Today I woke before sunrise to write a love note for a woman who doesn’t know I exist.
I see her from my window almost every morning. Her bob cut disrupts my writing hours.
The note explained that each time I saw her an invisible baby elephant sat on my chest.
I did not have silly hopes. She is older than me. Maybe she is married, maybe she has children.
I rolled the note like a parchment and tied it with a blue ribbon.
I washed my hair, shaved, and dressed in my best clothes. I even found a forgotten bottle of perfume and sprinkled its contends on my cheeks and neck.
After much thoughtful consideration I decided not to wear my hat – I have realized that sometimes it makes me seem suspicious.
I put the note in the interior left pocket of my blazer, close to my drumming heart.
On my way to the gate I trespassed into my mother’s garden, and after a moment of hesitation, plucked the freshest and rosiest rose I could find and put it next to the note.
I knew well the troubles I was getting myself into – pacifying my mother will be harder than performing dental surgery on a fire-breathing dragon. But I did it nevertheless, for the sake of a woman’s inky hair…
So I went on my romantic adventure. I waited for her at the corner of the street rehearsing in my mind what I will say to her and how…
- introduce myself as a writer (which I hoped would explain the slight eccentricity of my endeavor),
- tell her of the story I have written for her,
- ask her name so I can name the story’s protagonist after her,
- call her the most interesting person who had ever walked on that street,
- praise her hair…
In short, befuddling her while my clumsy yet delicate hands produced the rose and the letter, which would explain everything.
I waited for her almost an hour in the chilly morning. But she did not come.
I plucked the rose petals one by one and then turned on my iPod, putting on repeat I Will Wait from Mumford and Sons, which is a sad song, and slunk home, where I fell on my bed like a sack of potatoes, hugged my pillow imagining it was her, and wept salty, salty tears…
What should the boy with(out) a hat do? Should he try to forget the woman with inky hair and use his love woes as inspiration for his stories, or pluck another rose from the witch’s garden and wait again at the corner of the street tomorrow?
Most of you suggested I should pluck another rose… I decided to do that on Friday, when she was most likely to come again…
But who do you think I saw today at noon? The woman with inky hair…
She passed in front of my window with a little girl with inky hair. Before they turned the street corner she took the little girl’s hand and kissed it.
At that time I was reading your comments. It was as if they had conjured her. The way things happen in this giddy world…
The girl may be her own. Or maybe the woman is a sitter, as I have suspected all along. I have good evidence for this.
But she was happy. That settles it. Sometimes you can show that you love someone by not doing anything. I can confuse love with selfishness and pluck another rose… But would I be a gentleman then? Would I deserve to wear my hat?
And it’s easier to let go of this fantasy romance before it takes roots in the real world.
Each time a boy falls in love with a woman and keeps it secret from her, somewhere in the world a rose withers, and a peach falls on the dirt from a tree, and a cloud weeps, and a little boy hunting for butterflies realizes that his net has caught only a moth, and a baby is stillborn…
But this time it won’t be a tragedy, because although she will never know, others have. He will not let the disappointment grow into a parasite of sorrow, but use it as inspiration for his stories. The beautiful lies will beat the sober truth.
But I still carry the love note in the interior pocket of my blazer, and if I ever bump into her, I will have a lot to tell her…