April 26, 1989
It does not take a Sigmund Freud to deduce that this last week has been very difficult for you. Knowing that you are in pain is hard enough, but to recognize that I was party to your injuries especially grates on me. I can rationalize what happened - I was not legally at fault, I was not driving crazily, but I cannot help feeling very guilty and responsible for the whole incident. Uncontrollably and undeniably, irrational emotions reign supreme in my head: guilt that I let you ride with me, that I let you ride without a helmet, that somehow I did not avoid the car, that I was not hurt as badly as you. However, this is not a confession.
Many years from now your parents will probably express relief that you survived your college days and boyfriends with motorcycles. When they wheeled me into the emergency room, I was still very groggy and only when I saw you lying there did I fully understand what had happened. The realization that you were hurt hit me like a ton of bricks, and I am still reeling from it. To hurt you, or be party to your injury, is absolutely the last thing that I ever wanted to do. Perhaps it is one aim of this letter to express my compassion (com = together, passion = to bear, suffer) for this most trying of weeks and to wish your quick recovery.
I think you know how important you are to me. It is in times of crisis when all the unimportant trifles are discarded and the unadulterated truth shines forth undisputed. When I contemplated the concept of you carrying around a colostomy bag for the rest of your life, I wanted to both cry and be sick at the same time. It seems to me that the most important thing in life is the quality and depth of one's personal relationships (with family, friends, lovers, etc). Ironically, it is also these same relationships which are the most difficult to maintain. Unlike more casual associations, they are replete with the potential to lay waste the fragile landscape of the heart.
Do you understand what I am trying to say? Reality is what is perceived to be real by the individual. Do you not understand then how it is that when (unbeknownest to you) I watch you simply fold a blanket or laugh spontaneously, you appear to me as the most beautiful woman in the world? - a physiognomy vibrant with import and meaning. You appear to me not as the flesh, blood, and bone which together equals the physical body of -----, but as the metaphysical embodiment of all that which is special and unique in the character of -----. It is as if I can see your soul rise to the surface of your body like a crew "charging up from the bowels of a ship, spreading out over the deck, waving at the sky and singing in jubilation." To me, your body is a body unique among others.
I had this dream that I want to share with you: many years from now - when we are both old and tired - we see each other for the fist time in decades. We both think back and compare our relationship to others that we had afterwards. We smile secretly and ponder how our relationship has stood among the others due to its honesty, integrity, and tender emotion. And we feel young again.
Do you not understand then why sitting at my desk at this late hour I feel as if I am the luckiest man alive? How I can both glow inwardly with my heart perfectly at peace, and yet soar triumphantly through the city sky at the same time? How I can surrender myself to you and yet not compromise myself? Perhaps it takes the sudden loss (or near loss) of something to make one truly appreciate its worth. Tonight, I thank God most humbly and fervently that you were not hurt worse in the accident - and for bringing us together, and then together again. I truly cannot understand what I have done to prompt Him to give me so much.
I can only say that I treasure our time together; the moments of intense passion and quiet companionship equally - as two opposite sides of a valuable coin which makes me a wealthy man.
Heal quickly. Please study hard, and let's enjoy the rest of the quarter together.
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