Do you think of me? Do you think about the bits of shredded pieces we spent together, the time colliding into short snippets of nothing to nothing, of everything to everything else? Do you think of that bar? That club? My room? Do you think about not thinking, how sometimes in the thick of a night needlessly black and a room needlessly warm, we remained needfully silent, unmoving, awake maybe, looking at the ceiling, thankful for nothing looking back? Do you think I think of you?
I don’t know the answers to these questions, friend, in the same way I don’t know where you will exactly be going, though you have told me, and I don’t know what you exactly feel, though you have mentioned this as well. In the transition to then and now, that unbearable space between all you can be and all you are, in that potential that sparks but requires separation for ignition, I can only think of what I remember and what is asked through the leaky language of memory. I remember the rushed hush, the dinner on a whim. I remember the whimpers. I remember not enough too.
In coming to America, this daily forgetfulness will come in sweeping obliteration. So much will happen in so little. You will meet great friends who will have great friends as well. Events will happen with such a fury and passion that you will think of yourself as lucky to live. You will be happy. You will be full with food and fun and ferocity. You will wonder at times if you have remained you, and if not, where are the remains. You will be worked but not tirelessly, stressed but not needlessly. You will find a contentment in your decisions, yourself, your position in a world that hardly stays in a position itself – turning, spinning, changing always to watch you change as well.
There will be hard times undoubtedly. Terrible times where you will think to have lost everything. Where you convince yourself there was even less before having lost it all. People will let you down. You will let you down. You will let people down too. Fights will precipitate. Sadness will pour. There will be moments brief among the generous sunlight and stars where you wonder how you got so fortunate and how you don’t deserve it and how even if you do, others do more. Look at them. Look how lustrous they stay against it all. Against you.
And then among the oscillations of everyday, the map made of meaningless moments and meaningful misses, you will also be surrounded by overwhelming boringness. Despite the newness and the old, that which you recognize and don’t, you will find an eerie silence. Static will clog up the experience. You will be suffocated by foreign sights that you will be numbed. Each building will look like every other, each song will ring all the same.
But in this ennui and excitement and woe, you will still have you, remembering, stammering, wondering you. And in this you, there will be bits of me, recalling, stuttering, wandering back to you.
I say this all if only because the short if only together felt long, and I wish to add how great it would be if only it were longer. In America, you will stretch yourself long too. New emotions will mask themselves as ancient kin hobbling along with you as points of reference. Know there is nothing you can do against them. Know that this knowledge is all you can do.
This small bit of advice – confused and used – is what I learned doing school here, but most strikingly, in Shanghai. Now in this plane letter, I hope you can find utility for it – the ability to know and remember that you do. Do not doubt otherwise for you are radiant, do not hold uncertainty for you are absolute.
I think as much. Do you?