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Many Practical Purposes for a Love Letter

Anabelle,

You’re golden. We’re golden. I love you.

Tom

 

There was never anything wrong with that letter. Nicholas Sparks could’ve had a field day with those little words, I’m sure, because Tom wrote me that letter every day of our lives. Tom has been writing me that letter since the day I was born. Sometimes it came with a $5 bill folded inside and an extra line about “can you pick me up some cigarettes on your way home” and sometimes there were doodles or quick multiplication problems on the side and one time he couldn’t find a pen and so he used his finger and chocolate pudding. But those words were every day and inherently, in the grand scheme of everything, there was never anything wrong with them.

There’s still nothing wrong with them, although I don’t wish I could have them back. These days I don’t get any letters but I’m working on a really good one- just one, one that I would’ve traded all the other ones for if I had known that it could exist. Because there are many practical purposes for a love letter, and only one of them has to do with the person who wrote it. Whatever anybody tells you, it’s about what you want to hear anyway.

I know about your nightmares. I know that whenever a man sleeps next to you, you dream that he lets you get murdered. I know about when you come home and empty your pockets and you think your life is just a chapstick and a crumpled dollar bill. I know about fighting that last-leg shaky treadmill, about how your goal was 20 minutes but you celebrate 12 because 5 used to seem so far away. I know the exact day you realized the sweat dripping down into your mouth tastes the same as tears, and how often you remind yourself to riot. I know you know there was never anything wrong with Tom’s letters. I know you wish there was. 

You did not have to tell me these things. You couldn’t. But I know them in back-of-your-eyeballs ways that nobody could put in a letter. There was never anything wrong with Tom. But you can write your own letters now.

Anabelle

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