I mailed The Pedant that love letter on Monday. It is now Thursday, and I was mailing it within the same city, so he probably got it by now. Tomorrow at the latest, I should think.
I’ve been going through a bunch of entirely predictable feelings and anxieties since then:
- Wondering if the letter was worded okay and he would like it. Some compliments make him all bashful and happy and others seem to bounce off him and there’s not an obvious pattern to me.
- Wondering if in fact I had misjudged my audience entirely and a declaration of feelings would make him feel trapped rather than secure and happy.
- Being frustrated because I’ve felt like sexting him lately but thought that, if he were to receive my letter in the midst of me sexting him all the time, I’d come off way too clingy.
- Irritation that the letter did not prove to be as good a “steam vent” for my sexy mushy feelings as I’d hoped, in that I was bursting with more things to say within days.
- An awareness that I also wanted to text him mushy things just to try to provoke a response because the whole letter thing was making me feel insecure.
- Irritation and paranoia because twice recently when I did allow myself to text The Pedant a sexy or mushy sentiment, he didn’t respond to it whatsoever. I can’t remember if that’s normal for him, to just ignore such a thing completely and not even snidely say “you’re welcome.” I think he’s done that before. I don’t remember.
- Rampant curiosity as to whether he’ll write back, ignore the letter entirely, or tell/text me that he received it.
- Pre-emptive irritation because I assume if he says anything, it’ll just be “I got your letter” and nothing else at all, forcing me to be like “…AND…?!?”
- Complete paranoia yesterday night and tonight when I’d text him something and he didn’t answer for a while. Because the timing was such that he would just have gotten home, and possibly checked his mail. And what if something in his mail made him go all weird on me?
A bunch of years ago, before I had the cats, I would get the odd mouse in the apartment. Once – and only once – I used spring traps to solve the problem. Sometimes they’d go off for no reason (or maybe the mouse triggered one without actually getting caught in it) so I had a few false alarms of hearing the snap and psyching myself all up to go investigate and finding nothing.
But then finally I heard the snapping sound and investigated and it was there. A mouse. In the trap. Which had closed on the bridge of its nose, spraying a little plume of eerily human-like blood across the floor.
Only the one mouse had been living in the apartment, as far as I know. And it was most definitely dead – not struggling, not even a twitch. And yet I just. Couldn’t. Deal. I stood in the kitchen doorway looking at the mouse and the blood spray for a while and then I was like “NOPE” and left the room.
Gave myself a pep talk. Told myself to just go in there, use a broom and dustpan to get the mouse and trap into the garbage, and take the garbage out. Easy. Two minutes out of my life and then this would all be over.
Headed back to the kitchen. Stopped in the doorway. Dark, limp, surprisingly muscular-looking little mouse-corpse with spray of blood coming from face. “NOPE.” I turned around and went back to the living room.
This cycle repeated itself at least five times before I finally managed to deal with the situation. I was only able to do it by dropping a tissue over the mouse before I swept it up. I couldn’t stand to look at it up close.
I picture The Pedant ignoring my texts to do the same NOPE cycle right now, but instead of a mouse with an exploded face it’s my opened letter sitting on a table and he’s just staring at it from across the room with no idea at all what to do now. And then a text comes in and it’s from me and he feels that “THE CALLS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE” horror-movie panic and lets the phone sit there untouched while he continues staring at my letter. He begins to hyperventilate.
Probably none of this is actually happening. But it’s what I’m picturing.
I knew ahead of time that I’d go through all of this. I mean I didn’t sit down and actually map out “here is what will happen to my brain if I send this letter” but this ain’t my first rodeo. I knew damn well it would spin my head a bit.
I sent it anyway because I had shit to say and it would have bothered me more to keep silent.
I’m gonna go check my text messages now.