Saturday, June 5, 2010

Can I add the caveat "what can you do that doesn't suck..."

Dear friends,
This is a letter i wrote to Dan Savage (of Savage Love in the Seattle Stranger) in 2005. i love this. i love that i addressed him as 'my dear mr. Savage'. it makes me smile.


My dear mr. Savage,

Forgive me if this letter is more plebeian than what you are used to,
as it doesn't involve deviant sexual practices, bizarre behaviours or
Bush-era moral precedents. Remember, as well, that I am an ardent fan
and long admirer, and at my age and station, small dilemmas loom

I am in a place in my life that's riddled with constant anxiety -
between jobs, between friends, between places to live. I'm a
23-year-old, terribly shy and not terribly attractive. (I kind
of remind myself of Enid in Ghost World, actually.) Recently I picked
up some temporary contract work through which I met a gentleman who's
everything I'm not. He's cute, confident, exuberant but cynical when
he needs to be, a nonstop flirt who always makes you feel flattered
but never uncomfortable, and very kind to everyone. He's in a band,
for heaven's sake. Of course I developed a huge crush on him. He was
indifferent, although still not unkind. Almost all of our mutual
acquaintances, whom I trust a great deal, have told me to cease and
desist and that he's not right for me. Even though wisdom should have
gained the upper hand, I kept looking at him with big baleful eyes and
saying silly things and making myself miserable. He's since gone back
to his home state, where he's pretty well established and in no need
of new friends, leaving me just as miserable and more than a little
confused. I think he's closing the chapter in his life that had me in
it, and would just as gladly never hear from me again.

So the question "Is it foolish to think that we can ever be friends?"
seems a little ridiculous. But since you have advice for all sorts of
love - physical, emotional, unrequited, misguided and all the rest -
what can you do when you can't stop thinking about someone who will
never ever like you back? A good friend told me that proximity is 90%
of infatuation, but I've proved that wrong enough times in my short
life to know that I may have to resort to more drastic measures. I
could look for a job to distract myself but, let's be honest - that
sucks. Can I add the caveat "what can you do that doesn't suck..." to
the above question? And, what the hell - can we still be friends, if I
want to?

You can be mean to me, if you want. I don't expect to ever meet you
and won't harbor any hard feelings.


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