could just stop myself from feeling anything. If I could be numb. But I am not.

This is fucking insane. But I miss you.

Sweetie