Love is a burning debt…Elizabeth Sloan fans the flames

(methinks Like a Rock is a bit more than Bob Segar selling Chevrolets)

Hello again from the Land of the Double Entundra and the towers that are A Word with You Press.

How slight is the difference between requited and unrequited love.  A mere two letters. Elizabeth Sloan’s second entry into our contest brings to mind the words of a friend I loved so dearly I named my son for him, hoping that the virtues of my friend would be absorbed by osmosis though the name. (How kuhl!  Just as I type this, I see my son is on skype in Berlin!)

My friend Morgan once lamented,  “Americans… We are the only culture that thinks that love will somehow be less painful than life’s other experiences.”

Elizabeth Sloan offers us a little more bitter-sweet.


by Elizabeth Sloan

To my Sweetie,

You are my rock. Always have been, since the first time you set eyes on me! I remember your Paul Newman good looks, the khaki pants worn with that colorful woven Guatemalan belt, and beyond all else, your unconditional kindness.

It was an impossible situation, but time has its way. You have loved me like a brother and a father and a boyfriend and a best friend. I could even go so far as to say you have loved me like a savior. I have loved you across most of these stages, too; except the savior part. I could never live up to that stature. You have rescued me so many times and in so many ways.

We have “had a go” of it a few times. In the process, we always remain the dearest of friends. If I had to choose one memory for you to keep of me, it would be on the Salmon when I high-sided and helped to keep us from flying out of the raft (but it was only a rumor).  You were so proud of me because I really did not know what I was doing. I was just terrified of going for a swim.

No, on second thought, it would probably be another scene. Same trip, day hike, you and I au naturale in a boulder-flicked side stream. You asked a question. I answered yes.

But we never did. I’m sorry.

I thought we had one more chance. But memory, like time, also has its way. The keeping of memories, and the losing of them.  You may forget why you walked down the hallway, or how to use your phone, or what your neighbor’s name is. I can’t imagine that you will ever forget how much you have loved me.

But if you do, I’ll be close by to remind you, and I’ll try and love enough for us both.


Your sweetie, too


ok. so now you will get the burning debt reference to the title of this post…Couldn’t help myself

5 thoughts on “Love is a burning debt…Elizabeth Sloan fans the flames

  1. Parisianne Modert says:

    The beauty of love letters is that they are intimate, suitable to one only other person. Love letters at any stage of relationship expose us for who we truly are without apology or need to omit. You have written a lyrical, flickering of impressions of a love which has passed, but the memories remain treasures of your lives when love was in bloom. I am touched by your letter, the images and the honesty of expressions within it. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

  2. Kristine Rose Grant says:

    I am a professional intuitive letter writer…Like in the movie, HER….ahead of my time, perhaps, but nevertheless a true vintner of fine exquisite love letters…Bravo! Thanks for the glimpse into a deeper realm where the heart can freely dance.

  3. Miryam says:

    “I’ll try and love enough for us both.” This is the ultimate expression of love…. Too even love when the other can not. I think of couples where one has Alzheimer’s & the commitment which must prevail….

  4. Laura Girardeau says:

    This builds a lump in my throat. The images are especially effective: the rafting, the hike. Woven in with the abstract: choosing one memory to keep. The reality of life as it usually unfolds: hopes, leaps, chances and missed chances, changes of the river’s course…but always that eternal bond. This is what Valentine’s Day is all about…true love, despite its change in forms. If only everyone could be so good at keeping bonds despite the changes of forms. Another special thing about this piece is that you keep it mysterious who this is for. At first it seems like a spouse or ex-spouse, later a fiance that changed course, while at the end it’s almost like a father… By leaving it a bit open, you allow readers to relate their many relationships to it.

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