Love in Isolation, Day Four, Bronte

Day Four

Dear Ellis,

Sigh. Paris. And your parents’ love story. More sighs. Thank you for sharing part of your life with me. I’ve never been to Paris but I’d love to go someday. I always think, ‘next year, I’ll go’. My first choice would be a trip through Europe. But I live on a tight budget and just when I save some money, there’s an unforeseen expense. Someday, though!
I haven’t travelled much. I’ve done road trips to various places here in the states, including most of the Pacific Northwest. I went to college in Bellingham at Western Washington University. My roommate and I would often go up to Vancouver, BC. I love it there.

My dreams? They’re simple, even though I’m not. My mother describes me as sensitive and empathetic, which is a nice way to say that I’m highly emotional. It’s like I don’t have enough skin and I feel every single thing all the time. Not just my own feelings but those of others. I used to dislike this about myself but as I grow older I’ve come to understand it is a gift. I notice more than the average person and feel things deeply. This quality makes me a good teacher. A good daughter and friend, too? I don’t know.

What do I want?

Isn’t that the most important question of all?

I dream of a house in the suburbs on a quiet street with a cherry tree that blooms bright pink in the spring. Oh, and a porch or patio with rocking chairs where I could sit and watch the garden grow. What a garden it would be with climbing roses, masses of flowers that spill out of pots and hanging baskets. Maybe some blueberry bushes with fat, sweet fruit to put in cereal or make into pies?

I’d like a man to sit next to me on that patio, holding my hand as we grow old together. So yes, if I’m truthful, I dream of that one person who could be my best friend for life. And children. Maybe two, so they don’t have to be an only child as we were.

As I write this, I’m cringing. I don’t allow myself to dream much. Dreaming and hoping are dangerous. On the other end, when dreams turn to sand in your hands, despair replaces hope. It’s been a long time since I let myself imagine a life other than the one I’m currently living. During my childhood and teenage years I had big dreams. Adulthood has a way of killing those, though. Right? Or is it just me?

Your question has evoked so many thoughts! Frankly, things I haven’t pondered for a long time. I’ve been living, of course, but very safely so as not to get hurt. Routines and discipline. Taking care of Mom and my students. Safe, safe, safe.

I know why. I can tell you the exact moment when I changed. I was just out of college and fell in love with a man who later broke my heart. The pain I experienced when he ended our relationship was debilitating. That term ‘broken heart’ came about for a reason. The pain in my chest was as if my heart had truly been broken in two. I promised myself I’d never love any man again. I believed that love was for others. Not for people like me. Not for those without the needed layer of thick skin.

This is all too much for a casual correspondence, isn’t it? I’m sorry. But it’s best you know exactly who I am.

Okay, on a lighter note. My favorite meal? I can’t decide. I love food. Especially comfort food like mashed potatoes and gravy, spaghetti with meatballs, homemade chicken noodle soup. If I had to choose, I guess I’d say macaroni and cheese made with Beecher’s cheese. They sell one already made at Costco that you just have to heat up in the oven. Mom and I can eat off that for a week.

My favorite color is yellow. To me, it’s the happiest, most encouraging color.

And now some questions for you. Have you ever been in love? Has your heart ever broken? What do you think of now that the world has slowed down? Does the break from the relentless pace of life evoked memories or regrets?

I’ll understand if you don’t write back. However, I hope I haven’t scared you off and that you will. Ah, there it is. That dangerous thing called hope.


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