Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Gone, Again, Already

And just like that, she’s gone.

I barely knew her. Never even heard her voice. We exchanged some messages and pictures. There was that grin again, briefly; that irrepressible, bubbled-up excitement of what-if.

But she left.

Sooner or later, I guess everyone does. Maybe it’s better that way. Assuredly it is God’s will, for it’s hard to believe anyone so fixed on trying to live out His will can fall so far afoul of it. I just don’t know how long God wants to keep giving me breaths of fresh air piecemeal before closing the windows I find myself in front of.

“We don’t value the same things,” she said. “I’m a pacifist.”

There’s more to it than that. There has to be. My guess, she’s another “reformed” traitor.

Perhaps I’m being unkind. Of course I am. But she knew my values, and the dissolution came only after I asked a broad question about them. Many will no doubt think the question entirely premature  even rude to broach so quickly. Why? Why not peg down the girders and guideposts of a structure before ordering paint and plaster?  A common foundation is essential. Why assert it is too important to bring up immediately?

I can hardly accept that we did not value the same interests and pursuits. Indeed, they were so similar it was eerie. In the absence of clarification, I can only surmise she gave herself already to someone else and seeks to extricate herself tactfully because she is unwilling to subject herself to strict scrutiny.

Once again, my standards (not another foolish, gullible, weak-willed woman’s indiscretions) are the problem, and it’s making me angry. I grow mad with the delay wrought by being “too good” for my generation. They will not become like me, and I refuse to become like them. We are consistently sundered by disparate values.

You know well enough by now Dear, there are times when I would like to break my troth merely out of revenge. How shallow! but it is my feeling: “You tossed your head and threw away your gift, and then reject me because I still have mine and look for its match in another. Should I not then throw mine away as freely as you, the better to teach you my pain and loss? Should I become like you, that you may become like me? Would it even matter? Would you even feel as I do? Or would you be relieved I joined your ranks, and glad I no longer tower over you, still rooted in principle and making you feel the condemnation of silence? You will not aspire to my level. Shall I vengefully condescend to yours? In anger, should I break the unbroken, and let you mourn its downfall as I mourned yours? Will it will be a loss to you as it was to me?

I suppose I have sinned even to contemplate the idea. To allow my mind to wander down those comfortable but ominous pathways of what it would feel like to fall asleep in someone’s arms, exhausted, content, warm, cherished and comforted. I know people who would fit that bill. Thank God for sustaining me and giving me the strength to uphold my vows.

You had your night(s) of joy. In bitterness you find you must accept the sadness and pain that accompany the dawn’s rising and lust’s hollow aftertaste. But forever coupled with that bitter is the sweet memory of pleasure and ecstasy, the cost and benefit of this coming of age you chose…and with it, my resentment. And then you and your kind have the nerve to ask me to purchase only the pain and the regret with no recompense, no sweet to balance the bitter.

It amazes me you don’t even try, you don’t even try to make me feel better about it. No compensation, no consolation prize, no reassurance or “well hey, at least there’s (x) for you!” No “I’m sorry I couldn’t give you this, but at least there’s something else.” It’s just “yeah, sorry, I know that’s a bummer. Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.”  Or some tell me good job for resisting, like a friendly pat on the head to a dog. One person I know thought they could make it up to me in the bedroom. I’m sure the thought was kindly meant, but that’s the last thing I want is the promise to be taught all the smooth electric sex moves learnt while riding previous partners.

It’s hate that I feel, and I may as well admit it…the bitterness and fury of persistent abandonment, for being pure. Thinking I was saving myself for you, I find instead that under the surface of almost every person I scratch, hoping to find Luthien underneath, lies a rusted and repainted surface which reviles me for who I am…a reminder of who they aren’t, of their weakness and failure. A tower crumbled and rebuilt, which envies and shrinks away from the tower built on solid footing.

And it is now seven or eight such ladies that have been found wanting in this…who might have otherwise interested me.

No, I will not redeem it. I will either find the rarest flower with the will to stay strong, or I will break the gift just as you did, so that neither of us can have it. That would restore the balance, wouldn’t it. You would be relieved, wouldn’t you. The sinful side of me takes some measure of satisfaction in the idea of smashing that pure glistening jewel you long for but cannot reciprocate. It’s an ugly emotion, and not one to which I give energy. But it’s there.”

Statistically, 99% of the world, or at least of my peers, walk the earth with a secret satisfaction in their hearts. It’s not even discrete anymore; they all talk and share the meals and menus, recipes and recommendations, right in front of me, no shame. They, the ones who know it all, look with full bellies at one like me, struggling against the hunger, clap me on the back and say “cheer up, Beren! Why so glum?” Because I’m hungry, you bastards. I’m hungry, you’re fed, and I can’t find someone to love who will be strong with me in saving the menu for marriage. Even the older wise ones, with a lifetime of reservations and fine dining, look to me and commend me for my strength, but urge me not to hold it against those who didn’t wait.

There is an expression among my crass peers: “Doesn’t matter, had sex.” The world could be ending, yet the fulfillment of this one appetite still creates a point of significance. And what’s not to like? It was built to be amazingly attractive, the sensual epoch of the chemical, emotional, psychological and physical experience. Sometimes I want to ask them what it’s like, but why would I. Can you describe satiety to the one whose closest encounters with it are massaging the stomach to fool it into thinking itself full? They’re the wise ones, seasoned and sophisticated. I am the child, curiously peering like a feral whelp at a primitive toy.

I thought I could bury it. I thought I could outrun it. But they won’t let me. The world persistently casts me back against the knife’s edge, keeps reminding me I’m nearly alone, keeps slamming that pain up against my heart and demanding to know why I keep choosing obedience. Sometimes it’s harder to argue….but you’re not supposed to argue with the devil anyway. You’re supposed to resist him and his impeccable timing. You’re supposed to cling to that golden thread of hope and faith, and keep believing, keep doing what you know is right.

The kicker is then having to protect others from myself.

Part of me feels excluded. They get to know what sex is like before AND after marriage. Their amazing, breathless, forbidden trysts thrill the senses once, and then in committed relationships they are even more free. The one kid left on the bench while all the other ones went to play. The loner, standing on principle and feeling singled out and maybe even sheepish, but with a firm resolve to do what’s right, to honor God and his future bride.

I’m left feeling hurt, and devalued and worthless…like I wasn’t worth waiting for. Despite all I’ve done, despite everything I’ve tried to become, it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t deserve it. The gift for which I longed and strove to be worthy was given instead to some other, a brute, fixed on his needs and appetites rather than the will of God or the honor of his future wife.

I want someone who can count me worthy, even as I count her worthy. Let the world and all else burn away in the den of its current ruler.

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November 30, 2012 Posted by | Loneliness, Purity | 4 Comments