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Letter to friend

August 22, 2008

Dear M,

It has taken me some courage to say this to you; it would be fair to say that a significant portion of my heart is invested in these words. What you read here may seem out of the blue, but I hope that you will not consider it absurd; this is something that I have wanted to say to you for a while now.

We have known each other for many years–long enough for me to be able to tell you that something has always felt amiss between us. Bear with me a little while I try to explain.

I am not really interested in the specifics; in my opinion they will only be a waste of time. I shall consider the abstract instead.

Tell me, why do I get this strong feeling every time we meet, that you play some role, that you wear a heavy mask? What disturbs me is the strong sense I get, that the person you truly are is not even along the same direction of the person you appear to be. In other words, if I were to come to know by some miracle the things that I do not know about you, they would actually contradict the person you appear to be. This I find very disconcerting. The question you would naturally ask at this point is why I get such a feeling in the first instance. The answer to which is simple: we have spent a lot of time together these past few years. Over a period of time, I have noticed what could be called behavioural inconsistencies, glitches if you like–things that do not quite fit the model.

Do I know you even a little bit? It is likely that I don’t. But I would really like to. I would, for once, like to have your mind naked, to see it in separation from the trappings of deceit.

I ask for this knowing well that deceit has obvious benefits. After all, it generally serves our interests quite well. It helps us conform to idealised images of superiority, success and acceptable norms of decency, and is often the path of least resistance to achieve some goal. It protects our image in the eyes of others. Comes to our rescue when we are afraid what others would think when the truth might reveal the beast in us, or when it might make us feel weak, vulnerable or fragile. Deceit it seems is but a consequence of a more–should I say–‘sophisticated’ version of the survivalist instinct, and thus I suppose hard to relinquish. So it is not that I do not understand.

Then why am I bothering you with this request? Because, I want to know who you really are, what your true state of being–your essence–is. What I yearn for is an unhindered connection between us, and I believe that this perfect, seamless connection can be born only of nakedness. I am sure that this would pave the way for the kind of intensity and meaning to our connection that would otherwise never be attainable.

Deprived of the comfort of having you in this way, I often feel even more alone than being all by myself. This deceit that exists between you and me seems to create a façade; we use each other as fuels that feed our moments, with no greater shelf life, utility or meaning. At times, I have contemplated which is the better of the two options–knowing you the way I do, or not knowing you at all.

Of course it could be argued that everything and everyone I come into contact with is this fuel. But what I want, is to extract lasting meaning from this moment; thus I need this act of combustion to leave a memorable residue. I feel the need to rescue this connection that seems to be immersed in a sea of emptiness.

Admittedly, there is risk involved in this sort of thing. But then not taking risk means getting little or no reward. Your knowledge of Economics easily supersedes mine, so I hardly need to explain any further.

I hope you will reflect on all of this and consider what I ask of you.

You have been at my side during some of the very bleak periods in my life; that is something that I will not forget. Regardless of how you think of me henceforth, and how I would fit into your scheme of things after reading all of this, I want you to know that I plan to always remain the friend to you that I have been.

T.

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