To A Stranger | Creative Writing

letter to a stranger first time creative writing prose poem alex clermont writes

Dear Person I Don’t Know, As a kid I tried my best to stay away from mirrors.

My reflection stared back at me one day, and I realized that I was not very attractive: pimples, an overbite, twenty extra pounds. Made uncomfortable in my own skin, I smile when I remember my first attempt at love with a skinny brown girl I cared for, but didn’t know very well.

In her basement we each held the other and I forgot to feel nervous about my own nakedness – that feeling of having the eyes of the world on me.

Though you would know, if you knew me, that those years are still not completely gone. I still look in the mirror. I’m still not happy.

You would know too, if you knew me, that I saw in that girl an unreal perfection based on her real imperfections. Her gangly arms and legs held me tight and rubbed themselves against my skin with all the care I had assumed there would be from one who was supposed to love you.

I detached for a moment and thought about radio love songs. I wondered if what I felt was not new. Had someone discovered this exact feeling, maybe been in this exact situation? I swore I would ask my older brother about it on my next visit to his place to borrow money, drink Hennessey, watch porn, drive around in his car...

I was lying on an old couch with a naked women who was, to me, more beautiful than anything I could imagine, though she was real and coughed in my mouth when I kissed her. We laughed it off.

When I touched her chest I felt the roughness of her cold nipples. I then felt a softness I never knew before. It made me think differently about the harshness the world outside had shown me up to that point – the world outside of that dank basement. It reminded me of the sun, a sympathetic hug, and the welcomed embrace of your bed after a night of tiring drunkenness.

I continued my love affair with love, as I assume you, and most of us, have too.

I loved her. I realize now that I still love her. But mostly I learned that love is all in the mind, and in the touch, and in the taste, and in the look, and in the sounds, and in the smells of the person you’re loving, and I wondered if it was the same with you.