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.