I need you to be well rested.
It will have been four days since I last wrote a love letter because that is how busy I became, with both planned and unplanned events over the course of the weekend, and while that has not prevented me from meeting my daily quota of a word—never less than one, in the past—we are in the present, and I knew you would understand if I did not publish my thoughts for now.
The only reason I would refrain from publishing a love letter in a month I have designated for writing every day, is that I was not completely satisfied with what I had to say. But that is neither to suggest I’d lost confidence in my ability to say I was thinking of you, nor to suggest I’d stopped thinking of you altogether. I just didn’t feel like it. Instead of saying how much love I have to offer you, I’ve spent the last few days matching random friends to their lookalikes, for charity. I did this because I was stressing out about work and needed a means to displace my intense feelings about people in general. Why do I constantly agree to hold so many emotions for so many people? I don’t want to fall into the paradigm of empaths but do you ever get the feeling that the place you hold for others will drown you?
At a recent dinner party of local elder statesmen, I was asked if I’d ever taken the Myers-Briggs test, and while yes, I had, and believed the reading to be more or less accurate, I also said I loathe personality tests with every fiber of my being, and that should factor into the results as well. I find it ironic in so many ways, that I’ve been subjected to these readings only as a leader-in-training. The only other people I know to think about personalities this much are novelists fabricating fictional characters. Am I a main character?
I explained at this dinner party that while I’ve been diagnosed a “Feeler,” the closer reading of the test revealed that this is only because I registered very high on just one scale—sympathy. I test very low on every other register for feelers and would presumably be a robot (strategic, calculating, data-obsessed) were it not for how sensitive I am to sad stories. As a college student, I used to describe myself as a mathematical lover, an austere romantic. I wanted all my pictures of people making out, to be framed in solid metal.
I’m sharing all of this for the other austere romantics out there. You roll your eyes at yourself and itch to moan. And I’m also here just to say that I hope love letters always feel improvised, even though there’s a calculus of respite behind every ticking heartbeat.
I need us to be well rested if we’re going to run off together into the sunset.
p.s. It’s Valentine’s Day and I want to share something Joshua sent me cuz it’s sweet. “What if Friendship, Not Marriage, Were the Center of Life?” (The Atlantic, 2020)