I want a passionate email relationship. Is that so much to ask for? Why make things physical? I mean that. Why should we be physical at all? Let’s not meet up for coffee. Let’s never get drinks. Let’s avoid the horror of deciding where to sit. Let’s not attempt a joke and then take a slow sip of water and try to avoid eye contact.
Can we please never hold Thai menus in front of our faces like sneeze guards, a vague unease growing in the back of our throats because we know we’ll eventually have to order, that we’ll never fall in love, and what the fuck is the difference between the Numpik Gapi Pla Tu and the Gang Pla and Pla Sa-lid Grob?
Let’s spare ourselves the insulting small talk and inevitable conversation about social media.
“What do you think you’re going to get?”
“Mmmmm….I don’t know. What do you think?”
“Chicken sounds good, but so do some of the pork dishes.”
“I usually go with a curry.”
“Yeah I like the curries too.”
“Spring rolls sound good.”
“Facebook is the worst.”
Let’s skip the pheromone-sniffing at the end of the date to see if there should be a kiss and let’s avoid that stupid kiss too, the sad peck that only exists to confirm this was a date and not just Wednesday night dinner with someone of the sex that we’re attracted to. Let’s cut to the good part. It’s what we both want.
Let’s stay away from each other and get on our computers. Let’s wait for a notification. When it comes, we’ll start typing. We’ll spew all kinds of adjectives, descriptions, nouns, and foolish words across the screen. We’ll feel. We’ll relish. We’ll re-read, hearts shooting out of our eyeballs, sweat in our pits and between our toes.
Love is this: it’s copying and pasting emails into a Google doc, taking note of exactly what points we’re going to respond to and how. It’s writing drafts of emails and then editing them into something completely different. It’s day-dreaming of what we’re going to reply and then frantically typing that reply on lunch breaks and in between meetings, staying up past one just to finish an email so someone can see it first thing in the morning.
It’s bantering and me telling you how I felt like I was falling into your eyes while we rode the bus back from Six Flags, how very brown they were, how you understand me like no one else, how when I’m with you I know we exist in a different world altogether, how I feel so close to you even though you’re far away. Love is this: it’s hoping that your words are enough, that they are funny and descriptive and surprising enough. It’s the fear that they aren’t.
In an email relationship, you don’t have to be perfect together because the words can be perfect. It is a romance free of the baser things in life: food, drink, bathroom trips, physical proximity, and other grossnesses. In e-romance, time is the only currency, words the only language.
I don’t want any of this flesh and bone and I don’t want you to walk me home and then hug me for too long.
I just want you to send me an email.