Love Letter Day X
In high school, Jennifer Chang put on a lab apron during chemistry and read aloud the alphanumeric code matching the goggles it came with. “I’m B-9!”
Jennifer’s boyfriend Johnny had once described her as a tiny girl he liked to think he could put in his pocket, like a little pet. He thought she was so cute in that way; cheerful, pert, always willing to support and serve him. It was a strange thing to say, but: high school, right? So when she announced she was benign, in her high pitched voice, I laughed, because I thought it was so perfect and I was so proud of myself to have been clever enough to discover this bit of irony.
Envy is such a beautiful word. Jealousy, too. I think it is spectacularly cruel and amazing that these words should sound so beautiful. N-V. I have wondered what it means when I feel jealousy. I have so much in my life. How dare I experience envy. Today I asked my therapist to tell me what purpose envy serves. She told me:
Envy, simply put, indicates that you want something.
She said nothing about envy representing wanting what I do not have. She wants me to see past that. Envy, simply put, indicates that I want something. A specific gesture, an accolade, the ability to say how I feel, say what exactly I do. Yes, I envy those who can state what they do in clear terms. So what a relief it is to find out that I, simply put, want something. You know that I am someone who wants. I want. I desire. I am a desirous person. Hannah asked me what my flourish would be. Eric the Red. Catherine the Great. Anne the Desirous, I told Hannah. Someone who wants. The pleasure of wanting is a fortune in cosmic force, if I can control the chaos of the desired, the wanted, existing outside of my tactile grip. If I don’t let my empty hands shake with fear, I can come to terms with the possibility that perhaps I do not need to ever hold my breath in place of yours, in place of anyone. The wanting is enough. Breathless, screeching, wanton, desire. Want is more nourishing than the pain of resenting the fact that anyone gets it. You have this. How marvelous. Someone has it. I want it. You are the object of my desire. How fortunate for all of us, because feeling this much excruciating want is sublime once you join the universe in applauding with empty hands.