Wednesday, February 25, 2009

When the past comes bearing flowers

My odd mail tends to run in cycles. There's always the crackpot crazies who crawl from the ooze to tell me all the different ways I'm going to burn in hell. They always show up after I write about my lack of belief in their imaginary playmates, and they fail to see the humor in threatening me with a place that exists only in their tiny little minds.

Then there's the real hateful fucks, the ones who are out on a day pass from reality and decide they're going to do a search for their fave buzzwords such as Gay, Lesbian, tolerance, equality, and then send me and I assume others, hate mail filled with sick and twisted proof that in their world jesus is definitely not love.

There HAS been a decrease in the post and run talking points morons who think if they go to enough blogs they perceive as liberal, commie, and *gasp* anti everything the GOP stands for, and post their drivel then they will win some prize or other. Maybe the grand prize is a brain. Most of their reps sure could use one. And for a really good deal, I'll throw in a couple hearts because it's obvious many of them are lacking one.

Usually they don't send me emails as they prefer their "message" to be visible to all the misguided heathens who wander into my little corner of hell. It's the real crackpots who take the time to click on the proper link, expose their email to my evil eyes, and ramble on for several screens trying to come to a point that doesn't exist.

So, I'm understandably suspicious when someone writes to me and says, hey I read your blog and I just want to let you know....or words to that effect. I usually prepare myself for the kind of hate I can only imagine, the type of bigotry that I don't even want to consider as anything but insanity, and ramblings that make so little sense I often wonder if they let their dog or cat type it for them.

I usually delete the hate posts and let the political differences stand to generate some (hopefully) productive discussion. I rarely respond to emails as I don't want to encourage people who are just one beer short of official stalker status. My blog has always been for me, a sort of place to try out thoughts, share designs, ideas I'm working on. I don't feel obligated to be part of the public consciousness unless it has something different to offer me.

The letters I do respond to are the ones that are personal reactions to something that made me feel something when I wrote it. I have a lot of respect for people who can relate to the stew of my emotional life and I always try to say at least thank you for being as crazy as I am.

But today I received a letter that kind of threw me for a few hours. It was from someone who claimed to be my first love in 10th grade. I tried and tried to remember him but there was nothing there. I couldn't summon forth the face, the name, the love he claimed we shared. I began to suspect a case of mistaken identity, someone who forgets some people don't use the same name their entire lives and that neither my first or last name are ones I went by in High School.

But he knew so much about people I knew. He described a party we went to together and while I remembered the party, I couldn't remember him. He knew I only had three or four friends in High School and kept my distance from just about everyone. He even knew which High School, which is important when you consider that I was a senior before I went to any school for a full year.

But I couldn't remember him and I felt bad because obviously I played some part in his early formative years. I asked him to send me a picture and as I waited for it I fully expected it to all be an amusing mistake, that I would look at it and it wouldn't be anyone I ever knew.

Except when I opened the email and looked at the picture I remembered him. He was the nerdy little kid who shared his lunch with me in 6th grade when I had even less friends. We used to walk all the way to the far end of the playground, sit under a tree and share our lunches in silence. We did this for half a year until I was once more taken out of school because we had to move again. I never got a chance to say goodbye.

But it was the second picture that threw me. It was his yearbook picture and then I remembered him. I remembered the strange kid who used to stare at me from across the classroom, the tall and skinny stick figure with too short pants and glasses that made his eyes seems like cockroach eyes. He never said a word to me, never once reminded me or tried to remind me that he was the same kid I shared my lunch with for those few brief months. And to be fair, he looked so different I doubt his own mother would recognize him. The kid I shared lunch with was very blond with a light dusting of freckles and piercing blue eyes. The young man at the party was dark and pale with those strange glasses.

I also remembered the party, but I know we didn't go there together. I went there with a date, a young man who was truly my first love, my first crush, only I had no idea then what was happening to me or that he was the cause.

It slowly began to sink in that what he was remembering was the story as it had played out and evolved in his own mind. I began to feel very uncomfortable and to regret answering his email.

But life works in strange and happy ways. It turns out that he got curious about his long lost love and read deep into my blog and oh wow...he was deeply, let me say DEEPLY offended by my anti-christian ways. He was a devout something or other and he felt he had to not write me any more because it would make him compromise his beliefs to do so.

I sent him a nice thank you for being honest and I wish you the best. I refrained from telling him that Cthulhu loves a sandwich.

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