subject line: dear girl.


syracuse, new york 

Dear Girl,

We barely spoke, but this is a letter to you. Not a romantic one. I’ve written plenty of those in the past few years. Let’s let this one be from the place of a friend, an acquaintance, a human, or just the dude who sat across from you for a few hours tonight. I don’t know you, we barely spoke. You’re the friend of one of my friends, who hadn’t seen each other since high school. You told the table what kind of music you listened to, and what kind of things you liked to see in your timelines. You gave us answers like you didn’t think anyone was listening. I came home wondering if it’s because no one ever has before.

You say you do things for money. You say you do things and you don’t care. You do things because, why not? I can’t blame you. I do things because why not. I think we all do things because why not. Except in actuality I think we know why not, and we choose to do them anyway. I think we drown out the why not. We choose to turn our heads from the why not, because the why not is showing us something we think is just a dream. Something we don’t think we can ever attain. Why not? Because love. Why not? Because family. Why not? Because tomorrow.

Maybe you’re worth it, maybe that’s why not. I don’t know you girl. In fact these days I’m beginning to think I don’t know much about myself. There’s a question inside of me, following me. Chained to my thoughts. I have to answer. Are you willing to trade ____ for _____? The variants change all the time. Most of the time, I’m unwilling to trade what I should and willing to trade what I shouldn’t. I don’t care for the why not’s. Especially when the why not’s are the only thing reminding me what’s true, what’s possible, what I’m capable of. It gets in the way of my temporary pleasure. ‘Why not?’ Because there’s more for you and me, more than these aimless things you and I get ourselves caught up in.. One of these days I’ll listen to the why not’s. But for now you & I are both struggling, as struggling is a major part of all our stories. I shook your hand tonight and I imagined all the stories that were tucked inside, I wondered what it had felt in its twenty years of belonging to you. The kiss of a father, the hand of a mother, and the face of a boy you loved. Hands. Other hands. Thousands of stories in their crevices, in the dirt in their nails. Tears, dried up. Pain in their palms, pain in yours, pain in mine. We’re all just a bunch of skin filled with pain, introducing ourselves as someone or anything else.

”Hi, I’m Jordan” I said. But you did not hear about my struggles. You did not see my tears. You saw me as I present myself, a carefree guy enjoying the weather, along with the mocha I carried in my hand. We barley spoke, but I know we have differences. A few months ago that would have drove me away. Now I’m different. You’ve drawn me in and made me want to find the similarities. We had a good place to start, there’s a lot of similarities found in coffee shops. We all come trying to connect. Whether it the wifi, or to each other, we’re all here. And that’s a start.

I hope you find what you’re looking for, girl. And I hope you know you’re loved. I don’t know when someone listened to you last, or looked at you like you mattered, but I hope that happens for you soon. I hope you find people who talk about the why not’s and I hope you find someone who listens until you’re finished talking. I hope you know you’re here for more than making money, girl. I hope you know you’re worth more than paper. Really, I hope you find the use in friendship. I hope you find the use in keeping relationships. And I hope you keep drinking coffee, you seemed to enjoy where we were tonight. I hope you keep coming back to the things you love, and I hope you have the courage to leave the things you don’t. I know this is a lot, but I’ve got a lot of hope for you, girl. I’ve got a lot of hope in general. I hope you find what you’re looking for.