From June 2008 to November 2009 I kept a diary about my crush on a 19yo student (Dutch American Diary, scheduled to be published Summer 2012) . This was my last letter to him. It starts with the Winter he was born.
Christmas Eve 2010
I remember that Winter. The icy wind blew through my leather jacket, my New Wave hairdo was squashed under a black beret. The peanut butter on my sandwiches hard and tasteless in the windy school yard.
And I remember the green eyes that enchanted me, in the early days of January. His lovers kiss on a hard bench in the middle of the city. The intimacy of my warm attic room. The smell of fresh croissants my mother brought us.
I remember a warm meadow, the flowers, the cows. The path that we took, and that he was no longer mine on the way back. It would take me three diaries to get over him, and even that was just because I didn’t write much. At some point you get bored listening to your own grief.
For almost two decades, I was convinced that my past was frozen like the sandwiches. Captured in my diaries for me to re-read when my memory failed. That new lovers would come and go, but that nothing could change the past.
Until the day we met, 2,5 years ago. Suddenly I saw that year in print.
“See, I really am 19,” you insisted, as you waved your student card.
The year, the month, the date. A baby, born from a mixed-race marriage, that opened it’s brown eyes to the world when the green ones enchanted me.
The notorious Winter had changed, for now it was when you were born.
On the crowded days we flirted. At quiet moments you shared. Your childhood. Your pains. Your traumas. Unnamed secrets that I never told anyone, nor ever wrote them down. With every incident I thought: “Where was I?” The truth being that I knew exactly where I was. Where I lived. With who. What my so-called worries were. And I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have been there with you.
Early this year you emailed me care-free: “I would love to see you. Can we meet?” I responded, yet a silence followed. A silence that I knew could last up to eight months. Your impossible behaviour. Never a yes, never a no.
A week after your request it was your birthday, and I sent you a few loving lines. You returned with a few neutral ones, and then you finished it: “I think it’s a little sick you still remember my birthday.” Without any regards, love, or kiss, your name ends the short message.
When I think of you the tears always come before the thought. Still catching me by surprise at night.
This is not an eloquent post. It may not have any value to the world, but you will find it if you ever look for it. And I need this to move on.
The year of your birth will freeze back to the story my diary tells.
Tonight’s white Christmas Eve will be the last time I cry for you.
And hopefully my future will be one with green eyes and warm meadows.