Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Second Life

Submission from Christian.


I came across this website asking for love letters written to you. A strange concept I think you would agree. Why it exists, I have no idea.

It seemed pointless initially. Sometimes love even at its most intimate, can seem pointless. But declarations of love to a stranger, undelivered, to a character no less, not even a real person, seemed perhaps bordering on idiotic.

I planned on not giving it a second thought for obvious reasons. I don’t know you, you don’t know me…what am I saying? YOU ARE NOT EVEN REAL!

Then today. Today I came home. Nothing unusual about that I suppose. I happen to return to my apartment each night from the job that has been my job for 5 years.

Today something was different. Nothing tangible, nothing physical had changed but all of a sudden, this evening, my apartment didn’t feel…right. The rooms seemed cramped and claustrophobic. The Ikea furniture familiar, yet I could swear it wasn’t mine. My wardrobe, I owned it all but it didn’t feel mine.

This feeling of displacement made me feel anxious. I made a tea, which usually sooths me, and drank it. Nothing. I started looking around at the photographs I had hung on the walls. Family, friends, my girlfriend, they were all there but I could swear I had never met those people in my life.

Then I realised. My life wasn’t mine. Something happened to me so that I had lost my will to imagine myself in it. Lost the focus to will myself into it. Nothing had changed. I had not deliberately set out to perceive things differently. But I now felt like an intruder in the world that I had created.

Have you ever felt like that Daniel? Not a feeling of regret or loss or even sadness. Just the feeling, that this life is not yours.

I read an article in The Times the other day about trauma victims and how their relationships with their partners rarely survive beyond 12 months after the trauma. One woman, who was the lone survivor of a car crash that killed 3 others, left her husband of 4 years after getting out of hospital, where she had been recovering for the previous 2 months. She said, “I loved my husband and I enjoyed our life. But this just seemed like a second chance to have a second life. That I could reset the game back to zero and have two lives instead of one.”

Perhaps this is what I want. A second life. A do-over. What would be wrong about imagining my life with you in it? It doesn’t even have to be you, Daniel. In my new life I think I might be clever and charming. Maybe I will have a mistress and sneak around at nights to receive forbidden kisses. I will love my family and do charity work. People will think I am A GOOD MAN. I will think I am a good man. And it will be my life again. My second life.

Maybe I will see you in this world Daniel. We could have a drink and kick around old times when we lived past lives, your karate and my apartment. And we would laugh about how we once thought that those lives we had lived, those lives we had imagined for ourselves, were ever going to make us happy.

I think I would like that. And we would be friends.

Yours truly,


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