Lost Love Letters Found

April 8, 2009

I kept everything. I typed up what I wanted to say to the bad boyfriend, the lost love, the mistake… really thought about it before I sent an email. And when it was a conversation over IM, I copied it into a document and titled it with his name and the date. Usually. There are a couple email drafts that I figured out from context, and could only pin down to the nearest six months or so. Who would I send a letter to that started, “Yeah, you’ve been in the doghouse for a while”? Firstly, I don’t put men in the doghouse; we were together or we were done. Secondly, who could I say that to, among my equally cut-and-dried love interests, and get away with it?

There’s an eviction notice authored by my then-friend, now-fiance, stipulating (among other things) better fish tank maintenance as a condition for a roommate’s continued tenancy. The tank was sparkling clean. It was fifty gallons and held two silver hatchets and a half-pound rock. The notice demanded gravel, plants and more fish friends. There’s no way this isn’t material.

That must be why I kept it all. Surely, someday, I would care that that one guy and I made up, in a way. Maybe it would be important that my last, bleeding letter to him got a surprisingly kind and honest response. And even if I didn’t care anymore, someone might. Someone who’s going through something like it might enjoy reading a story with that kind of ending: not exactly happy, but at least resolved. And surely such a story should include a roommate who keeps two guppy-sized fish in a fifty gallon tank. Breaking hearts need some comic relief.

Now I just have to organize it all. I left myself a treasure hunt, with letters ‘to’ in a different folder than letters ‘from’, not to mention that some aspects of some relationships got their own folder… wow, I must be weird. Or a writer; that’s a good excuse. Do any of you have files or boxes full of stuff like this? I’ve heard that people keep old love letters. Do you?

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