Archive for the Love Letters Category

Summertime and the Living’s Not So Easy

Posted in Love, Love Letters, Summer on July 17, 2013 by Michael Louis Calvillo

Happy Summer, Michael’s Loyal Readers!

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything in Michael’s blog. Truthfully, I have been a busy woman working way too many jobs and taking on way too many projects! They say everyone deals with grief differently and I discovered that my way has been to keep myself so distracted that I don’t have a single second to think, to process, or feel… It was the perfect plan. That is, until Summer crept up on me. The heat should’ve triggered my defenses. Last summer was the worst summer of my entire life.

Lana gets it spot on again!

Lana gets it spot on again!

This year, I decided to teach summer school again at Fullerton College. It was a lot of fun despite driving the 91 fwy at 6am to get there. Nonetheless, I love teaching the physical anthropology lab during the summer. I had some really great students. Every one of them a welcomed distraction. Unfortunately, the summer school semester ended last Wednesday. Thursday was my official first day of Summer. No job to go to. No projects to work on. No distractions. No bueno. Damn you, Summer. She used to be my favorite season. Summer used to mean time for family: Vacations, “Spring Cleaning,” BBQs, shopping trips for the house… My favorite time of the year! You might think that summer would have been the time that Michael got most of his writing done since we didn’t have to work. Nope. He never did get much writing done during the summer because summer was exclusively for Us. Our family.

Summer was our time to regroup and recover from the previous school year. Teaching is tough work, in case you didn’t know. Mind you, it’s fun. But, boy is it draining? Ask any teacher you know. Summer is what we live for when the classroom walls begin to close in on our spirit!  Michael and I both left our well-paying “office jobs” to go into teaching several years ago. It was our thoughts that teaching would be gratifying because we would be doing something meaningful and we could justify calling ourselves full-fledged “contributors to society.” In addition, it would give us the time and structure to enjoy our family. You know, what most of society hates us teachers for: “SUMMERS OFF!”

Teachers really earn those summers off!

Teachers really earn those summers off!

Well, needless to say, Summer isn’t the same anymore. This summer I am preparing to clean house, if you will. My baby girl will be going off to college this fall. (UCLA! Go, Bruins!) I am proud beyond words. I am also scared beyond words. Everyone keeps warning me about this “Empty Nest Syndrome” that I am to succumb to soon. Man oh Man, am I scurred? So, in an effort to create homemade distractions, I have decided to go through every room of our house and organize! Sounded like a good idea at the time. Until I realized that rummaging through seldom-visited drawers means running into hidden and painful memorabilia. Yee-ouch! What hurts? Well… let’s see. Yesterday I found an unopened envelope from “Some Unimportant Company” with a random phone number scrawled on the back written by Michael. I picked it up and looked at how Michael crafted his numbers. If you knew Michael personally, you’d remember that he had  very interesting penmanship – a cross between the cliched left-handed chicken scratch infused with the curly, whimsical lettering of The Cure. In any case, I imagined him on the phone talking to some faceless person on the other end and I could even faintly hear him repeating the number to that person. At the end of the conversation, Michael would do that chuckle that he would do and kindly thank the person. He was always so polite and sweet. I toyed with the idea of calling the number. Instead, I decided to let myself cry.

This process is very difficult. It’s so hard to determine what to keep of Michael’s and what to let go of. I’m almost ashamed to say that I still have his toothbrush; his shampoo is still in my (our) shower; his shaver sits on my (our) bathroom counter; I still can’t bring myself to wash the clothes in his hamper. I want to save every little remnant of Michael. I want to save that envelope. I want to save all his clothes. I want to save any piece of hair I think might have been his. But the one thing I really want to save can’t be saved any longer. Be patient, I tell myself. I’m slowly adjusting to this new life.

