February 14, 2008

Love Letter Writers Anonymous

e is Sameer Vasta, and I’m addicted to writing love letters.

My addiction, like that of many others, was borne of desperation and necessity: as a child, I found it easier to express my thoughts through the written word, particularly in the face of beauty. By third grade, I was giving the girls in my class personalized poems for Valentine’s Day instead of the cut-out cards you can buy in packs of 24 at Wal-Mart.

These days, I write almost five letters a week. The lady behind the post office counter who serves me my stamps knows me by name. I spend more time thinking of cute anecdotes and flirtatious witticisms than I do thinking of work. I spend more money on greeting cards, pens, and stationery than I do on food. Writing love letters has consumed my life, my wallet, my relationships, my sanity.

Writing love letters is my form of release, my way of finding catharsis at the bottom of a bottle of ink. In times of difficulty, I keep a stash of pens hidden in my drawer. In times of joy, I celebrate by unwrapping a fresh new pack of stationery.

I write love letters because I fall in love every day. Yesterday, I wrote a love letter on the back of a napkin to the waitress that smiled at me as she brought me my lunch. Last week, I wrote a love letter in chalk on the lamppost that broke my fall after I slipped on the ice. Just this morning, I wrote a love letter to the woman who answered my tech support call—and then read it aloud to her.

She liked it.

Which made me think that perhaps my addiction isn’t such a bad thing after all.

My name is Sameer Vasta, and I’m addicted to writing love letters. And frankly, I don’t ever want to kick the habit.<

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