April 19, 2003
I come to you the way we come home. With dust on the skin, blisters on the feet, and fire in the blood. It’s always dark when I come to you, the Shamal desert winds wailing, the sand cycloning in places even you haven’t touched (probably for the best). The light is always on above our door, the curtain is always moving. I raise my hand to knock, but I don’t want to knock gently. I want to pound with my fist on the wood, tear it off its hinges, and make the foundations whimper. I want the night to go deaf from my arrival. I don’t want to enter, I want to burst into your arms and there, there, I can kneel, molding into your small hands back into the man you believe me to be.
I want to go blind from your eyes. I have no idea what color they are (I have tried blue, green, brown, black—nothing fits you). I want my eardrums to rupture at your cry when you finally see me. I hope you yell at me, hit me, slap me. “What the fuck took you so long?” I hope you tell me.
And I will kneel there, absorbing your blows more than any bullet, with no words. No words for your face, for the scent of soap rising from your skin, for the crackling fire in the fireplace, for the smell of steak drifting from the kitchen, for the sleeping boy upstairs.
“So help me God, Aiden Hale, what took you so long?” you will yell again, furious.
But I will not answer you. How will I tell you that I had deserts to cross, oceans to swim, thousands to murder, more to free, bleeding brothers to carry on my back for miles and miles and miles before I came to you? You will never hear that outside of these letters. I’ve made an oath to give only music to your ears (and some really filthy words).
So instead, I will look at your face. I loved you at first sight. At last sight. At hidden sight. It didn’t take all of you to know that I was yours. Probably only a single strand of your hair blowing in the wind, or your hand peeking from your sleeve, or maybe even your shadow, and I loved you. This is how I want to love. In a way that will destroy me, that will finish me at the end of the desert, at the end of the road, at the end of the war. At the end of it all, I want to die because of you.
“Are you going to answer or will you just stay there on your knees gawking at me?” you will shout.
I will reach for that strand of hair I first saw and kiss it. “Bed,” I will say.