Laura Girardeau invades the Towers!

Literati! Contest winner Laura Girardeau makes an impromptu stop at The Towers that are A Word with you Press to pick up her bouquet of thorns as part of her prize for winning A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Love Story. In the future, we would like to have a photo of …

Literati!

Contest winner Laura Girardeau makes an impromptu stop at The Towers that are A Word with you Press to pick up her bouquet of thorns as part of her prize for winning A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Love Story.

In the future, we would like to have a photo of all our winners of our contests as they receive their prizes (Eli Fang!  I am STILL waiting for the picture of you with the boid!)

Here is the entry that won her the prizes, which included also any three books from our library.

The Golden Cord

by Laura Girardeau

They say love is action, and that’s probably true. Unfortunately, for most women, it’s only a rumor. We’re seduced by the word. In love with love letters.  In 4th grade, I put notes in boy’s cubbies: “I love you. Do you love me?” with check boxes for “Yes, No, Maybe.” Three choices then. Now, it’s usually yes and no.

In high school, a boy biked miles uphill to pass notes through my window at Curfew Castle. His letters dreamed of a cabin, a baby of pure love. Through weddings and unweddings, I kept one. It holds time in its tatters, scented with Old Spice.

In college, I left a loyal lover for letters from a redrock man who hiked naked with a fanny pack. Do your friends have fur, bark or skin? What in their love gives you strength? Let’s make leaps of faith, metaphorical and literal, recover realms lost to modern humans.

I unfolded them till they were soft as chamois, like his clothes, when he wore them. Run off into the canyons with me. Write in sunlit alcoves of flesh-colored gorges. How long can two people live thusly? Wouldn’t you like to find out? Thusly? I was mush. But he became a petroglyph.

Now, love letters are on email. Sans the tactile, they’re just as good, and more frequent. They ping day or night, a random reward making rats push a lever till they die.

The man after my unwedding, his letters kidnapped me. He lassoed me with a sentence, handcuffed me with an exclamation point. He didn’t leave a key. His words were literary yet slam-in-the-gut honest. He wrapped me in the lapping mouth, the steaming bath of a paragraph, loosened my limbs to lush.

He laid me down on sheepskins before a fire and impaled me with male letters, l’s and t’s. He rubbed soft circles of the female ones, b’s and d’s, on the parts that matter. Disclosure sparked disclosure and we played strip poker with our souls, bared skinless, and saw inside: beating hearts, bloody guts, shining god and goddess. His words yanked me from menopause at the 11th month, connected us by golden cords when apart.

Men of action woo me now, making fires instead of letters. They write two words: time and place to meet, on Facebook. How can I relish or relive meeting without cords that run between? Slash a check box, but at least get out your pen.

Sometimes I rekindle letters on my laptop’s false fire. It’s nice to know your job is just a job, but your true career is loving me. That my voice sounds like wind chimes. That you’ll always be there for me, though now you’re around the corner and 20,000 fathoms down.

Is the love in letters real, or petroglyphs in a cave? I must believe it’s real so I can trust again. Now I return the note to myself, check the box for Yes. Share my words, buzzing with love, with the world.

17 comments

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    Hmmm…scattered alphabet life of lyrical posted memories and changing nuisances of what love is to one woman of love letters. The contrast of colorful, lucid, impressionistic, naturalistic love videos in time with disappointed petroglyph upon cave and canyon walls stir me, but are not my experience wanted or actual in life. Sometimes I wonder why romance is so mercurial, capricious and failed long term in others. To this wonder no story has stirred me more than this one, so I applaud the beautiful skill and intimacy you have given us Laura.

    • Laura Girardeau says:

      Parisianne, your stories and comments are always one-of-a-kind. Thank you! Maybe your next story is about your “experience wanted.” You’ve alluded to it and we all would love to hear it. Dream big!

  2. Yeah, listen, Laura. You really need to try to express real emotion when you write, okay? (LOL)
    Seriously, a talented expose of what a woman wants and when she wants it. (LOL)
    Okay, really serious now. This light you shed, this preference of love and how it has endured through countless accords, the evolution that the character relies on to live again-oh man do I see this on the stage.
    Sterling insite, vivid writing.

    • Laura Girardeau says:

      I appreciate your personal impressions. And like how you see I’m living again…From now on, my love letters are in the form of stories to the world and those who really appreciate them!

  3. Kristine Rose Grant says:

    Okay, Laura, you are last but definitely not least….can we have lunch? A truly captivating sentiment that comments on love letters with both profundity and demoralization and even something in-between. Thank you for a most distinguished entry. So many to choose from…such little time…I guess I must tread into my woman cave….

    • Laura Girardeau says:

      Kristine, I’m glad that what I was intending came through: an ode to not only love letters, but to “letters” in terms of words and the language. To us “literati” (writers and readers), it is those letters, through books, that are our true soulmates! Thank you for your thoughtful response.

  4. Miryam says:

    Strong essay …. Your writing is bold & passionate. It reminds me how glad I am that I’m not single, but married to my ultimate romantic.

  5. Eli Fang says:

    Very authentic and engaging writing. Great imagery with unfolding the letters until they were soft as chamois . . . A lot of imagery that brings to mind the red rocks of Sedona, AZ for me. Thanks for the good read.

    • Laura Girardeau says:

      Eli, glad to see a new person on the site! Thank you for relating to the desert imagery. And this must be fate: I am going to Sedona solo for spring break, to hike and view real petroglyphs. I’ve grown so much since then, can be the redrock woman myself!

  6. Gregory says:

    I certainly hope – and even pray – that the love in love letters is real. I will soon travel across two seas and a continent to meet the latest objective of my heart. Facebook Messenger tells ne we’ve exchanged 4,109 texts since we were introduced three weeks back. And all of it has been interpreted and contorted by Google Translate! Oh. Bless me one and all cuz I’m in quite deep.

    • Laura Girardeau says:

      I’m glad you’re coupling the letters with getting to know each other as real people in daily life without the fantasy. Enjoy the trip!

  7. Parisianne Modert says:

    I applaud the lovely picture of Laura with roses and once more her enchanting writing worthy of praise.

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