I am in love with an old man, and he is gay.

In fact, he may not even be a man, for I only know him through the pixels of my Iphone screen and the bright blue dot that indicates new mail. It may sound like the start of an internet romance, the kind of cyber sonata inspired by dating sites and mail order brides. But it’s not. I find him beautiful. If you ask me what he looks like, I have no detail of that. Nor would I be able to tell you his history, apart from the fact that he is too wise to be young and is most likely taken.

What I do know is his fiction. For years he’s been writing stories. By chance or accident, I made it to his mailing list, and by will or subconsciousness, I have read every one of them. He doesn’t know it, but the timing of his emails have serendipitously helped me through many troughs in life. Tales of failed lovers, forgotten dreams, and the relentless desire to write for the beauty of expression have oft corresponded to mine. I’ve never replied to him, for fear of being cut loose; but his words are like a revelation each time.

I wish I could share his work with you, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I am unbearably jealous of his talent, at once compelled to keep him to myself, and inspired to match his abilities. I know that he is entirely unattainable and that his presence in my life will be sullied the moment I try to make sense of it within reason.

What sweet tragedy it is to find the love of one’s life, to know of its existence and find contentment, even in that.

-Anam Sufi

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