I got your letter in the mail this afternoon. I read it aloud to my dogs while sipping an iced tea on my porch.
It was a nice surprise, receiving a handwritten letter. I don’t get many.
Even though we are strangers, I was glad to hear about your life. Your new job, your newborn son, and about how much you like Willie Nelson. You’re in good company, Willie Nelson is very special to me, too.
I am sorry your father died. I don’t know exactly what you’re feeling, but I know what it’s like to lose a father. I know you will never be the same.
Not that it matters, but when I was fourteen, I found an ad in the back of a magazine, it advertised a pen pal agency. I responded to the ad, requesting a pen pal.
My assigned correspondent was from Atlanta—keep in mind, this was before the age of the internet. The most advanced form of communication in our day was homing pigeons.
My pen pal’s name was Bee Bee. She was fifteen and wrote in purple ink. She dotted her lowercase “I’s” with little hearts, and I accidentally fell in love with her.
We only wrote each other a handful of times, but we talked about our lives in our letters. She told me about her parent’s divorce. I told her about my father’s suicide.
We talked about how sad we felt. And about things that made us happy. She liked the Four Tops. I liked Willie. She wanted to be a hip-hop dancer. I wanted to write for a newspaper.
She closed each of her letters with:
“Your forever-friend, Bee Bee.”
And well, I’d had never had a forever-friend. Especially not since my father’s death. In fact, I didn’t have many friends at all.
I wished I could end…