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A few months ago, I wrote a letter to one of the sex that got away. I consider him to be one of those that I could have actually been with long-term, and possibly for a lifetime, if we could communicate. I wrote the letter in haste after a friend died. I had every intention of sending it. I had no expectations for what a response might entail or for a response period. After I put the letter on paper, I didn’t send it. Part of me felt it was enough to get the feelings out of me. *Charles is the only exception on the list in that we never kissed or went on an official date. There was never overt romance between us. He was a friend with whom I had immense chemistry and for whom I would eventually carry a tremendous torch.

Best read while listening to These Arms of Mine by Otis Redding.

Dear Charles,

There are some things I’ve wanted to tell you that I just could never say. I want to say these things now because it is important that I say them. The older I get, I believe I should say all the things I’ve always wanted to say especially before I can’t. I no longer fear my feelings; nor do I fear rejection.

In the end, I was absolutely crazy about you. In the end, I wanted to be your lover. In the end, I loved you. In the beginning, I didn’t realize any of this. To piece our history together by reading through the emails we’ve exchanged, that began July 2008, would be insane. However, I’ve tried.

In the beginning, we were friends who sat next to each other in acting class. It was fun being your friend. We talked, shared notes, flirted a little. Your first message to me was an email on Facebook commenting on “Flirting” being listed as one of my favorite activities. You doubted that I liked flirting, and told me I should flirt more. You told me that I looked “devastatingly hot” in a photo and said “so, deal with that!” You confessed you’d had some Coronas and knew you’d get blasted for writing that on my Facebook Wall. I replied and told you not to worry because it was a private message. I told you I have to be careful with my flirting because people mistake it for being more than that. And that was the end of the conversation. Time went on, and nothing else ever came of it.

A month later, when we were back in the same class level, we decided to do a scene together from Lovers and Other Strangers. You warned me that the scene we’d chosen was one that would require us to be intimate. You asked if I were ready for that. I wasn’t, but I told you I could get ready. We got together at your place to rehearse the scene. It was on this day that I realized something was going on. We both knew that neither of us had made love in a while. The scene called for some very sensual moments. Still, at this time, I wasn’t interested in anything with you or anyone. I had actually made a personal commitment to abstain until I was in a committed relationship. No more casual sex.

A few things happened this day. You weren’t sure if you were staying in LA or moving back home to Iowa, so even if working on the scene evoked any emotions, they were quashed because of your uncertainty. We went to the Galleria, ate lunch and had some beers. After you’d drunk enough, you built up courage enough to tell me something. I had a feeling I knew what it was. I wouldn’t let you tell me. We had been drinking and were still high off the feelings from practicing the scene. I thought you were going to tell me you were attracted to me, and I wasn’t ready to hear that at the time. So, I avoided it almost to the point of rejection. I wouldn’t let you get your thoughts out. I cut you off repeatedly. In hindsight, I believe you were grasping at something to hold onto in that city filled with so much emptiness.

Later at your home, you broke down, and it freaked me out. You said you were considering leaving so you could be home with your family in Iowa. Chasing an actor’s dream at 40 in Los Angeles was a joke. I didn’t want you to leave, but I also wasn’t ready to handle all that you were feeling. To my surprise, you abruptly took a month off from school. We no longer had to practice that scene. We no longer had to spend time together. We drifted. Then, I quit. We checked on each other a few times over the next few months. Then, May 2009 came around and for two months I thought it finally might happen.

First, there was *Sheila’s Cinco de Mayo party. You looked so damn good. We were friendly, but we weren’t flirty. Shortly after, you sent a birthday invite. I wanted to know if you were single, so I replied and told you that I wanted to fix you up with someone. I really did, but I really wanted you for myself, but still didn’t think it was possible or made sense. You two were both in your 40s and wanted babies. At 30, babies were the furthest things from my mind. In that email, I told you she had already seen your pictures and liked what she’d seen. I asked if I could send you pictures and added, “You are the perfect man and sensitive. You are good sensitive, funny, masculine and nice.” You thanked me for those words because it had been a while since you’d heard them. You asked for the pictures. I sent them, and you never replied.

