The Letter Arrives

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


I didn’t get much sleep that night in the hallway outside the Registrar’s Office. I hadn’t been able to figure out all night whether Heather T’s smiles and polite hellos meant that she’d gotten my letter and was considering it or if it meant she hadn’t seen it at all. I didn’t have the courage to go ask her of course. If I’d had that kind of courage I might’ve just said something in the first place.

I remember that daylight had just broke and the hallway was quite in the hour or so before the Registrar would open the door. I was up and I think I saw that Heather was up. I thought about talking to her then, in my fit of exhaustion. Perhaps if I had, I could’ve stopped the agony that would follow.

I registered for classes and then, with absolutely no sleep, I walked in the hot April sun (strange to think it was hot when a couple of days later, on Spring Day, it was freezing cold) all the way down to my bank. It was a good two miles or so down the road and I shouldn’t have gone. I think I started having delusions. After I got my money and went back to school I took a nap.

When I woke up… well I wish I could’ve woken up and found out that the mailroom had burned down rather than finding out that Heather had gotten my letter and wasn’t even willing to talk to me.

As I think I’ve already mentioned, I don’t recall what the letter said. I don’t recall what I could have possibly written to piss her off as much as I did. It didn’t matter though. A friendship I’d been working to build was now destroyed by my inability to be a fucking normal guy and go up and talk to the girl I liked.

For the rest of the semester I was ostracized from the circle of friends I’d collected from the fourth floor of Tupelo East. I didn’t even feel comfortable visting Rachael and she was my best friend. I just didn’t want to go anywhere near that floor.

Perhaps I never should have said a thing to Heather. Perhaps it would have been better that way. At least I learned that telling someone you like them by writing them a letter is never a good idea.

Well… unless you’re a girl and the guy you like is me. Then it works out just fine. Alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.