“So I got edges that scratch
And sometimes I don’t got a filter
But I’m so tired of eatin’
All of my misspoken words
I know my disposition gets confusing
My disproportionate reactions fuse with my eager state
That’s why you wanna come out and play with me, yeah” “Beggin’ for Thread” BANKS
How many of my stories this year have started with, “Back in June…” ? Well, Back in June, I guess I posted an ad on a pen pal site. No, not a “horny women want to write you letters” pen pal site. I can’t remember what is is called or how I found it. I only remember it had no images. It was text-boxes only. Bare bones HTML forms. I barely remember what I wrote. Something like, “I want to go back to the days before the internet was the internet.” Maybe more. But I meant it. I didn’t want an electronic connection. I used a fake name, my real age, and my real snail mail address. I forgot about it until August, (I think) when I received a three page letter written in perfect cursive script yellow, lined legal paper, from someone claiming to be a 21 year old gay man. “He” wasn’t talking about sex but kept mentioning “he” wanted to share his secrets and if I wanted I could share my secrets. I had no idea who wanted to hear my “secrets” but I wasn’t biting.
Last month I got the obligatory letter from a lonely woman in Russia. I’m not really sure because it was very convincing but I threw it in the trash. If it didn’t come from Russia I may have saved it.
Wednesday night my mom was asking if I had any newspapers to catch the potato and carrot peels. Here I am, 52 and I’m the kid again, it’s my job to the peel the fucking vegetables. “Newspapers? What are those?” I thought I haven’t checked my mail in a week, I bet my box is stuffed with grocery store flyers. Those are newspapers, right? I got down there and I was right but sitting in front was an unusual envelope. I read it and thought, figures, I got someone else’s mail again. Wait a minute! That’s my pseudonym!
I got back upstairs and my mom went out to smoke so I opened the envelope. It was odd sized, inside was small paper with a pattern printed border with hand writing. I’m not going to share the details because it is more real than something I would find on the internet. There was nothing personal, there was no tease. It was from a woman, it said, Hi, my name is (…), my friends call me (…) I found you on some penpal site and I like writing letters. This is my first letter to you. Inside the envelope there were more pieces of paper, I imagine were from a stationery store but like, where? A one and a half by four inch piece of purple paper with a small watermark? On that she asked a few of my favorite things, food, etc.. but, favorite smell? That was a good one. Another piece I think was part of a note card and had basics about her, three things she likes and three things she doesn’t. Nothing earthshaking. We both like music. Wow.
I put it away until my mom left Sunday and I spread it out on the table. If this person is pulling the long con, they really put too much effort into it. I noticed she switched different colored pens randomly and tiny stickers. Kids stuff but she said she was in her 30’s. I’m weird, I used to do this shit when I was younger.
I thought there is no way I can respond by typing on the computer and printing out an 8 1/2 by 11 and sending it off in a business envelope. But I want to write back. I don’t have any materials. Then I noticed there was another piece of paper with a printed border which was left blank. Okay. I imagine that is for me to write on. I only have a black pen but it’s a start. Where am I supposed to find an envelope for this?
You know me though. I am quite verbose. My favorite smell? You know that is going to be more than a one word answer. That was a good one because I just came up with it a few weeks ago when I was walking down the street.
I remembered I had an old journal with unique pages from years ago. But I can’t fill the whole thing up and mail it. I decided to write my one word (paragraph answers in sections and cut them apart and use the paper she provided for a “thanks for writing” note. That’s pretty good, right? I wanted to put at least a quarter as much effort into it. I don’t know, it was fun. I am under no illusion we are going to fall in love and live happily ever after.
Meanwhile… The same guy who says he wants to get off the internet is back on the internet. Fucking Bumble! I’m not drinking… When do I do this shit? But this was good. Somebody finally got the point of my profile being a big fucking joke! Who was it? Apparently someone who is very well educated. I don’t know… Well… I do know the impression I give by the way I speak. But the funniest phrase (to me) I’ve been using for months is, “I know when to drop the vernacular.” I think it’s funny because I think a lot of people who hear it wouldn’t imagine I know the word, “vernacular.” I love that word. “Colloquialism” used to be one of my favorites but it sounds stilted. It doesn’t “roll off the tongue.”
I lost track of my mind… Oh, right, my point is I don’t use words because I think they sound cool. I choose certain words because they mean exactly what I mean to say.
She made a joke about my elephants hiding in trees joke and didn’t ask me to explain why I was one big joke. I checked out her profile. It made sense now… She said she appreciates people who appreciate the absurdity of life. And, she is ivy league! I am going to like this… I was right. I could relate.
I forget everything. She said she had the good fortune to have a job she enjoyed and I told her I don’t believe in luck. Please go on… Please go on? Don’t do it! What have I been running around yelling about all year? Synchronicity. Okay, I did it.
It was starting to get too serious and I wanted to make myself clear. Because at some point, I added to my profile something about people like me for my honesty and openness and not pretending to be someone I’m not. I picked my spot and interjected, “Either way one of us is trying to get lucky tonight.”
It was an educated guess and worked to move things along. Now I know she likes to be playful but this is my kind of playful. We were talking about something and she used the word “unmoored”. I stopped her and said, I don’t mean to change the subject but I am more interested in the word unmoored. (WordPress doesn’t recognize it as a word. You bastards!) She said, “It’s not a bad place to be.” I’m thinking, How does she know I’m crazy? I added, “If it is even a place…. It doesn’t change from an adjective to a noun until you drop anchor.” Mm… “Why would anyone want to do that?” Okay, now we are getting somewhere.
Then she was struck by me writing about Grace Jones being my love language… Oh shit! That is when I changed my profile! What the fuck going on with Grace Jones? I said, I love her language she speaks in tongues.
She said her words bring her warmth… I told her , her words are bringing me warmth… Then she said it…
I know it’s an expression but I know it means something more than it means to me. I had to look it up and I am so glad I did.
I told her what I found.
Indeed: used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.
Indeed: used to introduce a further and stronger or more surprising point.
She said, “Your username (BoringOldBill) is sunk in the very depths of irony”
There was a lot more but those were the highlights.
Whatever we had fun but I keep doing this to myself. I’m never going to meet her. What am I going to do? Tell her I’m on disability for being unmoored? Am I pretending to be someone I’m not? I have to get offline. I feel like Cyrano in the bushes telling the acceptable guy what to say. I am giving a false impression though. Come take a look at my apartment. I am not “put together.” I always say people come to my place to see me, not my apartment, but…
This is why I’ve been trying to stay offline. I didn’t even know I was back online! I’ve barely touched my phone for a week. then it beeped last night? I
I have to get out of here.