This was another assignment for my creative writing class. Thought it would be a good way to close off Valentine’s Week.
“Okay, what have you never done?”
“Yeah, we should brainstorm!” Sherry said.
We’d just been given an assignment to go do something we’ve never done and to write about that. I was glad to have Sherry on this with me because I knew I wouldn’t be able to come up with something by myself. Within five minutes we were pretty much settled on going to a strip club. Not only was it something neither of us had ever done, but also I was pretty sure that unless I was given an assignment like this, it’s very likely it will be something I’d never do.
My first task was to do some research. Not wanting to Google the words “strip club NYC” because who knows what kind of crazy pop-ups and cookies are going to end up saved on my computer, I went down to my favourite dive bar and asked Paulie the Bartender if he had any suggestions for my assignment. After a good five minutes of laughing and “Oh my god, that’s hilarious!” and “Aren’t you Catholic?” he finally gave me the four-one-one.
“It’s twenty bucks a lapdance,” he said. “You gotta get a lapdance. They won’t let you stay if you don’t get a lapdance,” he said. “Are you ready to be molested? Strippers love touching girls breasts,” he said. “Oh, and go to Sapphire for lunch, the steak is awesome.”
That night I sent an email out to Sherry, and shortly after I realised that I it was back to square one. What have I never done?
It took some brain wracking, but I remembered that there was something I’d been meaning to do, and that was to write a love letter. Not just any love letter, but a love letter to no one.
Inspired by one of my old literature teachers, who used to leave her books in different public places hoping someone would pick them up to read them, and the website MoreLoveLetters.com, I decided I would write a love letter to no one and leave it for someone to find.
On Thursday, after breakfast, I sat down to get to work. Okay, next problem: what do you say to someone you don’t know? Should I give words of encouragement? What if the person who picks this up has an amazing life and doesn’t need them? Then again, will people with amazing lives pick up a random letter? Probably not. In all likelihood, they’re neat-freaks and germaphobes who wouldn’t pick up a letter someone left on the subway or the street.
It’s decided then, the person picking up this letter doesn’t mind germs. They’re probably a curious person; curious enough to read a random letter. That means they’re unconventional, are likely to take risks, and the kind of person that is open to making a connection, even if it is with no one.
YES, YOU! The one holding this piece of paper.
I want to talk to you about tomorrow, the day after you read this. Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet. (Anne of Green Gables said that). Tomorrow is full of possibilities. (Not really sure who said that). Tomorrow is for you. (I’m saying that).
Whether you are having a crummy day or a fantastic one, remember that the world is a wonderful and marvelous place, and with wonderfully caring people in it. Tomorrow is proof of that. Tomorrow you have a chance to make things awesome, or even more awesome. Start it out with a smile and just go from there.
Maybe you don’t believe in fate or destiny. Maybe you have a scientific mind and would rather prescribe to one of the theories of randomness and do the math on how this letter ended up in your hands. Whatever the case, this letter ended up in your hands, and that’s something.
Keep this letter. Read it whenever you need to and always try to make tomorrow better for the people around you; people you care about and people who care for you. People like ME! (Sounds crazy? I wouldn’t have written if I didn’t care, right?)
So take charge of tomorrow. Like a friend of mine once said: there’s stardust in there and magic too; but there are also decisions that you’ve made and action. Do not discount your part in your own fate.
Have a happy tomorrow!
The following day, before dashing into the Time Warner centre to meet family friends for dinner, I walked up to Christopher Columbus’ statue and left my letter on the topmost step. I figured if I didn’t know where this letter was going, I may as well leave it in the hands of a man who made his career not knowing where he’d end up.