On Mon, 26 Jun 1995, Kirk Is. wrote:
> it's safe to ignore my previous letter, I guess you figured that out.
> It's weird- at first I get annoyed at not having a goodnight kiss, and
> then I get annoyed at my annoyance. Meta-annoyance. Guys who really want
> to be nice guys get into situations like that a lot. Which is one of the
> reasons I like Garrison Keillor, 'cause he can condense those feelings
> into words. See, sometimes we're torn, we really are. On the one hand we
> *want* to be the 'safe' person, the sanity restoring guy a woman can go to
> after too much chaos and strife, the 'perfect gentlemen,' (and not just
> because we hope it will give us better chances later on..) On the other
> hand, well, we don't. We grow tired of being passionless, enthusiasm
> spent on something as unsensuous as C compilers, for cryin' out loud. We
> get fantasies from here to Chicago. We look at the person who we're "just
> snuggling" with on the couch, and we notice the way their limbs drape so
> easy and comfortably over our own, the angles beautiful (it wasn't just a
> line tonight , honest) and we sense *possibility*, the stored-up energy of
> it all...
> "Just being friends" seems like the kiss of death: "Why can't
> friends kiss?" we think, even as we nod our solemn consent with the
> person, with the *friend*, we're agreeing with, "Why can't they *feel*?"
well, i kiss many friends, but sometimes that gets me into trouble. i've
found it easier to keep that sort of thing to a minimum...
> I don't want to go against your sanity. Still, I think back to
> the easy grace that happened last September, and mourn its loss. Your
> kiss and your touch, can make me shiver like none other.
> But I know
> you've heard all this before, that you've seen it all and found that all
> the broken communications, all the misunderstandings and desperate
> explanations that seem to always be the baggage for that kind of
> physicalness just aren't worth it. But I still have hopes that it doesn't
> have to be that way. Do I have any evidence for that? No, it's just a
> feeling. After all, last September you came back to my little room twice,
> maybe three times, and I acted like an idiot for months after. But I
> would say that that was a response to other things, the way the
> communication just totally died out, me not really understanding your
> response to my preferred medium e-mail, or your stress that school brings on.
> (And then there's the side of me that says, if the physical isn't
> tied into all that meaning the way I claim it isn't, if it is good but
> not truly important, then why am I writing so much about it? Well, the
> usual reasons, I guess.)
> I have a theory. Maybe it's just a hodge-podge of hopeful
> euphamisms that justify me basically doing whatever the hell I want as
> long as it doesn't hurt anyone else, but at least it's a theory I could
> consistently live with as a principle. (Also, maybe I've spouted all this
> at you before...) I think the division between friendship and love is
> ridiculous and often painful. It's like the Louis Armstrong line: "I see
> friends shaking hands/ saying 'how do you do?'/ they're really saying/ 'I
> love you'/ and I think to myself/ What a wonderful world". That's what
> it's all about, a spectrum of the same thing, the joy two people can have
> being around each other. That's not to say there isn't something different
> between a physical relationship and a non-physical one, but too much of an
> emphasis is placed on that difference by lots of people, including, at the
> moment, me, which goes on to prove the futility of writing about this
> Oh well.
> I'd love to take the opportunity to teach you more about Visual
> Basic and C, if you'd let me. (At least I write better programs than I
> do poems-) I promise I'll keep my clamor for a kiss to a dull murmur-
> but I still think there's a spark there that has the potential for real
> beauty, if only you'd let it...
i think you're right, in some ways. i look at you and see the sort of
person i respect and admire, the sort of person i might like to make a
permanent part of my existience, but there's something that's *not* there
as well. i can't really tell you what it is; it's too hard to put into
words. i guess the one thing that attracts me more to some people than
to others is an ability to make me feel safe and loved. i know you think
you might be able to do that, and perhaps it's true, but i don't have the
insight to discuss it right now. suffice it to say i've found it more
> I guess I'll just pretend I have "Don't Speak...Don't...Don't
> Speak...Don't- Speak.." slapped all over the end of this letter, that way
> I can pretend you're so bowled over by the beauty of my prose (heh) that
> words just wouldn't do it justice. (Though secretly, I would be happy if
> you wrote back and told me what was on your mind, or called, or anything.
> I can't believe you're so pessimistic about e-mail. Those times you cut
> loose, summers ago, they were amazing- you write superbly, when you let
> yourself. ("My *taste* is superb- my *eyes* are exquisite...")) (sign of
> a computer geek: carefully nested paranthesis, and never putting the
> puncuation inside a quoted "word".)
> Anyways. Let me show you that computer stuff. I'll be on good
> behavior, and I'm happy to just be around you- you're funny and beautiful
> and I have that masochistic streak anyway.
> Talk to me?
i'll most happily let you teach me visual basic. perhaps some kahlua and
ice cream would come in handy...
i won't let you hope that anything will come of this. i like your
company, especially when we can sit closely enough to feel companionable,
but please don't- speak.
this isn't as long as i'd have liked it to be, but my thoughts have all
fled before your stunning prose! ;)
Most of this e-mail is what I wrote, with the unquoted text from her.
I think I made trying to overcome that
"suffice it to say i've found it more
easily elsewhere" an obstacle to struggle against.
Near the end, I'm quoting "Bullets Over Broadway", a Woody Allen flick we had
seen together, and that happened to be on HBO just as I was compiling all this.
The "don't speak" line in it is pretty funny, a tool use by the aging starlet
to make it sound like the emotion is too much for words, when really she just
doesn't want to hear what he has to say.