Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

The Empty Hours

Dear Darling,

We’ve reached that time of night once again where I’m at a loss to fill the blank spaces between dinner and sleep. There’s a cold rain falling again, and it’s hard to believe there isn’t but 48 hours left in this year.

There’s never really anyone around this time of night to talk to. That’s probably a good thing. There aren’t that many people that should see me like this, or know who I really am underneath. Every man needs to keep up that barrier and illusion to preserve his dignity and pride. You’ve read far too many of my laments and elegies for me to attempt concealing them now. I’m sorry they’ve multiplied so much in your absence. Maybe the best thing will be to burn them some day, a testament to the end of the solitude. I hope you will remember that you’re reading only the rawest and most intimate of my thoughts here, in the gloomy and bleak recesses of my mind.

Do you miss Christmas yet? I do. The season lingers, like the wake of a train already departed, but the day itself is gone. The candy and candles went on sale, the music ended at the stroke of midnight, the cards are being swapped out, Christmas for Valentine’s Day. (Because Valentine’s Day is so much better.)

But the truth is, I missed Christmas even when it was here. When I was little, there wasn’t much to do but hang out and wait for Christmas to come, pass the time with games and videos and play. The boxes under the tree were well-shaken and well-known before they were ever opened. The last few years, the presents never felt my grasp until Christmas morning, and I was equally excited to give gifts as to receive them. Christmas for me has become like everything else, always been something missing, a song just out of sight, just beyond the horizon. Maybe I won’t find what I truly seek until heaven.

Sometimes, it seems to me that we sometimes get so wrapped up in the art and motions of an activity that we forget to enjoy them. Or is that just me? And is a moment as special or memorable if you’ve whipped out your phone to take subpar photos — along with everyone else? We put all our Kodak moments into the actual Kodak, thinking we’ve preserved them, when really we’ve left precious little to store in our own memories.

But it fades, like everything else. Christmas fades into the distance, and after celebrating the new year, we plunge back into the meager months. The empty months. Oh, I’ll find a way to fill them, never you fear. But each day will be a little bit emptier without you. Just like tonight. I walked out of church (feeling more than my usual share of disgust for the cheapening of the gospel) and find I’m staring down another empty evening. As much as going nonstop can fatigue me sometimes, it worsens every blank and silent evening.

It’d be nice to have a listening ear. Someone who specifically invades and intrudes to see how I’m doing, see what I need. Like the girl who once, in a conversation, abruptly asked “how’s your heart?” Always seems like it’s me shooting off texts or messages to see how people are doing. And it always seems like I keep running into people who disagree with me on such fundamental levels. They’re okay with it, while I am ever the advocate, becoming frustrated when I deconstruct the logic and philosophy of a belief, only to have it clung to in spite of the truth rather than because of it. Wouldn’t it just be nice to have someone who, on the important parts, agrees with me and sets my heart at ease that I’m not alone in the universe?

Well well, forgive another blue note in this ongoing symphony of letters, my dear. I’ll keep playing the Christmas music for a little while yet. After all, in ancient tradition, there were twelve days of Christmas. We’ve barely begun the fourth.

I hope you are well on this night, and preparing to celebrate the last Lord’s day of the year. May God go with you and grant you peace and illumination this night.

Yours,
Beren

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December 29, 2013 - Posted by | Holidays, Loneliness, Nights Like These | , , , ,

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