A Letter, by Anonymous


Ainsley,

I’m a timid person, and obsessive compulsive, and a nervous wreck on good days.  So please try to bear with me if this all seems terribly disconnected at first, because I’m averaging less than three hours of sleep a night for the past week and a half, and can barely grasp my pen as I write this, much less control my fingers as I re-type it.

On top of all that, I’ve spent the majority of my life being tragically oblivious. I struggle to see beyond myself and think of others, but for some reason, I think about you, and your art galleries, Tequila, carnivals, Architectural Digest shows, cigarettes – everything – a great deal.  And it seems like you think about me sometimes as well – but upon a cursory investigation of our BBM history, it’s pretty clear to me that I do more thinking about you than do you me, or so it seems.  And I need to be honest; it kind of frightens me, a lot.

I’ve also been thinking about why I think about you so often, because as engineers we are constantly drilled to do this, and never cease – this innate, and study-supported tendency has put me into some very dangerous intellectual situations, but none of those are of import at the present moment.

My mind tends to leap from place to place, and I’m finding myself sitting and pondering a great deal of people I had, for a very long time, let slip from my mind – having the ever-present possibility of being wiped from the face of the earth by a bus bomb or a stray missile has given me some focus and perspective, and evidently a bit of courage as well…

I’m putting my last reserve of resolve to restrain myself from delving into greater detail, as a very wise person counseled me to let this on you progressively, but on some subconscious level I know I’ve been cryptically beating around the bush these past few months, and maybe even years, so I feel it prudent to be honest as possible.  And I can’t imagine how reading this is making you feel, because I’m crying all over myself – in broad daylight.

My parents think I’m seriously ill, my peers think I’m a crazy person, but I know I’m completely healthy, I just can’t relax enough to fall asleep at night, or day.  My mind keeps circling back to the second to last time we saw each other at the Guggenheim every time I close my eyes, probably because I’m blocking out the memory of us on the couch in your parents’ apartment watching the NBA playoffs, and clearly doing a splendid job of it.

I know I screwed up incalculably that night, even if you don’t feel I did, and I want you to know, I could make excuses, but none of them would be sufficient – I’m sorry. I really am.  And furthermore, I’m in the throes of painful internal conflict because I feel I may have botched my only shot at truly getting to know you.  And I regret that every single day right now.  It’s probably what is causing me to be motivated to the brink of insanity.

Again, I hate to drop all of this on you when you’re not feeling well and stressed out, and maybe even emotionally involved, I know it’s a tremendous amount of information to process, but I’m trying to communicate my thoughts as succinctly as possible.

I think part of the reason I am capable of expressing myself so clearly – although this all probably seems scattered to you as you try to follow me through this maze of words – is that I haven’t smoked pot in over a month, and that’s the first time I can honestly say that in over three years, dating back to before I even met you at Molly’s house, watching Don Draper all that time ago.

My mind and memories have slowly been re-forming as the THC clears from my system, and I’m finally analyzing this cacophony of seemingly discordant paths, choices and consequences rationally, which I know is absolutely ludicrous because I’m attempting to rationalize a concept that is irrational at heart, like Quantum Mechanics or the Theory of Relativity – which I would love to try to expound to you sometime, if you’ll give me the chance.

Anyway, I’m going to cut myself off for now, because people are giving me weird looks, and I really need to try to get some sleep, and hopefully after I finish this I will be able to.

I further promise once I click send I won’t burden you with any additional messages, because I can’t possibly imagine the rollercoaster ride that reading and absorbing all this is becoming for you.

But please do consider – I’ve done some extraordinarily physically, emotionally and mentally challenging things in my life, but none of them come anywhere close to how much of a struggle I know it’s going to be to carry on composing emails, learning how to do Isometric drawing, and reading BBMs knowing you’re about seventeen-hundred thirty-five miles away from me – give or take a few significant digits, and are probably figuring out a way to put even more distance between the two of us.

But I promise I’ll give you your space and your time, however far and however long they both might be.  Even if I have to give my roommates all of my electronic equipment, for fear that I’ll break them to keep myself from trying to contact you, I will.

You’ve probably stopped reading by now, erased the email, deleted me from BBM, and I completely understand, because I haven’t been straight with you from the beginning, and that’s because I was terribly confused, fatally terrified, and grossly inexperienced in these matters.  But the intimate proximity to death has forced me to evolve, so against my better judgment I had to write, edit, and send this to you so that I can have at least a sliver of opportunity to continue on with my mostly boring life without regret.

I hope to hear from you at some point, and also hope that – if it’s not too much of a burden on you, I could maybe come to Berlin and say the rest of what I need to say to you, because there’s infinitely more that I could verbalize, but for the sake of my own sanity, and your ailing eardrum, I am abstaining.

Please just keep this in mind, I may be perfectly healthy at the moment – although even that is yet to be determined, but as I wait for your response something profound and inexplicable is slowly consuming me from the inside out.

All I ask in return is for your honesty whenever you feel you are ready to formulate a reply – take your time if need be.  I had to do this, there was no other way, and honestly it kind of just poured out of me all of a sudden, like these tears into my now soiled notebook.

Yours,

 

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