I found this in an old lockbox I bought at a garage sale. To think the trials and romances of today so closely mirror another time, forgotten.
I hope the Autumn warmth is not too insufferable; soon it will all subside and the darkness of winter will be just so much more to bear, I am afraid. Father has kept himself well, I venture; his teles are always vigorous.
I am well here, though of late I have found myself unusually contemplative. You see, I have had somewhat of an affair that may surprise you, though I hope it does not distress you to hear so. You see, there are beauty in Jewels, even those under Ground, and I have been happy to dust off a most beautiful gem buried.
You will not be happy to hear... I don't know any way but to say it... he is made of Wood. His skin is like to any other man's, if a bit taut: browned by the Sun and yet promising a healthy paleness in Winter, and he has no green buds to speak of! I hope when you have heard my full tale some part of your old bias may melt away, but I do not expect it.
But in even beginning the telling of this story, I must go one step further, and to my dismay this may hurt you most deeply: he has convinced me that I myself, yes, your daughter of Alabaster is, indeed, made herself of the finest hearty variety of Wood. I can hear now your rebuttals and refusals, but I can see it no other way. And again here I think my story will show you the Truth of all that which I have just confessed.
I met him in the most auspicious of places, the city Garden, where he was considering the first buds of Spring's early flowers. He seemed so enraptured, and I felt the immodest need to touch him, or perhaps it was just to take his rapture for my own. I stood next to him and looked at the flowers, but all the while I felt him next to me and the flowers were still yet to bloom. I grew bored.
Then he noticed me, and we began to talk. He did not seem to care for me, and I was hurt. But I thought of Rapture and wished to see the world as he did, so I did not let him go and asked him his inmost secrets. He was willing to please, as all men are, when thus approached, and I listened in my own sort of rapture. We made plans to meet in the Garden again, and I had difficulty sleeping until that day.
I soon found that with Rapture he found great pain, and my heart was burdened. When we parted that second time after meeting in the Garden, we hugged in the most innocent embrace. And this is when he told me he was made of wood, and I believed it. For near his heart there was a knot that rubbed against my chest, and it hurt me. We parted and I nursed my wound, but I looked forward to when we might meet again.
We next went for a visit to the beach. I found he was most surprisingly buoyant. He swam masterfully, and seemed to love the Ocean; he told me then that I could swim as he did, but I did not believe it. I strayed along the strand and waited for him to come back. He was not long away, and he told me the whole time he was watching me and thinking of me. I believed him and again we held each other, this time more intimately. Again my skin was chafed, and I cried out.
We met again and again and became ever more intimate. But at last I could not stand the pain that came when we parted, and I told him. But he told me to look at the wound, and I am ashamed to say I had not yet done so; then he said these words to me.
"You have denied it in your heart and I did not wish to tell you, girl. But you, too, are made of Wood, like me."
And, indeed, where the pain was strongest, there where my skin had been rubbed and chafed, there I saw the most beautiful wood, worn away and bleeding sap upon the ground.
From then I found the greatest Joy in life. I saw and was astonished by his rapture, and I found that when we parted, the pain he caused me took some pain from himself, and so each moment with him was satisfying, if not happy. I soon found that I could float just as he did, and where formerly the Ocean held great fear for me, it was now a great and open horizon where I need not hide but could contentedly relax and be myself.
And so I saw that we truly were trees, awkward and askew, met in the Forest. Where we rubbed together my skin and bark was torn away, and mean animals came and licked the sap that fell in drops underneath.
But at last the pain was too great, and I told him that I could not bear it any longer. He was so beautiful and strong then, but what he showed me moved me to a rash decision.
He showed me the pain over his own heart: where I thought he had been cutting into my flesh, I had been hurting him. When I did look at the wood near my own heart, I found I had been blind, because I had only thought of the pain; in fact I had my own knots that had grown, and these knots had rubbed away at his sensitive bark and torn into a thin bark; and I saw the beautiful sap that formed there and welled to great drops as I watched and fell to the ground.
And so I left him, for the pain of my blindness hurt too much. But he called as I left:
"The hurt you see is not in me nor is it in you. We are both made in the bole of a tree, and the knot is as much a part of me as it is of you.
know you have held in the wings men of Gold and of Silver, and have even hoped for my marriage with a man of Mud, like Father. I have humored you, but