Or, a collection of lofty ideas.
(as I had hoped to call him as I fretted over the term; as I didn’t call him for fear—damned fear!)
I was out visiting family today and, when I found a quiet moment to myself, my thoughts could not help but wander miles and miles away to the boy in the cold country. There I was sitting in a dark corner by the open door, nursing a cup of tea and a grin. The wind blew around the room but I could not feel the cold at all. I was lost with an odd sense of detachment. Instead, I chuckled at the sweeping breeze and smiled at the fresh smell of wet pinewood. I knew that I should have exercised some restraint over my features—I surely looked crazy grinning so widely to myself. But I could not bring myself to listen to this rational voice; an odd bout of insanity seemed to control me completely.
Among my languid, trailing train of thoughts was the transient idea of serendipity. Serendipity: a pleasant event borne of pleasant coincidence. Out of all the billions and billions of people, we just happened to meet. A whole ocean, a whole continent, stretches over the distance between us, yet somehow, someway—here we are, trading all these wonderful letters. What kind of intricate web of chance could have been woven that detailed our meeting? It seems a miracle already that we even joined this platform at all. Even more is the delicate chain of events that resulted in our meeting. How is it that something so simple and minute could bring about something so beautiful? So poignant? The smallest tweak of a detail and we would have missed one another and may possibly never have known each other at all. What if I had gone somewhere else? What if you had gone somewhere else? There exists a strange inexplicability to this whole affair that is so intensely meaningful to me when I think of our chance encounter. We are certainly not the only lonely, misunderstood individuals on this often unbearably giant planet and could have spoken to so many others. Yet we did not. Even as I write this I still struggle to believe that you do exist and that this letter will bring about another delightful response.
I have to disagree with the old adage that eyes are the only windows to the soul, because words—these are the true maps of our minds. Each letter is a signpost, each phrase a meaningful description of a once unknown place. When you write such warm remarks of my humble words, a grand and somewhat silly feeling washes over me, as if I were a child who had shown you my secret hiding place in the woods. Yes, I suppose this is the only way I can properly describe it. Behind all these abstruse ideas I am but a child lost in the woods. In this time of solitude I had become a stranger to those I used to know and almost became a stranger to myself in the self-suppression of so many thoughts and words I could not say to others for fear of vague misunderstandings and personal abhorrence of the social drudgery. Then, I met you. You accepted the dark shadows I had hiding in the corners of my being faster and more readily than anyone I had ever met before and have only become more intriguing with each fact I learn about you.
I certainly sound insane now, speaking so familiarly to someone I have only known for four letters. But in the four letters we have exchanged thus far, there is this underlying tone of having known each other for thousands and thousands of years. Perhaps we did know each other in some bygone past and had somehow managed to find one another in the present—perhaps all we need to do is rediscover what we had left behind. The details that had been buried in the sands of time, the events that had faded faintly into oblivion. Ah, what fanciful, frivolous thoughts. I revisited H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine recently and my imagination ran away with me for a moment. Time travel, past lives. How lovely it would be for such fiction to exist. Though, on a more realistic note, despite the fantastical nature of such ideas, they do bring to mind concepts of chronology and mortality. All the world will soon be forgotten and yesteryear slips farther away with the passing hands of the clock. A grim reality, certainly. Yet freeing, too, as, in losing both the past and the future, you are assured that you can never lose the present. The present is always there for you to mold and change and, if you choose, to develop. What do you think? What do you choose?
Do tell or write of whatever you are like. You never have to worry of being considered as rude or arrogant with me. I cherish and appreciate every word you write too. Treat your letters as a sincere safe space, and I will do the same.
It is getting late now as I write these lines, and I am slowly falling to sleep. But, tired as I am, I am glad. Maybe the Sandman will give me pleasant dreams tonight.
Your sincere friend,
(oh! what lies; it might’ve been—would’ve been far less painful to have signed off only with my name; or to not have signed at all!)
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