To Casey, On His Thirty-Fifth Birthday
by Mosca

Dear Casey,

This isn't the letter I'm going to send you for your birthday. I'm going to tear this one up, or be melodramatic and eat it. More likely, I'm just going to leave it here on the hard drive. You could find it here, but you wouldn't think to excavate the computer for evidence of my secret double life. I'll save it as taxes.doc or something, and you'll blithely assume I was doing some personal accounting. If I left pieces of this in the trash, you'd see it as too much of a challenge.

I have to write you this letter, though-- this letter that no one will see but me-- because there are things that I need to try to explain. For a while, I was considering looking you in the eye and explaining them, but I've come to realize that actually explaining them to you will be the social equivalent of the Cubs' buying Sammy Sosa. I'd still lose, and the Rangers' owner would get elected President no matter who Sosa was hitting home runs for.

Okay, I lost control of that metaphor, but the part about still losing was right on the money.

Besides, I asked my therapist whether I should tell you, and she said that I should if I want anything to change. I'm not seeing Abby anymore, in any sense of the word "seeing." In the one sense, I've switched to Beryl Goldfarb, to whom I am completely unattracted. She has a Queens accent so thick that it sounds like she's putting it on, although she isn't. The thought of this lumpy nasal woman putting my life back together makes me want to laugh, which somehow makes it easier for me to tell her all about my anxieties.

As for the other sense of the word "seeing," I'm relying mostly on my right hand, the designer lotion that Kim gave me for Chanukah, and my fertile imagination.

This is not because I'm not meeting women. I'm meeting lots of women. I make myself go out to bars and unleash my charm on female strangers because I'm trying to convince myself that one of these women will be interesting enough to interrupt this streak where I'm sticking my triple axels in practice and landing on my ass in competition. I find an attractive woman, and I turn on the smile like I always have. And then I sabotage myself. It's only when I get home that I realize that it was on purpose. I'm meeting beautiful, fascinating women-- maybe not all triple axels, but definitely triple lutzes at the very least-- and I can't bring myself to listen to any of them talk for more than ten minutes.

I've become indifferent to women, and it's all because of you: your floppy hair, your bad puns, and your utter social incompetence. I am this close to resigning myself to never meeting anyone-- male, female, or whatever the third category is-- to equal you. And this is the thing that I needed to explain. Casey, I am totally butt crazy in love with you.

I can't begin to express how weird that looks in print, and not solely because I think I lifted the phrase from an Amy Heckerling movie.

It's been a long time, Casey. It's been since Texas. I've been in love with you since Lone Star Sports, and at this point, it's time I accepted it, because I don't think it's going to go away.

Beryl Goldfarb says that after a certain amount of time, we resign ourselves to loving certain unattainable people, and after that amount of time, one of three things happens. The first is the kind of pining away that you would do, but I won't. I'm not that kind of guy, and I'm not that kind of guy partially because you're that kind of guy. We probably couldn't stand to be around each other if we were both that kind of guy. Part of the reason that I'm in love with you is that, in most of the ways that count, you're exactly the kind of guy I'm not. And not the kind of guy I wish I were, but the kind of person I wish I could come home to. It's that thing about opposites, or complements, or mixed metaphors.

In any case, there are three things that can happen, and the brooding for lost love is the one of these things that is least likely to happen, for reasons discussed above. The second option is a healthy acceptance of the fact that the other person is unattainable, followed by moving on, dating other people, getting married, and having many beautiful babies with someone who isn't you. I think that I could be good at this.

The third option involves baring my soul and finding out if you are, indeed, unattainable. It's possible that you aren't, and I'm just building up walls to protect myself from the difficulties of actually having you in a way that involves emotional nakedness and lots of water-based lubricant. Sometimes I'm the kind of guy who would ask you.

Mostly, though, I'm the kind of guy who knows that even if you feel the same way about me, you aren't happy about it. You're worried about Charlie; you're worried about shattering all the perfect domestic plans you have for yourself; you're worried about having to appear on the cover of The Advocate and Sports Illustrated in the same week. Hell, you're the guy who got all weird about interviewing Esera Tuaolo. And I don't know, Casey. Maybe he really is so nice that he gives you the willies. He's an awfully nice guy.

There's a line by either Oscar Wilde or Albert Camus-- or, very possibly, Cher-- about people who expend a great deal of effort just to appear normal. You expend that effort, and it works for you. Loving me would be wasting all those years of normalcy.

And then there's the thing where you can be Magic Johnson and go on TV and say you have AIDS and still play pro ball, but Esera Tuaolo had to wait until he retired from the NFL to admit that he'd been more or less married to a man for years.

So it looks like it's Option Two for me. I'm going to stay in therapy, and I'm going to keep trying to get myself to take women home. And I'm going to get over you. I'm still going to like the theoretical prospects of Option Three, but I know better than that. If only just enough better that I'm going to save this and leave it on our computer. I hope you find it on exactly the day when it's too late.

Now, I'm going to take a little walk to the corner store and buy you a greeting card.

Love, Danny


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style