I did not realize it was a love letter when I wrote it. All I was trying to do was to make him notice that I was different. Just different. We met at a wedding and I knew he was like no one I’d encountered. Our conversation was not particularly memorable but there was a spark. I could not stop thinking about it.
In the grey and somewhat repressive landscape that we lived in, the need to scream “Notice me! Notice me! There’s more to me that you’ll like” grew daily. He was really very handsome and urbane and I was averagely attractive and not particularly confident. I sent him a letter that I did not sign. I poured all the creativeness, fun and wit I had into it – to showcase my personality I wanted him to know about. I’d memorized a lot of Lewis Carroll in those days and it seemed fitting to quote his quirky verse, include references to Beatles, America Pie and Atlas Shrugged. I posed playful riddles about silly nursery rhymes and made it as tantalizingly mysterious as possible. I disguised my handwriting the best I could – not that he knew it – but still! I desperately wanted him to find this person intriguing and interesting and as he got to know me (I hoped), figure it out.
Many years later, he told me that he always knew I’d sent it. But my recollection’s a bit different. For a few days after he’d received it, he made no reference to it to me. When he did mention it, it was about an odd letter he’d received that he could not quite figure out. I must have let out a silent yell of exhilaration. It seemed to be working like I’d wanted it to. I think soon after either I confessed to it or he figured it out.
But the odd thing was that it wasn’t till decades later he asked me why I’d written it. I’m not sure I was able to explain it well. He said it kept him up at night.
It wasn’t till it was all over that I knew what I’d actually written.