Love in Isolation, Day Two, Ellis

Dear Bronte,

Thank you for replying to my sign. I can’t tell you how long I’ve debated asking for your phone number or email. Before we were confined to our homes, I noticed you at the bus stop. For months, I’d been gathering the courage to sit next to you, but I always found an excuse not to. The mind of a shy man is elusive. I have many ways of talking myself out of things, especially when it comes to a beautiful woman.

Putting a sign in my window is an odd way to ask a girl for her email, but these are strange times. As the days continue on, one after the other with no end in sight, I’ve chastised myself for not having the courage to introduce myself to you when I could have. Now, we’re stuck inside our homes. I’ve spent a lot of nights wondering how my life would be different if I’d seized opportunities along the way. Maybe I wouldn’t be a single, lonely man of forty, completely isolated as the world shut down.

I’m deaf, which makes it difficult to approach people. Or, rather, it gives me an excuse not to. I can’t communicate the usual way, obviously, which creates complications.

I was prompted to reach out, however, because I saw you crying on your balcony. I’d seen you out there before, watering your flowers. By the way, your flowers give me such joy. I’ve never been able to grow anything. I’m not sure why. Looking at the bright flowers during our warm months makes me smile. I figure someone who can grow such beautiful things must be pretty wonderful.

My heart hurt watching you cry. I guess you could say it jolted me enough to get over myself and reach out. What is it that makes you cry? Has a man broken your heart? Are you lonely and the isolation has gotten to you? Or, have you lost your job and are afraid of how you will pay the rent? Or, is it something different? Whatever it is, and whether you tell me or not, please know that I’m sending warmth and prayers your way.

I promise I won’t bother you if you’re scared by my email. That said, I’m completely harmless and committed to staying inside, so don’t worry, I won’t show up at your doorstep. I work as a computer programmer for a high-tech firm. I’m lucky to be able to work in my office here in the apartment.

Have you been out to get groceries? Before this I always had mine delivered. I find it easier than going to the store. Crowds worry me. I’ve continued to have them delivered, although they won’t bring them up to the fourth floor. I have to go down to the lobby to get them. I’ve also started ordering them for my elderly neighbor. When this started, I made sure he understood he could not go out and that I would look after him. He’s a widower on a fixed income. An income that barely covers his rent, so I often help him out with groceries and medications. Like me, he has no family.

Yes, I’m telling you all this so that you can see what a great person I am.

Anyway, I suppose that’s enough for now. If you write back, I’ll share more about my life. Again, please don’t feel obligated to write me. However, if you’re bored or lonely, I would welcome a correspondence.


Ellis Morrow

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