For Aine

I miss you.

It never hit me so strongly as it did tonight, when I realised it would be your birthday soon.

In a flash, I remembered the excitement of getting your letters; opening them carefully, as if it were a practised ritual; taking in the spidery writing, the mellifluous flow of your pen. 

It was you who instilled in me the idea that words allow us to travel – in a way. Countless times, you wrote to me from waiting rooms at airports, or told me about Karlsruhe, or Singapore, and even sent me postcards from a plane to Australia, I believe. We wrote about a lot of things, but I seem to remember your letters always felt like dreams. Reading a letter from you felt like I was touching the haze of a dream, through your eyes, and through your reality.

I still have them, you know. 

Your letters. 

All of them.

Well, they are back in Cyprus, but I have opened them time and time again since I first received them, when I felt the need for sage advice. They weren’t always relevant, but it felt like I had someone there, someone to listen. 

And our conversations! Do you remember them? Singing to me through the distorted sound of MSN chat, despite a sore throat?

>Do you remember the music?

We had our moments. I guess we still do, but now they pass so fleetingly. We can’t stop time from blundering on into the future, which I guess is why all moments are so precious, they slip through our fingers; it’s like trying to contain water in your palm.

Nostalgia and melancholy don’t really have a practical day-to-day application and thus I have harvested them for my own ends. I hereby declare that I am locking Time in this letter, because I want to stop the clock ticking for a second, long enough to say thank you.

I would list it all, but it is ours to know, and nobody else’s. I just thought it had been a while since the last time I told you how grateful I am to have met you.

Thank you for everything.

Yours sincerely,

Eric.

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