Burn ’em quick. Use high test fuel. They should burn bright blue. Scatter the ashes in the sea. Make sure they are lost to the sight of man forever. Unless they are love letters to your wife. In that case, they can be laminated for preservation purposes. Framed on the wall. You will never be that charming and loving again in your prose attempts. Rent a special storage facility or a safety deposit box depending on the volume.
It’s important to keep things safe. But not forever in amber. Write a new love letter. It’s easy. Think about the woman you married and forget about your partner-in-crime who punishes kids with you and yells at you when you move the toilet paper roll to the wrong place in the bathroom or forget to buy any.
She has freckles. You can work with that. They only appear in the sun. Beautiful. That’s a lovely detail about her you’re going to need in your brand new love letter. She never goes out in the sun if she can help it. This is a setback. Dig deep in your memory to a time when she went out in the sun and had freckles. There you go.
She has a heart-shaped face. She told you that one time. And it’s true. That’s another lovely detail. Use that. Talk about how much you want to kiss her face when she is busy doing important things. Sometimes you can’t help yourself, and you kiss that face anyway. She smiles. You smile. It’s a lovely moment. Write about that.
She has the prettiest knees ever. That’s another point you’re going to want to stress. You could put those knees on the ugliest, most unlovable tramp in the world, and it would be an improvement. You could kiss those knees for hours. It might get a little strange after a while. But you should tell her how you could spend an afternoon just kissing her knees.
She used to have a giggle. This giggle has not been heard in years. Maybe she keeps it in a drawer somewhere. A secret drawer. Tell her you would really like to have a key to the drawer where this giggle is kept. You wouldn’t use it all the time. Just on special occasions when you were feeling sad or low about work and needed a good giggle to cheer you up.
Hold hands. Remember when you held hands. That was fun. Who cared if you held hands? You were young. You were unashamed. Impossible to embarrass. You kissed in public and everyone thought it was adorable. Not weird at all. Maybe you feel like you’ve passed the age when you can kiss in public, but for God’s sake you’re not dead and can still hold hands!
Kiss for a solid hour. Remember when kissing could take that long. Why not bring it back? It’s an oldie and a goodie. I’m not saying you should get on the phone and just breathe in silence at one another like teenagers. At this stage in your romantic career, that would just be creepy. But kissing. That’s worth recycling.
Maybe you should consider getting her flowers. You usually muff the whole flower thing by getting the wrong kind of flowers. Call her mother and ask her which flowers your wife likes. She likes tulips and dandelions. Fragrant wildflowers in winter. Get her those.
Sometimes she sits in bed and wonders who she married. Sometimes you do too. You married her. She married you. Remember why. It’s OK to read the old love letters. Don’t worry about all the missed commas and split infinitives. If you use a red pen to mark them up for punctuation, you’re missing the point.
Grammar was never your strong suit. Loving someone like a fool was.
P.S. I love you Robyn. And I would certainly kiss your knees for hours. Hold hands in public. Connect the dots of your freckles in my mind if you ever chose to go out in the sun again. Please pencil me in for two hours of kissing when you get home today from your business trip. Put it in your iPhone calendar so I’m golden. You have a beautiful heart-shaped face I love kissing. If you remember where you put your giggle, maybe we could get it out some time. And here’s wildflowers in winter.