Tuesday, April 10, 2007

An engulfing separation

My darling Charmaine,

It has been so long. Your countenance once vividly frozen in my mind has begun to fade so much I can barely remember it. It pains me terribly. The other day I was crossing the Avenue and passing me not 50 yards away was a two horse carriage heading in the direction of Youngstown and - I swear upon my life - I saw your resemblance in one of the passengers riding in the back. My heart leapt into my throat. It took all the self control I could muster to resist crying out impulsively, commanding the coachmaster to stop. I could not bear to bring shame upon my family that such an altercation would have caused, heaven knows they have been through enough already.

But my darling, it leaves me stricken with an unease which all the faculties in my possession are unable to dispel. I dearly want to believe that my mind is indeed playing a torturously cruel joke upon me. That my deep longing to reignite your memory and reverse the dissipating clarity of your likeness is creating illusions of a palpable nature. But a corner of my heart is unable to let go, challenged as I am by the evidence of my own eyes. It appears desperate I know to need reassurance of any kind and furthermore I should honor the reputation of your family in all matters of business or domestic servitude, and accept your departure this Friday past upon your word.

Perhaps it is because I was not there to see it myself that part of me cannot fully accept it. I hear that a lack of personal witness to a funeral accounts for why many find it difficult to accept the truth and irreversibility of an absence. Perhaps this conditions plagues me? How contemptible I feel about myself right now in doubting you! You said our love would be put to the test in these long months of separation that lie ahead, yet you have been absent barely a week and already I feel with a sickening certainty that I am no longer present in your thoughts. There is perhaps small consolation that I received word via messenger today, the 10th, that a personal communiqué had been received by the postmaster general in the town.

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