When Junk Drawers Attack

When Junk Drawers Attack

Today, I woke up determined to continue the process. I figure each attempt will make me stronger. In a junk drawer, I came across a card from Michael and Deja. It was so cute. It didn’t make me sad. It made me smile. In fact, I immediately put it on my bedroom mirror so I could see it every day. I also came across a letter he wrote me. It wasn’t dated but based on the content, I’m guessing it was written around the start of our teaching careers. He expressed coming to terms with our new adult lives and envisioned a grand payoff for all our hard work. His letters were always so sweet and well-written. Sigh.

I suppose I am going to come across more of Michael’s letters and random writings in the remaining weeks of summer… To help me with this process, I have decided to archive some of Michael’s writings here for all of you. So, please enjoy a touch of Calvillo Summer Reading!

Happy Summer, Everyone!

Michelle, 

The letters sparse, but the feelings run deeper than ever and everyday I am bursting with sentiment. Fie, the work week and falling asleep on the couch under the duress of exhaustion. At least our efforts are worthy and noble and long lasting (world domination one kid at a time), but the time for poetry and heartsong is sorely missed. The life of a student definitely had its pleasures – writing you daily: my attempts at a journal, emotional purging, honing my craft for you. I suppose the time still exists (video games), but my mind is lazy or tired or both and every time I write anything, whether it be this letter or a rap or a school related lesson, I regret that I am not writing a novel or a story or something that could possibly do us some good down the road (big house, maid who does laundry, trips, time). All in due time I suppose, no, all in due time I know (just a little more time, just a little more effort). 

Alas, my heart is my mind and my mind is your creature to do with what you will. The letters fewer, but the desire greater and every glance, every stare, every fumbling hug or bad-breathed kiss or silent drive, is a love letter of unfathomable sincerity. You are my soul turned inside out, made smarter and prettier and kinder than any human being has a right to be. I value this phase of our marriage, the smoke cleared, the confetti scattered, content and learned, still drunk on love, but not lost or dumbfounded by the unyielding power of dangerous emotion. Everyday there is growth and the invisible tendrils that bind solidify. It is scary to think that without you there is only darkness. Yet, I reconcile myself to the fact that we are completely comfortable in the other’s presence and the essence warming notion radiates like a lesser sun between us and recasts the future in perpetual light. 

Love forever, 

Michael 

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Thirteen

Posted in Love, Love Letters on August 14, 2012 by Michael Louis Calvillo

Although I honestly didn’t feel ready for a relationship, I began dating Michael as a single mom when my baby girl was only a year and a half. We dated off and on for a couple of years and I finally (yet confidently) said a “Maybe-Yes” to Michael’s (second) marriage proposal on February 13, 1999. Six months later, we were Husband and Wife. In sickness and in health. ‘Til death do us part.

August 15, 1999. That day, Michael, Deja, and I became MDM. I will be forever grateful for the loving family he made us. I love and miss Michael so much. I miss “Deja, Michael and Me” even more. I know we’re incredibly fortunate for what we had. But, I still miss it. Immensely.

All the same, I realize that Michael really didn’t leave me “empty-handed.” He’s blessed me with so much. His “voice” truly surrounds me. Whenever I need him, I open one of his books… Or, I search “Michael Louis Calvillo Raps” on YouTube… Or, I let the answering machine pick up to hear his greeting. Or…if I’m really brave, I dig around for one of the many beautiful love letters he wrote me. I always felt that one of the perks of being married to a writer was being bestowed with the occasional well-written love letter. And, of course without fail, my Michael wrote me an exquisite love letter every Anniversary. It was something I always expected and adored getting. Today, Michael’s Loyal Readers, I have decided to share with you one of my favorite Anniversary letters Michael wrote me. This particular letter was for our 10th Anniversary. He must have been feeling nostalgic and dreamy because he detailed our Early Years, Growth, and a Future Perfect…

10

How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as (true) love?

–Albert Einstein

The Early Years

So then, the first time we officially met (in Speech class, where thank God we were forced to talk and work together – if we had any other subject we may have sat apart, or maybe said a kind word here or a polite word there and then that might have been that), I felt swimmy and dizzy.  You were a pretty girl (the prettiest), and you were talking to me, and I felt that requisite fear bubble up, that geeky loss for words, and my systems thrummed uber-nervous, crazy-nervous, stupid-nervous.

