My Dearest Friend,
…at least, I think that’s what you are. It’s changed so many times that I’m not sure anymore. Friends, lovers, acquaintances,… nothings. There have been so many times when I thought we were just regular friends and then you talk about breaking up, as if there were something more there than I thought there was. It’s like you keep trying to end something that I don’t remember re-starting. Not that I would have objected to restarting it. I just didn’t think we had. It’s very confusing.
I wish I knew how you wanted me to behave. Since I never know what I am to you, I never know how to act. I don’t want to be annoying. I don’t want to be a burden or a hindrance in your life. I want to be a comfort. I want to be helpful. Even if the most comforting and helpful thing I can do is to not be a part of your world at all.
But I would like to be your friend, if you’ll have me. Can I be your friend? Your kinda high-strung, slightly autistic texting bro who occasionally needs some clarification on boundaries and proper behavior for the situation? That would be nice.
I find myself sending you these long annoying messages and letters, even though I know you hate them. It’s not that I’m trying to get more of your attention. It’s just that I am completely bewildered and searching for clarification. You change your mind so quickly, so frequently, so thoroughly that I can’t keep up. I’m pretty steady, I think, most of the time. If I say something once, I mean it and will most likely continue to mean it for a good long while. You mean what you say in the moment, but then the moment changes and so does your mind.
To my credit, you wouldn’t believe the number of messages that I started to write, but then deleted, or the ones I just never wrote at all. But sometimes all these thoughts get bottled up in my head. They need a destination. An addressee. And for so long, that has been you. Even if I never tell you about them, my thoughts are always addressed to you.
Someday, when the scientists and engineers of the far-distant future have developed the technology to retroactively read the ancient thoughts of long-dead humans, when they’re sifting through the fragments and ashes of my mind, they will come across my long-hidden, deeply buried secret stash of unopened, unsent envelopes, sealed up like tiny time capsules, never mailed, never received, but all addressed to one entity. Stacks and stacks of dusty old reflections and speculations, wonderings and musings, intentions, regrets, and unasked inquiries. And at least they will know where to send them.
Sometimes, though, the stack gets too big and messy to all fit in my head. Sometimes I need to do some house cleaning. But I’m not sending you this one. I’m tossing it out into the ether, to bob and float aimlessly on the waves of this cyber ocean like a message in a bottle from the lonely inhabitant of a desert island, where I know you’ll never see it and it won’t be a bother. Perhaps a jolly pirate will find it someday and have a laugh, or use it as kindling in his campfire. It’s nice to think that it might be useful to someone.
Even though I desperately want to know the status of the cat, I’m not going to open the box, and thereby ensure its destruction. I will sit patiently, staring at the sealed outer walls of the box, wondering at its contents, and continue to pile up my envelopes, with their little cat toys sealed inside. Perhaps those futuristic scientists will also be able to resurrect the long-dead-and-decomposed cat and let it play with the troves of gifts I couldn’t give it.