I just saw your mail dated a year ago. I’ve never checked my LinkedIn until today, to delete my account. A lot of things happened. I left Oslo 3 years ago, or almost. It was October 18. Unquestionably why your mail was returned.
I’m in Shanghai now and I’m about to disappear. I bought a new identity and I’m starting a new life. I’ve been spending some time to google my name and check every single link connected to my name. I’m trying to erase everything though I know it is not possible.
I guess that is the most depressing thought about the life we’ve lived online, that we’ve been there but we’ve never been really there. You can’t just die because even 10 years after your death, people will still be able to retell your story and put your photos and quote your favorite line and, you know, write your name and when people google you, you’ll be there. I’ve thought about it over and over and I’m scared, that I’ll never really be able to die. Like Lennon. Or even worse, Richey Edwards. People have never been sure about his wherabout and they will never leave him alone. I really think that internet is a massive blackhole we all are creating, by putting memory we can’t take away.
All those floating memories, the infinity we’ve invented, and the ghosts we’ve all become are here; spinning, creating gravity we can’t pull away from.
Gia, this is my last letter to you. I won’t put any question mark here. From your smile on the profile photo and your title and your new last name, I assume you’re fine and doing well and living your dream. I won’t assume that you’re happy but I’m glad for you and Chris, if it’s Chris. I’m glad for you and anything you don’t let go.
I don’t know if I owe you an apology because you surely don’t even need one anymore, but I’m sorry for never finding myself, for never letting myself be found.
It’s been 2 years since I wrote you a letter, hasn’t it? I wrote one more letter but a month later I got it back. ‘RETURN TO SENDER’ it said, then there was a ticked box beside ‘NO LONGER HERE’. I felt left and stupid once again. I remembered after that I ate a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and threw it up. I cried and fell to sleep. When I woke up, I looked terrible and was almost late for a photo session. If there was a list of top 10 most miserable jobs for heartbroken people, wedding photographer must make it to the top 3. But then 2 best things in 2012 happened: 2) The wedding was cancelled 1) I slept with the almost-groom. My life has been a roller coaster ride ever since.
Roller coaster sounds good for 2 minutes but if it were for 2 years most people would probably be dead. I decided to get off of it by accepting Chris’ proposal. We’re getting married in October. Chris was the almost-groom, by the way.
Now you wonder why I wrote this to you through LinkedIn mail.
I desperately miss you, Neil. I love Chris but every time I look through his eyes, I know he is not in love with me. Once, he hold me and his tears then told me, “I’m sorry, Gia. I’m sorry for my inability to fall in love. But, please, stay.” I stayed. Then I realized that I stayed for my inability to let things go.
I miss you, Neil, and your inability to stay.
I’m doing pretty well, here. Oslo is nice and really expensive. They pay me well though. Not for my erotic fiction (of course) but for my real job; the reason why I left. Yes, one of the reasons why I left. I hate to tell you this on my first paragraph but let me admit something: I lost the other reasons in December. They disappeared and turned to white. “Pof,” just like that. You might wonder why I stay; I don’t know. However, I learned that sometimes people don’t need reasons to go on, either forward or backward. Including you. You don’t need (more) reasons of my lie(s).
I know you miss me as much as I miss you (yes, and your sofa, the mark on your ceiling we used to debate about whether it looked like a hand gesturing ‘peace’ or simply a bunny with asymmetric crooked ears, and the one you didn’t mention; your old cassette player). Every time I walk through this snowy Karl Johans Gate and see a girl with ponytail, I cannot help thinking about you and how comforting it would feel to sit together with you on the sofa; to discuss about your friend, Naomi; then make love slowly.
Well, reasons were not the only things that faded into snow last year. I lost my ability to love and write those love-making stories. I used to go into detail as if I’m sculpting Aves; feather by feather. After I left, all I wrote was tasteless porn. So I stopped writing. You might have noticed that I put a period right after “then make love slowly” then rushed to start a new paragraph. I don’t know why and I don’t need any reason to write again either. So, while nothing much changed on your side of wall, mine, changed a lot. I’m losing myself little by little.
You weren’t the only one of us who stumbled upon letters. I found yours in a shop in Sentralstasjon on my way to work. I found G-I-A separated by an ampersand, yes, ‘&’. I came inside the shop and took a look at them really carefully. Why should there be an ampersand? Without knowing what I was going to do with them, I bought them (including the ampersand) on my way back home in the evening.
People make mistakes; so do I. I know I don’t deserve anything but consequences of everything I did, but please keep the ‘N’ as I would keep the ampersand. I won’t promise so I won’t lie again, but one day, after finding myself again I would do the beep-silence-beep-beep-silence-beep-beep-beep on your door. I will fix my name out of L–I–E by giving an N and with the ampersand they would be ‘GIA & NEIL‘. Then we will make love again on your sofa.
Meanwhile; I miss you.
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