I think (but can’t be sure) that I managed to keep it together and act like everything was fine, but on the inside…I was a mess.

Anyway, out of politeness (of which you exude in excess), you asked me if I needed a ride home. I did. The walk wasn’t a big deal, but I didn’t have a ride so when you asked me if I needed one I should have said yes, but I was casually standing around, hoping you’d talk to me about something, never in a million years thinking you would, and then when you did, I internally panicked and in effort to avoid stammering and geeking out too hard I said, no, that I was okay, but thanks any way or something dumb and insincere like that.

After you left, I walked home, kicking myself the entire way for trying to be too cool. Fantasy played through my head and I envisioned inviting you in and making out and…and…and…well…never mind.

From that moment on, I was hooked. I told my friends (at the time the three other members of BURN – the Jeffs and Timon) and resolved to work up the courage to get you to go out on a date with me.

The next time we had Speech class I asked you if the Ride Offer still stood. You smiled that incredible smile and well, here we are.

I have so many beautiful memories from those early days.

Thrift shopping in Victorville and Hollywood.

Art movies in Hollywood.

Drinking.

Late nights on the golf course or a park.

Three hour phone calls.

VVC.

Hastily putting on ski boots with the intention of taking you home (you stayed the night with me), but your dad was awake when we got there and you didn’t want to go in until your parents left for work so we went to have breakfast (still in ski boots) to kill time.

I remember hanging with you and wild Stacy.

Mickey McGees.

Talking in the morning and afternoon and going out at night.

Kicking the Earth Science door.

Rolling in duck poop.

Marilyn Manson and Smashing Pumpkins and beer and pizza.

Trying to get you out of my car and to your front door.

And though you weren’t big on saying it (you had Deja to consider), I was ecstatic to have you as my girlfriend.

I was ready to continue forever, but things got rocky – you grew distant, but still, I hung on and promised you I’d be there forever, that we’d be together forever. I think you half believed me but…

Growth

That year apart was rough. I missed you and dreamt about you and spent restless nights CENSORED to the images seared in my mind.

I couldn’t forget your smile, your hair, your eyes, shoulders, style, voice, etc…

I hung out with Fraternity idiots and wannabe filmmaking idiots and kept thinking I have to get my shit together and find someone to make me forget about you. But it didn’t work back in VV and it didn’t feel like it was going to be any different in Northridge, so I waited and pined and went about life single and despondent and trying to enjoy hanging with friends (I did / I didn’t).

I received your correspondence on August 9th, 1998. My mom and dad came to the little apartment I shared with Ronnie to take me to dinner for my birthday. My mom gave me a letter that arrived at the SVL address sometime earlier.

My heart flipped.

Futile effort enclosed.

That’s what it said.

I went from all mushy to faux-strong and brave and thought, you know what, I’m going to get her back, but I have to be cool. I have to play this super cool. I have to make sure you understood what I wanted and how things had to be. I wasn’t going to allow you to corral me into the friend zone. I tried to pretend to be your friend when we fell apart in VV, but I was only pretending so I could get you back. This time, I had to make sure you got that I was interested in a serious relationship or nothing at all.

So I wrote you back and gave you my pager number and I waited.

You blew me up a few weeks later and everything began to fall into place.

Not that it was all wine and roses. We had our fights, our scares, our jealousies (my jealousies). But after only six months of dating and rekindling, I scrabbled what I could together and got a ring, and on Feb. 13th 1999, I took a knee.

Your answer: Maybe.

Future Perfect

Maybe?

Maybe!

But I learned (and am still learning) that sometimes what you say with your lips isn’t always what you mean with your heart (sometimes) and vice versa. This is a peculiar art form and (ten years in) I am still learning to differentiate the real NOs from the maybe NOs from the NO YESes.

I think I’m getting better and plan to master it one of these days. Until then, I am going to work at it and relish every moment – good or bad. Rest assured, one day I will get it right.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

Wedded Bliss

Anniversary
Anniversary