Your birthday party was a few days later. By now, I knew I had strong feelings for you. I remeber telling Shelia how much I wanted you. It was almost laughable because, for more than a year, I had been so against doing anything even remotely romantic with you. By the time your birthday came around, I had been without sex for 15 months, and I had it in my head that if you were also still without sex and single, then we should help each other out.

At your party, you got drunk, and it would have been so easy to take you home. We took so many pictures. There are a few of just the two of us. But there’s one in particular that John took. We are standing, flirting. Your arms are around my waist. We’re stomach-to-stomach, chest-to-chest. Our faces are so close, we look as if we’re about to kiss. John even made that remark. I never posted it. You’ve never seen it. It was a very sincere moment between us, and of all the pictures of just the two of us, it was the one that looked most relaxed and genuine. By the end of the night it was just you, me and Sheila. I had to leave abruptly for an emergency. She ended up driving you home safely.

Twenty days later, you sent me a Hoops & Yoyo card for my 31st birthday. That opened up a whole new conversation where I sent you a series of questions seeking advice about another man’s intentions with me. The questions were also applicable to you. You were kind enough to reply with complete, thoughtful answers. This led to you taking me out to dinner since you’d missed my birthday party. Between you answering the questions and the dinner, I saw you at *Sheila’s documentary screening and a few days later at the film festival. You sat next to me, and I loved it.

For my birthday, dinner we had Indian. I asked you why you never wrote me back about the blind date with my friend. You told me you were attracted to brown women like me and *Khalindi. I wasn’t shocked, but I wasn’t expecting you to be so open. We got through dinner as friends. The flirting was light. We talked about life. I really wanted you to see The Hangover with me, but you had to go write with *Tim. So the obligatory birthday dinner was over.

A week later, since we’d talked about you wanting babies, I wrote you and asked, “When you envision your children, do you see little brown babies?” You replied, “Brown babies are the cutest. I’d be thrilled with brown babies.” This was July 2009. A few weeks later, since I had an extra ticket, I asked if you’d like to go to the Aerosmith concert. You couldn’t because you were working. I wouldn’t see you again until October at Sheila’s birthday party.

Sheila had her birthday party at a bar. You got a little buzzed again. Making conversation, I asked you if you’d had sex. No. You asked me. No. For you it’d been over two years. I was a few months shy of two years. Later in the evening, we were alone again, standing outside in the middle of the chatter and music. You looked me straight in the eyes, and, with staunch conviction, told me that it would be so good. You said you were a better lover than any man in that bar. You weren’t begging. You weren’t just providing me information. You were sharing something you knew to be true. I didn’t know what to do. So I did what I do with you. I laughed it off. I didn’t tell you I had feelings for you. I didn’t tell you that I already knew how good it would be.

I wouldn’t talk to you again until March 2010 when I asked you to play a role in my movie. You agreed. You were wonderful. I wasn’t sure how you felt about me anymore, so I didn’t say anything. You left the set early to go to work. I was disappointed. I thought maybe it’d be the last time I’d see you because I was leaving Los Angeles three months later. I was right.

Right before I left LA in June 2010, I went to Kim Wells’ party. Tim was there. *Angela and I were together. At the end of the night, we drove Tim to his car. We all hung out for a bit talking about everything. I know how close you and Tim were. I told him that I had feelings for you, and he immediately exclaimed, “But you’re leaving!” He was right. But the way he said it made me feel like you two had discussed us before. It felt good.

Don’t you think you should know all this? Of all the men who have been in my life you are the only one who never knew how I felt about him. I think in a world where it’s getting harder and harder to find love, I have to tell you that you were loved. My inability to express myself and accept my feelings as genuine was purely immaturity. I miss you tremendously. I think about you often. I hope you are happy where you are.


P.S. One day over drinks, you told a few friends that you wanted your wedding song to be AC/DC’s Back In Black. Whenever I hear it, I think of you getting married.

*names changed