In darkened rooms throughout the world, away from hives where crowds assemble to exchange malicious slander, pining hearts are prey to horrid loneliness, lives rearranged
by lovers versed in saying, albeit kindly, “No, I do not love you.”
Alone, they harbor deep resentments as do I. Worn down by a failed affair, devoid now of boundless faith in love, these malcontents lack the strength to fight despair. They prefer instead the darkened room to rail against the false allure of light.
This heart of mine, beyond repair, accepts its doom. In solitude now, I still wish for love to shine. For me I won’t believe it’s much too late.
Imagine me, Catherine, on life’s stage tonight attired in white suit and black mask, a Punchinello in classic pose. In white-gloved hand I strum a lute to thunderous applause. I bow: a brute who masquerades a gentleman without sorrow. The world sees my façade, only what I show, not this tormented fool riddled with the stabs of heartbreak. They see the friendly comic Mr. Punch whose fall elicits belly laughs, not the man you threw away. The stick with which I whack those on the stage is hardly humor. A second encore brings me back. I bow and they say, “How sleek!” No one, least of all, you, dear Catherine, can delve beneath this suave veneer and see, not Punch, but Punched, Laid Low, Victim of Unrequited Love.
How dark a time, you ask? The weight that crushed my heart, how heavy? None can say in prose nor poetry what words describe the void you left. What slush of wordy drivel could dare speak of my lament! Verses, paragraphs, hardly come near the telling. The love of my life has closed the door to heaven. You have dismissed me with a wave of your once healing hand. “I do not love you,“ you said from lips I have kissed and dreamed I would press with mine forever. “I do not love you.“ The door was shut. We disappeared from each other. Life that only days ago was filled with warm celebrations, now leaves me cold. No longer can I speak the language of my heart that in mourning lies silent. And what could my heart say? Whirling once in the eddy of love’s madness, your estrangement jolted it to dazed stillness. It merely beats to keep me alive to pine away.
Yesterday from afar I saw you in your garden, red roses in hand. These misty eyes delighted in stealing a glimpse of you. Your face, your form… The usual fantasy took hold of me and I imagined true love grew wings and battled victoriously against unrequited love, and this dream to have you mine came true.
I saw you, roses in hand, and wished to take their place, feel your gentle kindness. In your presence the summer breezes hold their breaths and time stands still. Only in my mind we kiss and bid goodbye, not to each other, but to the lonely past, the wasted loveless time in whose vise I am prisoner. I pretend our love is a flower no frost can kill.
I make believe you will read this letter and recant. I wait humbly for your reply.
The man who loves you,