Well, I suppose it was, perhaps, a little Valentine’s card that was sent with a heavy heart at the loss of a lover that moved away in search of…, who knows what he went searching for.
Of all places, I found this card, envelope and all, inside a Doris Lessing’s book. Not precisely the most obvious place to misplace a love card but I’m not judging. I believe the card was too precious to just throw away but it didn’t warrant the estate of mind necessary to store it, say, in a poetry book. Perhaps the card has lived in many places before finding its present place but Lessing’s “The Sirian Experiments” is a fitting place for lost causes.
I found the book about a year ago, in one of those used book sales that happens once a year at the Concord Mall in Delaware. When you browse through a couple thousand linear feet of books and tens of tables brimming with them, you tend to stick with what stands out, prominently. I’m not sure what compelled me to flip through the pages of the book to find that card inside but I’m happy I did. Indeed, the card, from the very early 80’s, is a “message in a bottle.” Makes you seriously wonder about the paths Ray and Kathleen took in their affective lives. Did they ever “find” each other again? Did Ray ever found that chimera–in Kathleen’s mind–he believed to be in Oregon? Did Kathleen find the soul mate she so desperately needed and thought to have found in Ray? Ah, so many questions… If I was Nicholas Sparks finding this card, it would prompt me to write my next bestseller.