Jenn

A message I sent to Jennifer:

Hey Jen,

I was going to send you a letter, but you’ve fallen off the map recently and I haven’t a clue where I’d mail it. For all it’s worth, I decided to send it via facebook. My intention is only to say hello and thank you. I hope it finds you well.

Michael

10-10-10

This is one of those letters that you send only because the unwieldy passions of youth come back to get the better of you.

Six years ago I looked you in the eye, and with all the earnest zeal in my body, I swore that I would come back for you on October 10th 2010, and we would reconvene no matter where we were in life. Do you remember that? Since then, we have fallen distant over the years, and lead vastly different lives. I figured I could commemorate that pact, at least with myself, in a letter.  I hope you receive it well.

I’d like you to know that you’ve had an enormous impact on my life. You found me at a moment when my life had picked up only briefly, only before spiraling downward and out of control once more. During our tryst, you provided me with some powerful memories, feelings, and experiences that afforded me with some of the most precious fuel for my recovery. When I was homeless and strung out and bitter with the world, which I often was, I could recall few glimmers of joy in the world that were powerful enough to lift my spirits and thoughts to loftier dreams. What joys I do remember, however puerile they seem now, were the memories of an indescribable, irrational, brilliant love for you. What pained me most was the thought of damaging that love, which I most definitely and often did.

There was a day that I made a decision to put the past behind me, embrace responsibility for my success and failures, and dream brilliantly. I made a commitment to become someone who was worthy of the love I had for you. I told myself, ‘I know I will love someone like this again, and when I find them, I want to love them with all that I am, with all that I am capable of being.’ From then on, I began to see life in possibility, and I began to dream wildly. While there were other motivators that I chose to lift me up, such as a renewed appreciation for my family and all the people who believed in me, I specifically remembered my acute feelings for you. They provided the fuel for action. When difficulties and hardship arose, I thought of the love I once felt for you and the pain I believe I caused you. Slowly, I have brought myself closer to my ideals.

It’s not often that I think of our time together anymore. Every once and awhile I’ll catch myself reminiscing with nostalgia, and look back on our teenage love; it is then that all its private joys come to mind. I can still manage to seek solace in such superannuated memories. While I like to think I’ll always know you, I know that we’re different people now. We haven’t talked in years. When we do talk, it seems the intimacy I believed we once knew so deeply has been lost to time.

I’d like to say, I never knew how to apologize for any pain I caused you. I was too ashamed and guilty. Most of all, I didn’t want to rehash any pain, any memories or resentment I may have caused you. I want you to know now, that I am truly sorry for my reckless years. I pained many people, and it still pains me. I seek every day to overcome the demons of the past.

I also want to thank you. If I hadn’t met you, if you hadn’t found me, I may have never known a love so powerful as ours. I attribute it as a large part of my success as a person today.

I recall an evening on the phone with you, late 2006. It was late in the evening, and you phoned me on a random chance occurrence. Who knows why? I remember telling you, against my biting conscience, that I was going to be successful, and that I was going to do it as a tribute you, not as an attempt to recapture what was lost, but as a tribute to the power of love.

I could go on with stories or thoughts, but I’m afraid I have been overly sentimental as it is. I do hope the absolute best for you, Jennifer. I once told you I’d always love you. I still do.

Love always,

Michael

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