Dear Self from Five Years Ago,
Last night, I read all the letters and emails from Dermonster that you saved during the years between 2002 and 2004. Dermonster discovered them while cleaning out his cellar before leaving for Uganda with Sasquatch, and mailed them a big box from Geneva the other day. I must have left them there when I fled from the scene, out of his life and into my own.
I stayed up all night reading as though it was someone else’s story, and had to remind myself that the girl was you. And that the girl was me.
Aside from your questionable prose style, your pretentious critique of Lucian Freud, and your efforts to impress others with words like “testudinal,” I barely recognized you. You were so fearless in the face of love and so utterly convinced that you had found the source of all happiness.
But Self, you had it all wrong. You didn’t know yet that everything would go awry. That you’d leave, sobbing on an airplane, and that you’d spend the next twelve months sobbing everywhere else too. You didn’t know that - and I’m glad you didn’t, because girls deserve to have a love they believe is true.
Self, you’ll change. I don’t want to be the Grim Reaper or anything, but all the moony, daydreamy crap eventually goes out the window. This is not to say that you’ll never love someone again, it just won’t be the same. It won’t be all “luxe, calme et volupte” – it won’t be love letters back and forth and weekends in Geneva or Lisbon or Istanbul. It will be hard. All of your conviction will go out the window, because the ante gets upped and suddenly, you’re thinking about the rest of your life and babies and whether teal is the new black. And this time, you won’t be so fearless, even though you want to be.
You’ll meet a Fauxhawk who loves you, who is funny and original and passionate about things you know nothing about. He will expand and complicate your life. You’ll love him too, and consider throwing in your lot together. You’ll hope that you’re brave enough to commit to someone fully again, that you won’t sabotage everything with your anxiety and ambivalence. And you’ll remind yourself that at one point in your life, you had balls on you, and that you’ll need to grow a pair pretty soon if you want to get anywhere.
A final note: you will never be that thin again, not that you were ever that thin, but still. Also, you will have some hair issues beyond your control. I’m just telling you.
P.S. You will still love this painting, but even more.
"Double Portrait 1985/86" by Lucian Freud