I'm leaving this post-it tucked in the side of the train-seat. If you're reading this, you've seen it. I've seen you sit here every few Monday mornings, sometimes tapping a bent, unlit cigarette against your thigh, sipping from your tea (who brings a tea cup onto a train anyway?); sometimes staring at the rain outside, or reading your well-worn, beaten copy of Jane Eyre (I hate that you fold the corners down - it's bibliophilic abuse. I wish the book would papercut you to defend itself a little, but I digress).
You seemed so sad this Monday morning past. Please smile again. I love it when your eyes catch the light of something I'm unaware of, something silently and intimately your own; a secret from the world that makes everything all the more meaningful to you.
- The Passenger
I'm not in the habit of reading post-its from strangers. I found a love-letter hidden in a newspaper once, that the author forgot or was too afraid to send. It made me sad to think of those words unread, except by me; someone they were never meant for. Do you think the person knows that they are loved?
I'm sorry that you're so distressed about Miss Eyre and her scars; but I think of them as creases of my love, etched into her body, the marks of my passion and affection and devotion to her. I think that a love like mine for Miss Eyre and Charlotte Bronte, and Eduard is beautiful because it is imperfect.
My Monday broke the death of hope for me, so I was sad. Thank you for caring enough to tell me that you noticed and felt for it.
- Little Teacup
Dear Little Teacup,
I'm concerned that you'll break Miss Eyre's tender little spine. The paper is starting to fray, and I don't want her to die; especially because she is so dear to you. If you are careful, she may be with you for longer, and give you company and comfort when you are sad and others are not there to tell you their thoughts and feelings and regrets.
What tea are you drinking? I hope it is some kind of restorative that brings you back more of exactly that - hope.
I do not think that it would be a bad way to go - to be loved to death. I am gentle, but my hands know her body too well, and have softened her shape. Miss Eyre was made to be loved, and I am ardent.
Today I am drinking Fruits of the Forest. Last Monday I tasted Chammomile and vanilla. Tomorrow I think is a peppermint kind of day.
I don't know if peppermint will cure me, but if it doesn't, maybe Earl Grey will.
What are you thirsting for? Will you tell me what has happened?
Are there others that you love, like Miss Eyre?
- Curious George
Dear Curious George,
You'd better stay away from high voltage fences (assuming you have heard the joke). I am thirsting for understanding. I am set apart from other people, through malfunctions buried and rested and saturated in my DNA. The genetic lottery was lost on me, but I don't mind. Sadly others do, and sometimes this makes me sad too.
I love others, but Miss Eyre is special.
- Malformations In the Code
I think malformations make us beautiful, as much as the beauty I see in you. You didn't drink any tea this Monday. Does that mean that the peppermint is working?
- Cautiously Optimistic
I had to go into hospital, and have some something done, and wasn't allowed to have any liquids. Maybe, if it works, I won't need the peppermint. I'm starting to suspect that peppermint is not the cure, as it is. Rose tea or Darjeeling is subtle and sweet and might be the key to unravelling the mystery of my genes. Or just unravelling my jeans. Did you notice the new jeans I got today? They were a present.
I hope the procedure didn't make you afraid. And very much that it went well. Can you tell me what it was for? Only if you're comfortable, but I'd like to listen if I can.
I noticed the jeans; they look good on you, Darjeeling (darling, haha). Did the giver visit you in the hospital? I'd like to think that they did. I'd like to think they brought you flowers; snapdragons. I'd bring you snapdragons if I could, and if you'd let me.
- Ears Wide Open
Dear Elephant Man,
Elephant for the ears of course; and because you agree that malformations are beautiful (I do too - the Elephant Man was rejected when he should have been loved). The procedure was to run light and electricity into the dark corners of my mind, to make me alive again. Frankenstein. It doesn't scare me any more, but I'm still not sure that it's the cure. Maybe there isn't one. Maybe I don't need to cure my malformations. Maybe it's just shaping me, and a part of who I am. Maybe other people should want to "cure" me at all - but love me anyway, and stop trying to cobble me together into the sum of someone else's Frankenstein parts.
The jeans were from my mother. She visits me, but doesn't understand. When I wear them, I imagine that she's in my skin, walking in my shoes, and finally feeling what I feel. She brought me flowers once too, and I crushed them in my hand, because I was angry and lost, but I have learned to forgive now.
- Flower Pressing
I hope you've been pressed into a book you love; and slept tenderly in the arm of said pages; perhaps the temperate embrace of Miss Eyre's softly spoken words? Language is a blanket we all need, I think, especially in dark hours. I think you have known many dark hours; maybe that is why your eyes are always searching when you're on the train.
I brought you some tea today, and I'll leave it for you when I go. I hope, even if it's not the cure, it aids you well, and softens some of the blows.
- Box For a K.O
You accused me of wanton abuse of my dear ladylove's precious pages, and advocate the use of fists? It made me laugh. Words are my weapons; mightier than the sword and all that. I sleep in characters and worlds when I need to escape the illness in my head. I didn't know that my eyes were searching. I guess all of me is restless, but lately I am thinking of finding a permanent home. Thank you for for the tea. If it is not the cure, it looks promising for an antivenom to loneliness!
- Sword Swallower
Dear Little Swallow,
I am renaming you, because I think you are a curious sort of bird held captive in a cave; one that you would know well, like Eduard described; that "were it free, would soar - cloud high".
You don't need a sword, you need a key.
Have you found a home to call your own yet?
- Seeking Locksmith, apply within
I think the key is somewhere inside me. I think I have it, or I'm making it; melting and reforming, and heating and shaping and melting down again. It will take time, but I am patient. The snapdragons were beautiful.
Thank you for believing that I could be one of their kind - J&E of Thornfield Hall. If I had a home at all, it would be with them, somewhere in the green pastures and the creaking oaks. But the home I am thinking of is somewhere safe and deep and quiet. A place of rest, perhaps with snapdragons treading softly above. At the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
- Treading On Dreams
When I read your letter, my insides froze and I was afraid. Please say that you don't mean it. Stay with me, and Jane, and Eduard and Charlotte and Mr Yeats and T.S Elliot and those blanketed words. There are so many teas out there waiting to warm you and know the touch of your lips, sipping kissing, your hands wrapped around their cups. Don't give up, I love you.
- Love. Just love.
Will you come and say hello, and sit with me next Monday?
- Sorrow Close
It will not close in on you. In a moment this note will be in your hand, along with my own, that won't let go. There will be more notes to follow, and more palms pressed to palms, and more tomes to ease those moments of darkness. You are not alone.