the story i wrote about you
I first met the man I'd come to know as Leydon through the internet one morning around 4. We were both pushing two days without sleep, studying for finals and writing papers. I was rifling through Descartes and Searle, he was trudging through chemical bonds and polypeptides.We talked about random things at first, things that happened recently. In that state of mind, I had just concluded a vicious argument with my printer that almost came to blows. Leydon could not find his left shoe and pondered, because of this and his unwavering certainty that it had been stolen by a sinister sneaker thief, if there is a God and if so, does he still love us?Since time had no meaning, I can only assume that the sun rose as it always does in mid December, somewhere around 6 AM. The light squeezed through my blinds and danced with the smoke rising from the cigarette burning idly in my ashtray. We both agreed to leave our computers for a few minutes to make coffee and swallow more Aderol. We rushed through our respective tasks, eager to return to the warm glow of our screens and the ever growing possibility of a meaningful connection.Leydon and I continued writing, studying and typing for another 24 hours. Soon however, the piles of books and crumpled notes scattered about became as obsolete as a $20 late fee from Blockbuster after hitting the lottery. We complimented each other in so many ways. We appreciated and loved all the same things, but also, just as importantly, we despised all the same as well.Eventually I had to leave my computer, as did he, to hand in a final paper. I took the Red Line from Central to Park Street, tingling, unsure of whether this was the feeling one experiences moments before his last, thin strand of sanity snaps or if it was something infinitely greater. I was struggling through Boston Common, the golden dome of the State House shooting sunlight directly into my eyes like fiery arrows, when suddenly 72 hours of straight consciousness hit me harder than any hangover I had ever suffered. I ran behind a tree and vomited for 5 minutes. Tears poured down my face, but I did not care.After passing in the paper, I ran back to the T and stared down the dark tunnel, desperately awaiting that tiny spark of light on the third rail that signaled the T was approaching the turn. After what seemed like days compounded on weeks, the T screeched around the bend. I hopped on, fighting the impulse to hijack it and drive it directly to Central Square.We returned to each other, both amazed by this alien, intriguing scenario we were both a part of and consumed by. Leydon goes to school in Providence, but was competing in a hip hop dance contest at Harvard that night.'This might be a little forward, but I could get you a ticket if you want,' Leydon said.'Sure, that sounds good.' My cool tone belied the rib shattering pounding in my chest. I did not know what to expect. We had spoken on the phone for hours, and I felt confident I knew him. Still, the stigma that society has towards online relationships differs slightly from my own. I prepared in the only way I knew how – I drank. Hard.By the time I arrived at the auditorium I was feeling pretty good. The show was better than I ever could have imagined. Leydon was everything I expected.Afterwards, I waited outside in the designated meeting area. He snuck up behind me and tackled me into a bush. I could not have asked for a better introduction. We then began walking back to my apartment. I offered him a cigarette, which he took and I lit from his lips. My head was 10 steps ahead of my body, I could barely walk. I felt bad that I had drank so much before I came, so I stopped in a liquor store in Harvard Square and bought a bottle of Jim Beam and two 20 ounce bottles of Coke. We sat on a bench in front of the store, emptied three-quarters of the Cokes and refilled them with the Bourbon.By the time we arrived back in Central Square, we were laughing hysterically, the people passing us staring with disdain at two drunken kids taking swigs from a bottle and stumbling down Western Avenue. We staggered into my apartment and sat at my kitchen table, bouncing quarters into a pint glass full of beer and relishing every sip that carried us further to the other side.The next morning we awoke, smelling of sweat and cologne and booze. We sat in my room for hours, telling stories of our past adventures and the craziness of our friends. Perhaps the courtship was all wrong. Perhaps we should have done things differently, in some process that our parents could tell their grandchildren about at Thanksgiving, had they known.After we had exhausted all the anecdotes that we could possibly dig from our exhausted minds, there was a silence. Not awkward, just unbroken and calm, like a lake at sunrise. We stared at one another, not knowing what to say, but knowing there was something right in this silence.Eventually, Leydon said, 'Did I mention, my first name is Alex, but I don‘t like it. Just call me Leydon.'All I could do was nod. Proper names, proper words even, had no place here.
User Comments about this Letter!
This is good shit and all, but the fun of reading this site is because they are supposed to be "letters" we never sent, not short stories. Although I really did enjoy this, it kind of put a damper on my quest for wit and just.
--by quietasajen, 02/27/2005
Really enjoyed this a lot. Jen, you have a point...but sometimes one needs to just get their words out there without having to sign up for yet another specialized website to do so. Write hard.
--by adamjit, 05/10/2005
this reminds me of a million little pieces for some reason i can't quite put my finger on. amazing, though. it's lovely to stumble upon a little short story/life story amongst the sopping love notes and damaged goods of others.
--by lostpoet, 03/17/2007
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