Some years ago, I opened up an email from a casual friend one morning only to read some of the most hateful, poisonous words I had read in my life.
She dumped one vulgar word after another into her first two or three sentences — they were a smoking garbage pit. It astonishes me she had room enough left in those sentences to get at what upset her about me. But she did.
Apparently, I had been leading her on. In fact, she had only that morning put it all together to realize I wasn’t romantically interested in her. How deceptive I had been!
As you might guess, that was all news to me. I had no recollection of having given her any reason to believe I might be romantically interested in her. I asked her a lot of questions about herself, but my emails to her had always been about neutral topics, such as the fall leaves in the mountains, my thoughts on the Bush-Cheney presidency, and what I thought of objective truth.
The more I searched my brain, the more I could come up with nothing to have encouraged her. Until, that is, I dimly recalled having fake-flirted with her some months before. But that couldn’t be it! I mean, we’d been joking with each other, right?
I guess not to her.
Reading three sentences was enough. I scrolled down far enough to see the email went on and on and on, but I deleted it then, without reading more. I felt no more obligated to read the rest than I felt obligated to love someone simply because they expected it of me.
Still, the thought has since then occurred to me: Wouldn’t it be nice if more love letters were to convey as much passion in their first three sentences as her hate mail had?
So that’s my challenge for the day to any and all interested parties: Write the first three lines of a love letter and make those words ring as passionate as you can. Please post your effort in the comments below.