Vivas 1 My Dearest Roxane,

Vivas 1
My Dearest Roxane,
I write this from the front lines where Christian and I are stationed. I have spoken
with Christian and now wish to unveil the truth that I have kept from you. My dear,
radiant cousin, I would gladly lay down my life to receive a loving word from you. I am
writing to confess my soulful, unstinting love to you. I reveal this now after having faced
my own demons and am determined that you should know the whole truth and decide
which of our arms you would prefer to grace. Before you make a hasty decision I shall
point out what I have in my favor if I were to be chosen. In my favor I have a poetic soul,
enough to keep you riveted for several life times, I have my honor and I have my nose.
When I learned you harbored tender feelings toward Christian, and he confessed
incompetence concerning words and ladies, I decided to assist him and gave him my
words to win your soul. Every letter, every encounter you have had with Christian, save
one, were his body, to be sure, but the poetic content that leapt from his lips with such
affluence was my own words. Think back when Christian spoke to you that evening
when you left Clomire’s house after hearing Alecandre and Lysimon speak there. The
words Christian spoke to you when you sat down on the bench were not the cream you
wanted to be fed, as you said yourself. I did not give him my words then. He felt he knew
enough from my tutelage to brave the murky waters of composition alone. What he does
not know is that, for him, the waters will always be murky, always be treacherous,
because he does not have the iambic soul to transform the depths to clarity. Then, when
you left in a flurry of guileless grace, he begged me to give him my words again, and I
did, until it became too difficult to coach him under your balcony. From the moment you
heard me say that my words must grope their way up to your ears, it was I speaking in my
own form. The composer of the lyrical lines that captured and enraptured you was I, not
Christian. I made you tremble and weep from the colloquy I shared with you as you
confessed on the balcony that evening. If you stay with Christian you will never again
experience this delicate palate that, once tasted, you will crave for the rest of your days.
My character is also in my favor, for I am a man’s man and a lady’s love. I have
honor, the kind that the threadbare souls of the rich would never be able to lay claim to,
as I told Valvert. My rank in the hallowed halls of morality is such that neither Christian,
Vivas 2
nor any other you encounter, should ever be able to surpass it. I do not withhold my
discourse when seeing injustice, nor run and hide when an immoral character tries to
injure my pride or your sensibilities. I fight for those who lack the wit, courage, or gender
to voice their truths. I speak for the Christians of this world. You need someone who
speaks for themselves as well as others, not someone who is spoken for.
I felt that with my visage I could never deserve anyone as incandescent, both
within and without, as you and that I had nothing of import, in comparison with the outer
grace of Christian, to offer you. I now realize I have more to offer you. My nose is the
subject of horror and disgust for some but it is thanks to this nose that I am what I am.
My sense of smell is strengthened to the extent that I can devote a ballad entirely to the
smell of a single rose while others could only give a sonnet. I smell every nuance that is
hidden from those who lack the size to smell. You can say that the height of my lyrical
eloquence is possible due to the length of my nose. Since I already have something
against me in terms of appearance, I needed to have other attributes that shone so brightly
so as to shadow my supposed deformity. My character supplements my nose better than
any makeup ever could, for it gives blindness to the listener of my dialogue. This nose
gives me depth of spirit.
My handsomeness may not be as readily visible outwardly, but within I am as
majestic as Michelangelo’s David. As such, you shall never feel when you are with me.
Your countenance shall never falter, for when you walk with me you walk with virtue
itself. If you were mine, exquisite Roxane, you would never lack the feeling of love nor
the words that should accompany the sensation. Indeed, words of love give the sensation,
and with Christian you will not experience those emotions that made you tremble on your
balcony that night. With Christian you will receive the emotion without the words, the
shadow without the substance. This is why I feel that I am meant to be your companion
through this world. I pray you, write back and tell me whom you choose to walk with
through this world. I await your response.
Your faithful laureate,