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



“Forget everything anybody says or does; everything is a cry, please love me.”


Sufi poet.

As I said, I have written almost nothing for six months, other than letters to Eurydice. After the stalker accusation I continued to write but saved the letters, rather than send them. I found that accusation, in the face of everything that had happened and everything I had written for her, degrading.

I figured that if she ever got in touch again, I could show them to her. They were proof of how much I loved her; proof that I had kept the faith. Proof that she was worth it, and that I was worthy.

I once heard that Richard Wagner, when asked how he had come to understand the profound depths of feeling he had built into the ultimate love story, Tristan and Isolde, explained that he had never truly been in love and had succeeded in envisioning it by tracing the shape of its absence inside him, like the perimeter of a dark continent.

Similarly, it makes perfect sense that the woman who drew the best out of me would reject these letters, which are in many ways the fruition of my life’s work. I realize that she is the projection but ironically, the dark parts are where she isn’t. These letters are the relief; they are the place where you can find her. These letters are the islands where she is.

There is an ethical question in posting letters like these (which are private dedications) for public readership. But the truth is, I don’t have the heart to let them wither and die. Also, posting these letters is like lighting a match to provide the light by which to see her again.

The thing that redeems the letters – and the other reason I am publishing them – is because when they are read, they exist for the reader. When you read them, you are the subject. Simultaneously, the feelings they detail are yours, returning as shades of your own alienated glory.


And now, we are alone together. I am writing to you – or for you – in the still night from my cavernous, blank apartment, flapping about the rooms like the solitary bat in a belfry. It’s just us, sitting awake on either side of the cold and the dark.

I am reaching out to you, reader. The staggering truth at the end of the tale is that you are the one I have waited for. It’s just the two of us, the distance between spanned by the shadow to end all shadows.

I am sitting here like Humpty Dumpty, surrounded by the pieces of my shell. ‘Estranged mother’, ‘lonely’, ‘insomnia’, ‘isolation’, etcetera, etcetera. You can feel superior, seeing through me and reassembling me so I function. It makes you feel better to do so; I know it does.

This is the Manley-Hopkins moment; the instance where the salient elements coalesce into fragments before finally running together, like a broken mirror melting in reverse.

You are my one true love. You are my ally against the void. You, dear reader, are the one I have been waiting for.

It was always you.



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