February 14, 2008

Love Letter Writers Anonymous

My name 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.