Unsent Letter from Dream of The Endless to one Hob Gadling, c. June 1889
June 2 3 14 15 30, 1889
It may surprise you to hear that many in my life think me unfeeling after my outburst tonight last night earlier this month, but I am certain you will wish they were right by the end of this letter.
You are unusual. You act as though immune to each lie about myself that I first permitted, then took up as my own. Dispassionate, cold, terrible: I wove a mantle of them just to be better insulated from this world. I wear a story told by multitudes, and it is old and dark as the night itself. And in your company, it has become naught but tattered shreds.
I think you will tear me to shreds too if I do not do something about this. I can barely hold my tongue from offering my own ruin when you ask nothing of me. Even if I restrain myself, I know you to speak honestly of what you see, and you see me far too clearly. You will name the truths that I have banked like coals in my throat for centuries, and they will alight anew and choke me.
I would give you all my breath before you took it from me, Hob Gadling. I will write what I cannot bring myself to say beneath the heat of your regard.
You were right. I know everyone, and I know all the deeds and desires that populate their dreams. It thrums in my consciousness just as your heart beats in your chest. It is overwhelming. It is easier to pretend at not feeling at all, to make myself not feel, when I am surrounded by enough feeling that I wonder how it does not destroy me.
Lately, even this cacophony fades to nothing when I am with you, my own feelings roaring ever louder in my ears. I have not allowed myself to know your dreams for centuries now. I am craven. I instead imagine that I see clues on your face, and I hope.
I have never told you my name. I realized I could not, not when I want you to say it in more ways than you have offered. Could you ever speak my name as a lover would? Tell me you would whisper it in the dark. Tell me you would use it to undo me. Tell me you promise to speak it to me even once in tenderness, Hob, and I will give you my name and all else you ask.
You wished to know me as a friend. I cannot be one to you, because I am not lonely; I am starved. I want to taste the salt of your sweat and make it into a sea. I want to map the heft and set of your shoulders each decade, and make mountains of them in my realm, so that no version of you is forgotten. I want to know the feeling of your body beneath me as a soldier, merchant, lord, and scholar. I want to trace each new mark and scar, and whisper stories to them about the history of this land.
I am parchment covered in the ink of all dreaming things, and still I ache for you to stain me with your mouth and hands. Inscribe your regret and sorrow on my skin, so I can carry them with you. Trace your fantasies on my chest, so I can make them real. I have seen how restless your hands are whenever we meet, Hob. Tire them upon my body. Exhaust yourself in your use of me, and I will hold you in your sleep, and walk with you in your dreams.
You are one man who has lived as dozens. I once thought you dull because you did not hunger for stories like me. Now I have come to understand it is because you are yourself a story, ceaselessly retold. I see what changes. I see what remains. It is inevitable I should crave you as I have craved nobody else.
Will you tell me what you dream of?
I will await you at our accustomed time and place.
first time contributing something to a fandom in my entire adult life, and I wouldn't have done it without first being bowled over by the beautiful physical letters of @wordsinhaled (go read them all under #regency epistolary dreamling) & and then seeing @rainbowvamp's life-ruining hob-yearns-for-dream letter; I read it, wondered what a dream-yearns-for-hob letter would look like, and lost all sensibility
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
George Eliot, from a letter to Maria Lewis, 1841; published in ‘Autumn: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons’, ed. Melissa Harrison.
Map showing the regional distribution of confusion between letters B and V in Latin inscriptions throughout the Roman Empire
Do you have a name for your little friend? I think Woobie fits the little guy very well :3
Heheh, Woobie...I think I like that!
Lord Decarabian trembles before them
Last night my soul visited you in your sleep and covered your heart with a blanket. Did you wake up from a warm touch?