For contact information, please see postscript
This is not the time to be writing a love letter.
Bluntly, I've got snot all over my face. It's pouring both down my throat and out my nose, wherein it joins a non-stop stream of tears that have rendered this screen in front of me all but unreadable. And good grief, my head - o my poor head - my head right now is so foggy that, were ya t'ask me if I'll be going to Heaven tonight 'pon my surely-inevitable death, I'd quite confidently answer you yes - I just probably couldn't explain to you why.
Brilliant bounds for boogying back betwixt the bedsheets, you might say - for instance, if you were yourself the young lady to whom the letter is actually going. But Darlin', it's your birthday, and lemme tell ya something: the world outside our houses may be diving headlong into Winter (a fitting metaphor for my body), but it's been Springtime in my heart '365 since I started courting you.
And by God, you weren't born on the 25th of October, now were you?
According to Facebook, the answer is no, it was definitely the 24th (knew there was a reason I signed up for that), so let's go.
A best friend of mine once famously yelled, upon being complimented by her boyfriend for the millionth time or so about her physical appearance - not about her mind, not about her spirit, not about her driving record, but about her looks: "Is that all there is?!"
Many a long-form essay has been written to answer exactly that question, but here it's sufficient to point out, if I may plagiarize liberally from Mr. Charles Dickens (yep, I can, he's dead, thanks Chuck!), that Anna was attractive, to begin with. There can be no doubt whatsoever about that. And this must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. Just how attractive is she? So attractive that compasses do not function properly within her immediate vicinity. If you were to go hiking in the woods with Anna you would get lost. And if you were a man, you would not care.
I high-light this obvious detail of Anna's character not to elevate it at the expense of other admirable and more important qualities, but to hopefully shed a little light on the position I'm currently in; since the first day I remember meeting her, Anna's always been an object of non-platonic interest to me.* That being the case, I admit to sometimes having difficulty extricating myself from the perspective of the Suitor, which to degrees both wrong-headed and righteous has almost always been my role.
(*I actually suspect Anna doesn't care too much to recall this secret motivation of mine in sharing pre-courtship time with her. Back when we met, the beauty firmly belonged to a school of Christian thought which demands of the meaningful Christian relationship a slow development via at least one year of best-friends-ness, after which both male and female realize that there is something more to their friendship than just platonic interest and weep in their respective beds to the LORD God Almighty for the evil spirits to be cast out of them. This is eventually and grudgingly followed by a second year of companionship, known as "courtship", in which the respective parties involved join each other at their respective family's dinner tables, engaging in wholesome dating activities like passing the biscuits, pouring each other refills, etc. - just so long as their hands never touch. Eventually, this leads to the gentleman caller trying to pass the woman of his dreams a diamond ring, which her mother should smoothly intercept and, if she can get away with it, flush down the commode.
Needless to say, the young lady and I have taken a divergent but equally righteous path, one with which I'm happy to report the gorgeous creature remains perfectly at ease. Yet, I secretly think she still clings to the idea, perhaps just on principle, that there was at least one point in our story in which I did not think to myself, "I must at the very least dance with that exquisite creation, because I'll never forgive myself if I don't."
To my mind, these supposedly base beginnings merely testify to the LORD's humor, and His grand love for subverting all of our expectations. I flatter myself one of God's better jokes on her.)
A birthday tribute is not about celebrating Anna's value to me in particular, however; it is about celebrating Anna's objective value altogether. Or at least, this is how I am feeling about it right now. Joe, if I look like I'm going to get myself into any trouble here, please feel free to edit (Joe: Oh, I'll edit alright. This is the chance I've been looking for since you put up the pizza picture). By teh way, Ana iz also stinki and hr shoes iz bad.
So I switch gears as best I can. I give up the sword and shield of my crusade for her heart for a little while and take up the (party) banner of her life. What is there to say about this woman when I am not in the position of trying to win her?
Summarily: everything I've just said, and far, far more.
That was perhaps never so apparent as over a year ago, when I was hanging out at her house and happened to peruse a couple of her family's picture albums. I got to watch a video or two of her when she was younger, too. The experience was interesting not just because of my curiosity concerning her past, but because of the emotions roused in me by viewing that past. The little girl smiled out from history at me and - she was not yet grown up. O, she was a very pretty child, to be sure, but to my hormones the little one was, of course, a total flop. Her immature body could elicit no interest. And as linked in my mind as this smaller version was to the one I knew... well, neither could Anna herself at that moment.
'Pessa, if ever I have seen you with eyes at liberty from those rose-tinted glasses you're always claiming I wear, well, that afternoon was it - and I wanted you more than ever.
But not as a lover - I just wished we'd become friends sooner. I wished I'd known this swiftly-changing girl in the albums and videos; I wished I'd been able to stop in at a much younger Anna's birthday tea party to wish her - in a toff accent of course - the very best birthday she might have. I wish the next day you could've told me what your parents got you. And my heart simply burns with the wish, strange as it may seem, that I myself had gotten you something, on that special day and every one since.
You are a life very much worth celebrating, Anna. I am so very glad you were born!
May God [have blessed] you with a day to equal the joy He, even more than I, takes in you.
And sweet dreams.
PS: I cannot fairly deny my fellow males the opportunity to take their own shots at the most beautiful woman I know. It is not for me to influence who's affections she will accept. So, if you would like to write your own love letter to Anna, her mailing address is provided below.
Anna Fraijo-Ruiz #X10882
PO Box 1508
Chowchilla, CA 93610-1508 USA