Years and years ago I was given this piece of advice: to begin any piece of writing with a “sixer”. I’m sure that term is lost on all non-cricket-loving people reading this, but this letter is not about, or for, people, cricket-loving or otherwise. This letter is for you and me, rather From Me To You, and if our relationship causes obscurity among the masses, so be it. We don’t need to care about Them.
But, you will probably be rolling your eyes at that declaration, given how much we haven’t been a “We” lately. I will dare to go to the extent of telling you I haven’t thought about we – about you, about us together, and to some degree, even about me. You will laugh at me with sarcasm and say, “There you go again, making it all about yourself. Can’t you apologise for avoiding me without fishing for pity?” And you’ll be right. There is enough self-pity in me to save the world, if I outsource it. And I can’t say I have been doing that to make amends for the time I haven’t thought about you in a positive way.
I complain a lot. About many things, including you. I won’t go into that all over again. I won’t go into the drama of thinking about quitting you, because we’re all about honesty today – my long-term plan with quitting you is quitting you when I become a socially-approved, real writer. You may be hurt by this, and who knows, maybe you will continue to have a life when (and at this stage in my life, I’m reducing that when to an if) I reach there. But, I won’t make empty promises as I never make empty promises. You and I will have to part ways someday, and let’s just accept that before we further hurt each other.
But, how could you have hurt me? Well, sometimes there are technical issues, but that’s not your fault. If anything, you keep on saving me. Yesterday, I had the audacity to include your book form in a job application. I had been avoiding revealing your existence in anything professional, as you’re not a profession to me. You’re a calling. You’re not a diary, no matter how pejoratively people use the word blog to mean a pre-teen girl’s secret lock diary in adult form. You’re not even a confession. You’re a flirtation, as is all writing, and in fact, all art. You conceal, as much as you reveal. You ask, without wanting to receive. You create spectacles behind curtains, you’re like an artist’s biggest obsession – not naked bodies, but bowls of fruit. A bowl of fruit no one can ever eat from, but one that demands to be protected at all cost.
Before all that imagery reveals itself to not make much sense, I just want to say, this is not an apology. This is a mini-intervention. A sort of mission statement, without the eloquence of Jerry Maguire. Do I love you? Why should I love you? Can I ever reason anything without using lines from pop songs?
The truth is, I did try. To write you, several times before. I wanted to tell you about female musicians in history on International Women’s Day. I wanted to tell you about the study I conducted on babies (well, one baby. My nephew.) and their response to The Beatles #1 album (“From Me To You” was a hit). I wanted to edit and post entries by guests. I wanted to give you my usual, existential whines about getting older and starting to care less. And I believed you would sit through them all, as you always do. However, it’s one thing for the filament bulb in my head to light up, and another to make its electrical charges travel all the way to my hands, to be converted to the physical energy of my typing fingers, to all the energies it takes to make it on to you – signed, sealed, delivered. I’ve been cheating on you with bingewatching The Good Wife instead.
But, as Eli Gold would say, “It’s complicated.” All options are open to me, and I plan to decide in the next 48 hours. And you’ll see through all that bullcrap. You’re like this omniscient thing. Not Google, but probably privy to people in greater states of vulnerability than a Google review. In plain words:
I want to write you. But, I’m not in a state to write you. Things can’t go back to the way they were, but the way forward surely can’t, and won’t, be a way to business. There’s a holiness to the heart’s affections, which no mortgage should tamper with. You and I are spirits of the air, we must survive, and determine to thrive, in this hopeless place.