The Letter

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One of my friends recently posted a link to another blog where the blogger discussed the lost art of the angry letter. Well, if you have known me a while you will know I am a huge proponent of the unsent angry letter. In fact, I am a supporter of all unsent letters regardless of what emotion is being conveyed, especially since I have written every kind of letter over the years, almost all torn up or deleted before ever being seen by another.

One letter in particular though, I will never forget. It was hand written, which I no longer have, but before discarding it (years after I had actually written it), I took the time to type it out, mainly due to its odd nature. I do not believe I will ever write another letter like this again (or even have the opportunity for it). It was written on 23 tiny sheets of paper… amounting to roughly 7 typed pages. Of course at the time it made perfect sense, but looking at it now it appears to be the most bizarre thing I have ever written (this taking into consideration even my nuttiest blog posts).

Before anyone even asks, no, I will not be sharing the letter. Nevertheless, since it has been about eight years I can give you the context and let your imagination provide the rest. D and I had been dating for a while and he wouldn’t touch me. I don’t even mean in any sort of sexual way. I mean he literally would not go near me. I wasn’t in any way expecting physical affection as he had made it quite clear on our first date that he found that sort of thing practically repulsive (yes, I continued to date this man). But it got to the point where he wouldn’t even sit near me. I had finally had enough and confronted him on the matter to which he replied that my proximity is damning to his soul. In short he explained that because he was very physically attracted to me, I cause “bad thoughts” and he was certain he was going to go to Hell. Further, that if I cared about him as much as I said I did, I would be more concerned about his pending damnation. And if I should ever question whether he cared about me, I just had to remember that he was potentially sacrificing eternity to be in the same room as me.

As ridiculous as this may sound to some of you now (myself included), at the time I was quite shocked by his speech, and felt absolutely awful for my insensitivity to his eternal damnation for which I was certain I was the cause. So yes, that night I was up until five in the morning drafting a letter begging for his soul’s forgiveness for my impertinence. The last pages were my attempts at finding a compromise for his dilemma, swearing I would make myself most physically undesirable when in his presence from then forward. I would even stop grooming myself if that should please him (I am so no joking right now… I promised that). The list continued with possible things I could do to help save his soul, and it sounded less and less like a letter and more like a strange tract on leading a virtuous life. Nevertheless I was very pleased with it, and when the clock struck a decent hour I called him to see if we could meet so I could hand it to him.

We went out for coffee that day, and he seemed so much happier than he had been the night before, stating he knew I had his best interest at heart and would never do anything to harm him or his soul. He said a letter would be unnecessary, but wanted me to join his church so I may cleanse myself and learn from the other women there. That Friday night we went to church and it was all wrong. I could not pray properly, and for several hours I knelt there mumbling to myself knowing that I was not getting any more cleansed than I had been on Thursday night. He noticed, but lauded me for making an effort. He assured me each time would get better. We saw each other again on Sunday, and after church I told him I wanted to go on a picnic, so he took me to the park. We started talking about his soul which reminded me of the letter I had written that I still wished to give him so he would know how concerned I was about his spiritual well being.

I was quite content and spent the afternoon laying on the grass staring at the sky. At one point he leaned over me and we had our first kiss. He accused me of having purposely tempted him. He said I was worse than Jezebel. Of course I tried mending things, but you cannot undo a kiss. We never saw each other again, and I was left still holding the letter.

One day, when she is old enough, I think Ally will enjoy reading it.

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