Whenever I think of love notes I think about the one stuck to my parents’ bathroom mirror.
I keep the most important writing in my office inside a green folder in the upper right hand drawer of my desk labeled Lauren. That folder is more important than the manuscript drafts scattered across my desk. That folder is more important than my published works in magazines on my bookshelf. That folder is more important than my diploma on my wall. That folder is the most important writing in my office, because I believe in the love notes that the folder holds written to me from Lauren:
- A Post-It note that reads “I love your hugs. I love the way your head rests on my shoulder. I love to fit my fingers in the groove of your spine and feel your back rise and fall with each breath. I could stand and hug you for days.”
- A magazine clipping with a picture of the side of a hill and white capitalized letters like the HOLLYWOOD sign that says YOU GIVE ME THE KIND OF FEELING PEOPLE WRITE NOVELS ABOUT.
- A handwritten copy of e.e. cummings’ poem “i like my body when it is with your body” with the words again and again and again traced over several times to make them bold.
- A folded up sheet that reads Hi! [fold] I love [fold] you!
I believe in giving as well as getting love notes. When Lauren first came over to my parents’ house I wrote I like you on a Post-It and tucked it a few pages ahead in The Girl With Curious Hair that she was reading. Back at her house that evening Lauren texted me: Just found your post it note … i like you too ;). I cant stop smiling today. She uses that note as a bookmark, still.
Actually, my belief in love notes comes from home. My parents wrote, and still write, love notes to each other. They weren’t ever ashamed that either of their sons would see their notes around the house.
Whenever I think of love notes I think about the one stuck to my parents’ bathroom mirror. It’s probably the first thing that each of them sees and focuses on after they put on their glasses in the morning. I’m not sure which one of them made it. There’s no words written on the note, and none needed. The note includes every color of Post-It Note cut out in the shape of a heart to show seemingly infinite layers.
When Lauren and I planned to move from Florida to Iowa for me to attend a graduate school in creative writing, Lauren made a list of things to bring with us. I cut out the most important thing from that list and laminated it, making a bookmark for myself.
The bookmark reads LOVE! and underneath in parentheses (and lots of it). While the bookmark is a literal placeholder, the word placeholder is a mathematical term meaning a symbol in an expression used to show a pattern.
On this day of so much love and goofy symbolism, I bought a card with a bear on the front hugging itself and asking, “Valentine, see this hug?” and then it says, “It’s for you!” Underneath that, I’ve made a lemniscate—an infinity symbol. I don’t know whether Lauren or I started signing our love notes to each other that way, but I know that that symbol links us together timelessly each time I trace it at the end of a note.
Image credit: jessgrrrr/Flickr