It is HIGHLY unlikely you’ll ever read this,
I’m writing it anyway.
Who the fuck am I kidding.
Honestly? Frankly? The “You” to whom I’m writing only lives in my heart and mind. The “You” you are today is years and miles away from the man who upended my life, careened me into new and previously unknown realms, and left me shaking and alone, but ready to be who I needed to be. This exercise in writing “You” a letter isn’t about writing a letter to the actual James.
No, the “You” to whom I’m writing is a kaleidoscopic doppelganger of emotional glassbits that tumble through the scratched lens of my mind’s eye.
It is the “You” I first saw in Barney’s Beanery in December of 1993 in Los Angeles.
It is the “You” who opened up a channel to my future from which spoke a voice alerting me to the unfathomable changes that you’d unleash in my life.
It is the “You” whose gorgeous, simple, heated coarse brutality shocked and completed me so totally, it obliterated every thought of ever desiring anyone but you, ever and ever forever and ever, amen
It is the “You” I adored so completely that I spent hundreds of dollars a month, money I didn’t have, to keep your voice and laughter and despicable beautiful lusts in my head even though we were a continent and an ocean apart.
It is the “You” that, no matter how fleeting our subsequent borrowed times together were, they were enough to sustain me through the years…even through the other relationships…because “I knew in my heart of hearts!” that I was yours, and yours alone, and that some day you would hold this knowledge as surely as I did and you would permit me to love you and yourself to love me the way that Fate intended.
It is the “You” for whom I still struggled to make space, even though I knew it was futile. Some ambertrapped part of me knew…knew…that you would remember who we were.
Today that “You”…those iterations, all of them and more beside…all joined me at once. As I ate my fucking bleu cheeseburger and tried to hold my shit together.
See, today was a rough day. Closing out a convention that had been a bit of a roller-coaster for me. My weekend had been fraught, hormonal issues didn’t help any, and one of the bits of my life that I’d hoped had settled, thereby relieving me of a substantial amount of stress had come undone and I was kind of back to square one.
Today it really hit me in a whole new way, how strange and loopy my life is become. I realized that the next 2 weeks of my life were leading up to some Pretty Big Shit and I wasn’t at all sure how I was going to hold up.
And I was lonely…so lonely.
You know how this is.
The crowd, the people telling you how awesome you are, and still it is so hard…so hard to absorb. I remember how tough it was for you before you gained the degree of notoriety you have today to hang in there when your situation was so discouraging…struggling like so many artists do. I remember one night in Islington as we scraped together pence and pounds to get supper and fags you telling me how you were so grateful and happy that I was there with you, through that rough time. I remember a lot more…but that is for my memory and yours alone.
So it is painful and awful to have so much of these memories blurred and torqued into something less than effulgently fulfilling as I remember the other “You.”
The “You” who reminded me, with a shockingly callus emotional brutality, that my feelings for you weren’t important in light of your “real girlfriends” feelings.
It is the “You” who, after a decade, of my foolish naive hopes, explained that I was not nor would I be, yours.
The “You” who berated me for writing, with pride and passion, about our affair, and how transformational it was.
The “You” who, when his “people” discovered that we were easily linked by a couple of savvy Google searches, called me to insist that it was all inappropriate, and that it should be removed immediately.
It speaks to the still extant desire to please you that coiled, latent, around my heart that my first reaction to this shocking demand was…shame. Shame and sadness and the impulse to say “You’re right, and I am sorry…sorry I spoke. Sorry I wrote. Sorry I am who I am. Sorry that I took this stunning secret me that you unearthed and I polished it and refined it and set it out for all to see and share.
Sorry I am who I am.”