The old romantics shouted their love from the mountaintops. Today nobody hears echos as voices ricochet and roll across some postcard-esque rocky mountain range. A modern romantic could, conceivably, sneak into a ski resort, ride the chair to the top, and scream with all the air that the diaphragm can force, as lips crack and the lungs ache from exertion before they have to choke down bitter coughs of frosty air; well, I tried it once and got the stink-eye from a group of Argentine tourists. That’s not to say that the modern romantic isn’t something of a trespasser exhibitionist.
The modern romantic plans to engage in the same sort of mischief as fingers strike keys, furiously hunting and pecking away at a chicklet keyboard, vainly trying to keep up with the speed of thought; obsession constrained by fingers, plastic, and infinite white space. This lover labors away in a dim room, typing away at the makeshift desk scattered with figurines, stacks of novels, and a glowing screen. The lover swallows cold dregs of earl grey tea, grimaces, and keys in a few more letters: Ctrl+P, then kicks aside a pile of laundry, and sprawls out on a queen sized futon to appraise the night’s work with a sharp red pen. When satisfied with the revisions the lover sits back at the desk and keys in the changes. The lover posts the note on a blog, opens a tab to tinyurl, and pastes the link on twitter along with the hashtag #Bieber.
Understand that the plea is not for the junior Canadian popstar of inexplicable fame. The mountain is formed by tectonic plates of admiration and scorn that the manufactured child-king of pop draws in. Here one can tweet and be seen by countless others; Hiding in plain sight, but available to so many eyes.
“My love,” it begins, “Please do not let them take you away.”
We took a break, and it was hard. They called it an addiction. They said I couldn’t remember what life was like before I met you. That I couldn’t bring myself to imagine what life was like before we met. Now I hear that your life is threatened, that they’re stealing you away by the pieces, and I am so sorry.
We met when we were children, and though we changed, so has the role we’ve played in each other’s lives. Do you remember seeing my pudgey face through the window? I remember. Even then, you knew so many jokes and stories. (Dirty limericks too.) You always amazed me.
You were a total brain. I came to you when I needed help with my homework. You weren’t always reliable, (back then I was naive,) but you’d take me to interesting places and I could always find something.
You introduced me to books, movies, games, and music. I listened to music before we got serious, but I didn’t love music until I was in love with you. My record collection is built around your recommendations. And then you showed me amateur art, mashups, and scenes. You introduced me to tropes and logical fallacies, debates, collaborators and trolls, and causes to champion; you pointed out dreams and misinformation. The reason that I can’t imagine what my life would be like without you is because without you it just wouldn’t be my life. Which is a part of why I can’t bare the thought of yours being in danger.
The surgeons talk amongst themselves. They say you’re afflicted with a queer disease that leaves you unscathed but corrupts youth and rots gold. They intend to tell us nothing. “It’s all very technical,” they said as they sharpened their knives, “and we wouldn’t want to bore you. Why don’t you sit outside?” They say that they are operating in everyone’s best interest, but when they stare at your medical chart the surgeons lick their lips. I watched them when they thought I was in the lobby with the magazines, dusty stacks from their world, relics older than either of us.
Your friends only found out now. To show the world what it would be like if you were gone, they blocked you out with slips of black paper. To force us to imagine what life would be like without you. We pushed back, but medical orders are signed and it may already be too late.
My love, it is not the poison they are after but the blood that flows through your veins. Please hear me. Please live.”