Old Red Chairs (Epistolary Series)

Dearest L,

Can you put into words the sound your heart makes when you’re about to meet the man of your dreams? Or the gurgle in your stomach that precedes the long walk down the aisle on the one day of your life when everyone is looking straight at you? How can the world be so full of impossible people when the people I’ve met seem to confine themselves to what’s plain and possible, in the squarest of senses? You know me—when I get into a mood like this, all I can do is spit nonsense at you. I hope you’ll forgive the mess.

A hundred people came to the play. They sat down in old red chairs with plastic armrests and started making little noises—the kind that come when people have to sit still for longer than they’re used to. Coughs, sighs, rustles of candy wrappers—that sort of thing. Halfway through the show, right before the actors took their break, a man began to snore in the back-left corner of the room. His snores were big and grumpy; it sounded like he had a lot on his chest that he could only get out when he slept. A woman sitting behind him poked him with her umbrella and he jumped awake. He didn’t look too happy about the whole affair. But the woman’s umbrella, one must admit, was rather a bit too pointy for putting anyone in a particularly cheerful mood.

If you could see the people I talk with on a daily basis, you’d be amazed. Not because there’s anything especially remarkable about the conversations they have, but because their eyes are all fastened to their heads with a singular sort of piety. No, that’s not the right word. With a singular sort of… vision? Who can say? The only thing I’m trying to get at is that I’m lonely here without you and wish you would join me soon.

Love always,

E