A letter arrived for me at my parents’ home recently. The return address was my first college, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and there was a note on the envelope saying, “To be mailed on 1/1/2010.” (Obviously, someone was a little late.)
Inside was a card, in my handwriting, dated 12/8/99. I have no memory of writing what follows, but it apparently was part of my College Writing course my first semester of school. I was 18. The handwriting and sense of humor are unmistakably mine.
Here I am on the (supposed) dawn of a new millennium, sitting in an 8 o’clock college writing class writing you a letter. I don’t know who, where, or how you are, but I hope all is well. If you’re not, what happened?
I hope you’re married by now. Really. You’re 28 years old. There’s no reason to be single at that age. If you are, propose to the next woman who walks by. If you have married, go home and make love to your wife immediately. (Do it for me.)
Right now, I’m a bit confused about life. Women are the cause of so many problems. What happened after I wrote this? Did Gwen and I patch things up? Did I send my picture to the mysterious woman from the Internet?
1999 was the year of great movies and great fun. I went to the beach with Gwen. Richie made homemade wine. Eyes Wide Shut, Fight Club, and American Beauty came out. So did Rage Against the Machine’s Battle of Los Angeles. It was a great year for entertainment.
Anyway, that’s about all they can be said. Hopefully, you have a job to do after you make love to your wife. Have fun.
It’s amazing what seems important at that age. One sentence about work? I spend 35 hours a week teaching, and it gets the same amount of ink as a Rage Against the Machine album? Why wasn’t I curious about my job?
I was obsessed with relationships in those days. Not that I was very good with them. No, Gwen and I did not patch things up. (I hope she’s well, though. She was lovely.) And don’t ask me about this woman from the Internet. I’ve been thinking about her, and the best I can recall is exchanging pictures with someone I met in a chat room, though I guess neither of us found the other attractive, as we never met. Either way, I drop some startling sexism in there. Sorry about that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to make love to my wife. Immediately.