What I Once Wrote...

I suppose you must be wondering what led me to write you a letter, specially after all this time. I know I've been asking myself the same question for the past few days, struggling to decide if it would be wise to write you once again. We have been distant for so long now, that the idea of us being in contact again seems abstract and almost pointless. You can guess that those reasons weren't enough to hold me back though, since you are reading these words now.
First I must assure you that everything is as well as it's expected to be, and nothing too terrible has happened to me or anyone we know. You need not to worry about anything of that sort.
I was in Paris last week and, for some reason, all I could think about was that painting you had over the green suede couch on your little living room. I remembered the colors and lines and as I looked at the sunset over the Seine, I couldn't tell the difference between the picture and reality. Of course, I told myself over and over that it was just my mind that gave me that impression, that it would be impossible to remember something with so much accurateness. Imagination can be a powerful and artful thing, but could it be so vivid, seem so real? I am now fully convinced that such an impression was just a trick played by my mind. Although I'm quite puzzled as to why my mind would opt to play tricks on me.
However, something else occurred to me as I tried to clear my head between a glass of wine or two, sitting at one cafe or another along the banks: it didn't matter if my memory of the painting was accurate or not. What did I care about shades of orange, burgundy and blue and how they blended together to create a breathtaking sky? When had I ever noticed the shadows and highlights that created the contrasts of a view so intensely? It all meant nothing to me. And in the end, wasn't it all fleeting anyway? Wouldn't a minute or two change it all? Hadn't the impressionists tried to teach us all about the ephemerality of life while recreating the same landscape over and over again, at different hours, in a elaborate study of the changes in light? I must confess I probably spent more time thinking about it all then what would be considered acceptable.
You see, what really mattered then was not that I kept remembering about a painting in your old living room or the fact that I believed it to be exactly like the scene I had before my eyes. What was affecting me so much was the fact that I kept thinking about your painting, in your living room. I was suddenly thinking of you all the time. Had the painting belonged to anyone else, I wouldn't have spent hours thinking about it and I certainly wouldn't interrupt my late afternoon stroll in such an abrupt way the first time I ever looked up and noticed the Parisian sunset.
I decided to trade the wine for coffee and see if my mental condition would improve, leading me to direct my thoughts towards the work I was in the city to do, or maybe to just let myself enjoy my stay at the city of lights without reminiscing about the past every couple of minutes. After all, if I couldn't admire the scenery peacefully, there were hundreds of tourists there for me to stare at. But sometimes, I'm afraid, it is truly impossible to control one's own mind. Soon, it wasn't just about the painting I was wondering. There were so many images from the past coming to me all at once that I felt bewildered and overwhelmed by it all.
After a few more days of brief meetings, long walks through the city and very nice complimentary hotel room shampoo, I left Paris and came back home. I had had my fun, had done what was expected of me regarding my job and had my share of what I considered a small reminiscing about the past. If I were to be honest, I would admit it wasn't quite so small a reminiscing, but I wasn't being honest with myself. I expected my return home to be a return to routine in all possible ways, which included my peace of mind.
Since you are reading this, I'm quite sure you understand it wasn't so.
A great amount of time stands between us now and I won't pretend that there is no distance between us. Because there is, quite a lot, in fact. Obviously, we are not the same we once were, which is something that I accept and am partially glad about. But I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would do us well (perhaps, selfishly, most to me) to establish some sort of communication and try to reach some sort of agreement about our past and present. This is not a plea for forgiveness or atonement and neither a request for either. I don't expect you to write me frequently, I just ask and hope that you will return my letter and tell me if you are well and how life goes for you. That would be enough. That we could have the liberty to write to each other whenever we felt like doing so, without guilt or fear of being misunderstood or rejected for doing so. That maybe we could retrieve the good things that once existed between us. Perhaps we could see my offer as a white flag, even though I'm sure there was never a battle where we were involved.
Thinking back, I conclude that we just let our friendship fade, that we didn't give it all the credit it deserved or acknowledged its merits. We just allowed ourselves to drift away, that I, specially, allowed us to drift away, that I almost ran and hid away from it, just because I wasn't strong enough to accept the facts for what they were. But I was wrong to do so. I realize, perhaps too late, that our relationship meant more to me than I assumed at the time.
I only hope it means something to you still and that you accept my offer, that you will answer me and help me restore my peace of mind. I don't know what else to say, except that I hope this letter reaches you well and in good health, I really do.


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