Memories and Mementos

To My Distant Darling

As you remember, if somewhat sporadically, when you departed these fair shores you left behind some physical, tangible and dare I say personal mementos of our time together. Also prior to our meeting, you and I had also exchanged a number of gifts, none of which sadly remain in my possession. Along with the photos recording our time together and of course my own most vivid memories, that is how I remembered you.

You had sent me a jacket, which never fitted properly. I never told you because I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. It was eventually donated to a goodwill store and hopefully someone derived much pleasure and good use from it. You had sent me a shot glass emblazoned with the face of Eric Cartman of South Park, a favourite TV show of mine at the time. I remember you feeling quite risqué then for even purchasing such an item, especially in view of the strict religious nature of your upbringing and the conservative sensibilities of the town in which you lived. We both know how, years later, I ended up losing that token of our love with my then wife (whom I married after meeting you) breaking it in an “accidentally on purpose” manner because she knew of its provenance.

But after you departed I had so few ways in which to remember you. I was tidying things up after that most hideous day. It was the last time I saw you.  The last time I held you. The last time I smelled you, and the last time I kissed you. It was the day that damn Qantas jet took you from my life. Well as I tidied I found your vibrant purple pyjamas. I can remember how raw my emotion was on that day. You had just left and I was desolate. I just sat down on the bed and held them; I buried my face into them and drank in your fragrance. Then I lay down on the bed clinging to them, wishing they were you but knowing they were not. I wept.

At the time they were my most potent reminder of you. I have told you how I would place them gently on my spare bed and lay down next to them and think of you. For many years they were permeated with your scent. Sadly your fragrance depleted over time and I nearly lost them all together when my now ex wife found where they were hidden. We both know she was far from blameless in this story. You were the one variable over which she had no control. She knew that if one woman could steal me away it would be you. I never told her that I thought I would never hear from you again after what I had done and that she needn’t have worried. I took some perverse pleasure in knowing that she was threatened by you. That tale will no doubt will come forth in all its sordid glory as our story unfolds.

You also left a candle which I know you had completely forgotten about until I reminded you. It will appear twice more in this narrative, once when we stayed at Katoomba and again on the day you made contact again after all those years. But let’s save that for another time.

 

You Will Always be My Darling

From Sir With Love

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Dear Sir,

I must admit that I hid all the memories of you which included anything tangible. They were just too painful to see, and it was more than I wanted to bear. Talking about them has been very liberating and poignant. I am so happy that we can share these memories.

I must also confess that I had forgotten that I sent you a jacket. The knowledge that you hid from me for years that you didn’t keep it due to a poor fit has filled me with much mirth. How gallant of you to try to spare my feelings over it. I am just sorry that I bought and sent you such an unworthy article of clothing. My intentions were good. I can’t even remember what it looks like!  I have considered expressing mock indignation, but the situation is just too comical, not to mention I could never get away with that emotion with you much to my chagrin.

While I may not remember the infamous jacket, I do remember that darn Cartman shot glass (I didn’t even know what South Park was, and I had never watched an episode). I searched far and wide for such a trinket to send you. I felt rather devious and daring when I found it. I knew you’d love it. It saddens me that your ex-wife felt so threatened by a material object especially since I was before her time. What did Cartman ever do to her?

I also remember sending you monogrammed handkerchiefs. I was thrilled to know a man who carried handkerchiefs in a modern day and age. It made you even more dashing to me than you already were. You sent me home with a washed and ironed handkerchief the day I left you. You instinctively knew I would shed copious tears as I flew home. As you know, that handkerchief was one of the things I recently discovered and you heard the disbelief and joy when I found it.

I am still incredulous regarding my purple pajamas. When you disclosed to me that you still have them, my heart cracked. That was, of course, during our first text exchange. The disbelief still haunts me.  You got married after me. You made a life for yourself. I was forsaken. You chose to let me go, yet you clung to something that was a mere insignificant reminder of me. The irony is not lost, and I struggle with that knowledge to this day.

The candle is something you have had to tell me about, as I lost all memory of it. Your initial pun was clever though (your story to tell, not mine).

Ardently yours,

Darling

©2013 Darling and Sir

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