To 234 – 236

Dear M,

I met you at your low moment, one I’ll remember vividly and you are unlikely to. You’re all of 22, which is an age that holds particular significance for me. The circumstances under which we met will remain between us. I feel no sense of pride for what I did, or desire to discuss what I saw. I don’t feel the need to tell the world about my triumphs of character anymore. I think what unites us is our very human flaws and struggles. The only person I want to talk to about this is your mother. I wish I saved her phone number. I want her to know you’re going to be okay. I wonder if she got my message, or where you are now, or if she knows that her son struggles as much as he excels. I don’t know the intricacies of your relationship, but you called her on Friday which would suggest you are close. Of course, who am I to say.

Why am I writing you now? Well, because you were the best part of yesterday. You, at your worst, made me feel like I was at my best. You gave me a sense of purpose for all those minutes we shared. That’s important, because I rarely have the opportunity to do real things, good things, ones that leave lasting impressions or inject a vein of kindness into the ether. A friend asked in so many words why I care. Well, caring is the only thing that feels good to me. Kindness is the only act that I feel truly connected to. It’s the only religion I have. My faith lies in karma.

The downside of following a limited faith is that there are few moments in my life where I can practice it. It’s not to say I don’t follow the tenants of kindness, or acknowledge that even small offerings hold some meaning, it’s just that they all take place in a vacuum of uselessness and production for consumption. It is uncomfortable to acknowledge how little impact I make, and how the things I strive to achieve are mostly selfish and egotistical. I wish I were braver. I also question whether those feelings are the act of my inner saboteur, the one who tells me my small victories won’t be big enough, to divert my energy towards “better” things so nothing will get completed at all. What if it were to change? What if it’s right? What do you think, M? Or should I not be asking? I don’t know which of your demons will answer.

My best wishes for you, and take care of yourself.

Lili

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