DEAR MICK

Dear Mick,

It’s been a minute since I’ve written you a proper, physical letter. Not that this is what that is but I suppose it’ll have to do. Besides, I wouldn’t even know where to send it to; I’ve got your parents address written down somewhere but it seems like every other week you’re either in Austin or Dallas for work and you don’t have an address yet in New York.

Ally was in town for a work conference and stayed with me at the Quebec Palace so I cleaned my room for once. I did the usual things, like picking up my desk, and did the unusual things, things I’ve been putting off for a while, like cleaning the stairs and sorting through my cigar box.

When I was in Denver a few years ago, I snagged these two cigar boxes from a smoke shop that was selling them for three dollars each. Maybe that was a steep price, especially since they probably would have just thrown them away, but the package design on them is so lovely I could cry. One has my jewelry, the other has letters, ticket stubs, programs and playbills. Most of the letters are from you. It’s an impressive collection, spanning years of friendship and multiple addresses. Who ever thought we would be here, dear friend?

I hope when you look back at my letters they cover the important things–like how much I love and miss you, dear friend–but also the equally important but often overlooked things, like how heavy rolled up rugs are, even without bodies in them, and if my allergies are acting up. I hope one day your grandkids are going through your belongings and are both overwhelmed and inconvenienced by the depth of correspondence.

Funnily enough, this is exactly how I imagined my letters would go when I first started Good Letters: rambling anecdotes between friends. Sometimes you just need to get back to the basics. Almost inevitably, when I sit down to write my weekly letter, I find myself proselytizing about single life or career goals or taking risks. I have to scale it back, all the way to 2005 and sitting in Mrs. Dooling’s freshman pre-AP English class and learning to analyze a piece with SOAP: speaker, occasion, audience, purpose.

Speaker, yours truly. Occasion, just because. Audience, you, dear friend. Purpose, to drop you a line. A letter, at the end of the day, should be something personal. Things get complicated and tangled and busy and it’s important to sometimes scale things back to the basics, like a letter to a dear friend.

I hope you continue to be well! Until we’re in the same time zone!

Un mil besos,

Mads

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