Desperate Romantic: My Life as a Stalker (A Lamentably True Story)

Ace of Spades

5.  Fifty-One Jokers and an Ace (Continued)

That really knocked me onto my heels. I don’t know if you’ve heard it, but there’s a poem called somewhere I have never travelled that says,

nothing in this world which we are to witness equals

the power of your intense fragility; whose texture

compels me with the colour of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

(I bought you the book this is taken from. It’s on the top shelf of the far bookshelf in the second bedroom).

I remember those lines in relation to these things you said. Your touch was so light, I swear, I could feel my heart effloresce under the intense, gentle pressure of your hand. I have only been touched like that once before. I can only describe it as the ultimate benign authority.

(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens;

only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands


The guy I said I’d speak to is essentially my trainer. He’s been building me as a writer for the last fifteen or so years. I wrote a thing the first time I met him about how the difference between my inside and outside was so powerfully contradictory and tethered it around the fact that my name, Jarrod, means ‘rose’.

Later, when he offered to train me, he said that if I kept writing, I would find the rose. I was astonished; I had been carrying my purpose around all that time, written on the power bills and my driver’s license and hadn’t even noticed it.

My life is dedicated to the rose. When people see what I have, or don’t have, what I am and what I’m not, they see the outline of my vocation as a gardener. My rose is the most precious thing I have, and this rose is for you.

I understand that you may not put the same value on it that I do, but throw it in a drawer or keep it in your email and if, when you’re traveling you feel lonely, or you ask the question, ‘Who is going to love me?’ then read it again. It will be as delicate and vibrant as ever it was. In its intricacy, in the curve and fold of its petals, you will see the shape of my heart.

I’m going to tell you the truth again now, because it seemed to be the thing you liked the best. You asked me who would love you and the truth is that the man you desire, who sees you as I do, will love you. He won’t be able to help it.

There: fifty-one jokers and an ace, after all. I hope that it pleases you.


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