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My Dearest Yvonne,


I feel that there were a few things left unsaid in our last conversation. I think we both said things we didn't mean. At least, I know I did and I hope you did.

I come from a culture of begrudging admissions of affection, if at all. Mine was the first generation to really break free of the whole blue collar masculine repression, but I still feel the ghost of it. And I want to be free of it, totally and utterly. So when I start talking about my feelings, I tend to go to town, partly to spite my upbringing.

With that in mind can I just say that I love you. I feel like I've always loved you.

When I think about the days before we met they seem grey, dim and lifeless, as I were a sleepwalker, marking time, eating meals, passing through the days, but not actually living. Years, months, days, all counting down to the moment, the second we met. That was when I was born. That was when I first started living. From the first moment I shook your hand, I've loved you. I thought my hand was hurting because of your really quite spectacularly firm grip, but I realise now it was the bruising of love.

See what I mean about going to town?

And I really didn't mind that you wanted to take it slow, get to know each other before taking things to the next level. God knows, I've had my share of one night stands that left me feeling hollow and wrong, sleeping with someone that I couldn't share a conversation with, let alone the rest of my life. So getting to know each other, growing to love each other before making love felt like a breath of fresh air, and totally the right thing to do.

But it's been three months Yvonne. And I think we both know something else is going on here.

When I found out about Terry I was shocked and my heart went out to you. He sounds like he was a wonderful man and the circumstances of his passing must have been deeply traumatic for you. But ultimately, given all myriad of ways that a person can die, I think he died well. Not in a car crash or old and forgotten in some nursing home, but in the arms of the woman he loved. If I had to choose a way to die, that would certainly be in my top ten.

But Terry's death was an accident, that's all. The fact that you were there when it occurred is nothing more than bad luck. The problem is, I don't think that you believe that. I think that on some level you feel responsible, as if you were to blame. As if you caused it. And if you caused it once, what's to stop it happening again? What's to stop history repeating?

And so we dance around the issue; You've got a headache. You've got work in the morning. It doesn't feel right. Let's wait until the weekend. And the next weekend. And the next. All the time, the spectre of What Happened To Terry hanging over us. I want to help you get past this. And there is only one way to put Terry's ghost to rest: Sleep with me.

Now I could feed you some line here, about how selfless I'm being in offering up my body as some therapeutic tool, but let me be frank: I want to sleep with you so badly it hurts my fillings. You're my dream woman Yvonne, and let me tell you, since meeting you, my dreams have become pretty carnal. I know you've been having a lot of trouble with your knees of late, but let me assure you in my dreams you're suprisingly limber.

And just to play devil's advocate, let's assume for a moment that The Bad Thing is true. That if I sleep with you, I have a very good chance of dropping dead. Can I just say, that as the one hypothetically at risk here that certain death is a price I am more than willing to pay.

There. I guess that's all I have to say. Quite how you'll respond, I have no idea. I know what I hope you'll do. But whatever you decide, I'll still love you. How could I not?

Yours forever,



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