A Letter to A

Dear A,

We started harvesting rice a little earlier this year—a good crop. The humidity gets me down, though. It sometimes feels like I can’t breathe, and I sweat in places I didn’t think possible. The monsoon season is starting to die a slow death. It reminds me of the bad guy in a horror movie who keeps coming back to life, each time his reaching hand a little weaker, but scaring the shit out of you.

The wind came up last night and blew away a few threatening clouds; blew in memories of you. Not that there’s a day that goes by when you don’t crowd my mind, but last night was special. I thought I’d put pen to paper and write to you. You never know around which corner the Reaper lurks, and his scythe is much bigger than the one I use for harvesting rice. Haha! I say that as if he’d give me a chance to put up a fight.

Last night—it must’ve been just after seven—I was having a cold beer on the balcony when a gust of wind blew my towel off the railing and into a puddle of mud. I lit a smoke and looked up to the sky. The clouds were rolling in, from southern Vietnam, if I have to make a foolish guess. Then came the moment when I saw your face illuminated by the lightning flashes behind the clouds. You looked like a shadow puppet in the dark clouds in the foreground, and the lightning acted as natural light to bring out your silhouette.

You turned your head and I swear to Christ I heard your voice in the thunder. I don’t know what you said, but it sounded sweet. A feeling of euphoria grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and it felt like it was forcing my face into the towel on the ground into the mud. I couldn’t breathe; I don’t know for how long I sat there looking up at you, your body moving like a cross between a belly dancer and a gymnast, but when the first drops struck my face I realized my beer was lukewarm.

I hope you’re not angry that I wrote you. We’re miles apart, I know, but I had to tell you; this might be my ticket to see you again before the Reaper pounces. It might not be. Who knows? I hope you understand, and deep down I hope you sometimes think about me, but I realize that it doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that I keep you close to my heart.

All my love,
R

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