Dear Nico,

You keep the door open, but leave the porch light off.

If people need you, they will find you. And if you need them -- well, you'll do nothing. Because that's what you do.

You once had friends who sang in perfect harmony. At this point in time, they don't call you anymore. And your plan for this is to do nothing about it. The distance grows greater. Eventually, they forget about you.

You are, ultimately, forgettable. This isn't a problem in and of itself. People move on because they must. But having become comfortable with this is why you remain in the shadows, so don't blame anyone but yourself for refusing to light your candle in the darkness.

The reality of this is that you have an insatiable, obsessive-compulsive need to always feel like you've started over. A clean slate. Tabula rasa. A sound mind is a clear one.

The disadvantages of this are that the records you once sought to keep -- your blog entries that disappeared into the void, your YouTube videos that got eaten by the Google+ debacle -- they're gone. But you don't miss them. If they hadn't become indelible memories by now, then they weren't really that great after all. That's what you tell yourself. Are you right?

You might be comfortable eradicating your own records, and staying out of sight until the wrinkle you left in other people's memories is smoothed out by the new calendar page. But other people aren't like you. Some will keep those calendar pages in old cigar boxes and look at your writing when they want to remember.

And where will you be? Somewhere in the dark? Holding a candle you refuse to light?

Or will you finally turn on your porch light before you must, inevitably, lock the door for the last time?

Fine. Burn the records. Just remember: You will never be able to disappear completely. You can set fire to memories if you want to forget them as much as you've been forgotten.

But there will always be ashes.

Sincerely,
You, circa 2014

  • You're more unforgettable than you think, Nico!

  • Dear Nico,

    We've all at some point or another turned off the porch lights. We've all tried to burn the records, to forget the former, to move ahead, to move along.

    Who I am today is different, is better, because of you. I am better for the warmth you poured into my life. I am better because you offered a different perspective, a caring heart, thoughtful words.

    Life was simpler back then, wasn't it? Somehow, it seems that things have just gotten harder, more complicated. I couldn't have imagined that was possible back in the day. Back when the majority of my relationships were blogger friends. Back when it seemed that was the thing to do. When entire communities were formed around the idea of sharing life, one tidbit, one post, one thought at a time. Back before social media took the entire world by storm.

    There is something beautiful about a clean slate, isn't there? The chance to start fresh. The chance to begin again without any preconceived notions or expectations. The openness of starting over. The cut strings that no longer pull against you. A clean slate is beautiful. A clean slate is lonely.

    I pulled out my little cigar box today. I remember you fondly and always with a smile. I don't know what you're doing these days, but I hope all is well with you.

    Sincerely,
    A later version of my former self