A Dark Secret

My beautiful Joan,

This has been very difficult for me. I’ve carried a dark secret for far too long, and it must come out before I burst. And I’m afraid that when this is exposed, the ramfications for you particularly may be pretty great. That is why I am letting you know now, before you get a call from the Times.

Joan, you come from a life of luxury, decadence, wealth, and privilege. You attended the best schools, always wore expensive clothes and jewelry, and cavorted with some of the brightest and most attractive people on earth. You were a debutant and a star athlete. You attended balls in such lavish gowns that it required three people to dress you. You were valedictorian in high school and college. You received top honors for your multiple Master’s Degrees and two Doctorate’s. You socialize with some of the most powerful business people in the world, clink glasses with the Hollywood elite, and trade jokes with politicians. You have been to 94 countries and a thousand cities. You have raised countless millions for philanthropic causes to stop the spread of disease, fight hunger and poverty, and give children a chance at life. Without exaggeration, you are as close as one can get to being a perfect human being. What’s more, you know this and you are modest and humble about it.

Honey, you know I’m not like you, I’m not close to being like you. But you accepted me for who I was. You did not need me, but you wanted me, and that always made me feel incredible. Now, I have to tell you my secret, that one thing that’s always been between us.

Joan, I am the scummy kid who used to eat paper and gluesticks in school. I loved tearing up construction paper and folding little bits into my mouth. I would chew on it and savor the taste and the texture for hours. My mouth would turn colors as bright and varied as a rainbow. The other children looked on in disgust and made fun of my habit. They would point, laugh, throw things. And that’s when I turned to glue. I don’t know what possessed me to do it the first time, but after I took a chunk of gluestick into my mouth, that was it. I felt right at home, chewing the glue between my teeth and spreading it on the roof of my mouth. The taste was exquisite, truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Until I combined the paper and the glue.

My lips and the inside of my mouth would be stained blue for days after eating glue chunks and blue construction paper. I was proud and I had no problem wearing my colors with a bright blue smile. But for the other kids, I was completely reviled. I was isolated, alone with my glue and paper, but I would say I was still happy enough.

You must have heard about this type of thing, if not seen it with your own eyes. No one really knows what happens to that kid from school, but I bet most of them don’t marry a woman like you. But I’ll tell you, that child becomes me, an otherwise happy individual with some particular desires.

The habit came and went as I went as I got older, until 9th grade, where I decided I would never do it in school. At home, secure in my room, under the covers was where I would satisfy my fetish. The habit waned as I grew up, but it is something you still feel inside you as you mature.

The other secret that no one else knows is that we never stop. Not completely.

Joan, two weeks ago, when you and the kids went to pick up Madison’s new saddle, I over-indulged myself in the kids’ arts and crafts room. Even though I had happily stayed clean for a long time, I just had to have it. And now I know that this is something I cannot hide any longer. It is a part of me and I must accept it. I hope you can accept it too: you’re married to the scummy kid who ate glue and paper.

A press conference is planned for 1:00 pm tomorrow, where I will announce my secret. This surely will have some fallout, much of which will fall right on you. I will stay at the summer villa at the Cape until this blows over. By staying away, I hope to soften the blow and make things easier on you. And if you can still accept me, after all of this, you know where to find me.

You know, we always joked about the sound of my name and if I could actually somehow do just that. I hope, for our sakes, that you can see it differently. Please understand that I am not trying to hurt you, I’m just trying to be honest with myself. I love you deeply, Joan. Call me.


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