Hey! Hi! Haha, is this [Your Name]? There were a few other [Your Names] on Facebook but I was pretty sure this one was you, lol. It’s me, [Guy You Haven’t Exchanged A Single Word With In Four Years And Three Months]. [No mention of how the two of you may know one another, or attempt to jog your memory.] How are you? Here’s how I am, unprompted:
Some work updates at a new job you didn’t know I had
I visited a foreign country, here’s a Soundcloud link for some reason
I think I remember an interest of yours, is it this? [It isn’t, but it’s sort of close]
I think I saw your sister when I was in Chicago last summer, was it her?
I had a New Year’s Resolution to make more jam so I make a decent amount of jam now
Uh, I don’t know if you remember this or anything, but I feel like I might maybe have hurt your feelings at some point? Or said something weird? Or just generally been creepy? And if I did, that would suck, for sure. But I don’t know.
You know what I mean when I say the word “creepy,” right? Because I don’t really know what I mean. I’m definitely never going to get more specific than the word “creepy,” which can really encompass anything from “that tree looks weird” to “I am being actively murdered.” I plan on staying really non-specific throughout the course of this email and also for the rest of my life, in part because it’s way easier to make broad, leading statements in a manner that suggests anyone who wants to respond in thorough detail is going to kind of feel like I’ve beaten them to the punch. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but it seems like if you bring something up first, no one else is allowed to be more specific about it than you are, which seems pretty ideal.
Anyhow, I’ve been vaguely following the news lately – you know, The News? – and I got a vague sort of sense of all-encompassing dread, which sucked. Not because anything specific I’ve ever said or done sprang to mind, because pretty much three days after doing or saying anything, I send any memory of the things I’ve said or done into a sort of mental trash compactor, and never think about them again, which I assume is how everyone else deals with the burden of memory. But, you know, definitely some pull quotes that I’ve seen in the news lately have seemed sort of familiar, and it sort of made me wish I’d spent some more time in self-reflection before the last couple of days.
I’ve definitely been self-reflecting for at least three or four days, and let me tell you, it is the pits!!! I guess one of the nice thing about knowing a lot of women is that it’s like having a million little external memory banks who remember bad stuff for you. I don’t know if you ever noticed that, but it seems like women are like, weird good at remembering the worst stuff! Stuff where it’s like, Who even thinks about that stuff? I guess the answer is you do! I figured that if there was anything I had ever said or done to you that was bad, you know, bad like newspaper bad, or maybe not even that bad but just something that I should be aware of, that you would know about it, and you might be able to tell me what it was, so that I could say sorry if I was creepy or whatever!
Hey, let me mention for a real quick sec that I have a girlfriend/wife/new baby, just so you can bear in mind that if you were to say anything either to or about me, it wouldn’t just affect me, okay? Just so you know, as an FYI!! Not that you have suggested you were planning on saying anything about or to me, or have attempted to reestablish contact between us in any way, it’s just that this is kind of the first time in a while that I’ve second-guessed “that stuff I said” so I have no real sense of scale when it comes to how many bases I’m supposed to be covering, which is why you and like fourteen of our mutual acquaintances are all getting the same email at the same time. Honestly, to be on the safe side, I am probably just going to email every woman whose email I have, because I have no way of knowing if I have like, made three or four women mildly irritated, or if I’ve killed nine or ten.
Something in between, for sure! Something for sure in between those two options, is probably where I’ve landed, if I had to take a guess. Which I am, guessing, because who’s to say, you know? It’s not like anyone makes a habit of mentally noting the stuff they do or say, like some kind of remembering-machine. You know what I mean, right? Nobody plans the stuff they do or say to or at or about or near women, or whomever, or thinks about it afterwards.
Anyways, things are like, crazy out there, do you know what I mean, even though so far I have not actually said anything of substance? Like, I’m not actually making a claim, or recalling anything either of us ever said to each other, or admitting to a fault more specific than “man, the past sure happened, didn’t it,” or attempting to materially alter the way I treat the people around me in any way, but do you know what I mean when I say that things seem really crazy out there? Do you have a sense for when things are going to go back to the way things used to be, because I do not know how many more emails I can send before it’s like, my whole life would be emails, do you know what I mean? But everyone is like, noticing things. And remembering things. And I have already tried to remember about four days in a row and if I have to keep remembering every day for the rest of my life I am gonna be so exhausted, ahahaha.
Anyways, hope you’re great! Heads up, if you do write back with any feedback about something I said or did to you, I will either A) never write back, or B) hoo boy, get ready for the lonnnngest email of your life where I bring up a lot of thoughts and feelings I have about this current moment and also pepper in the fact that I’m actually sober now, so…, lol. And then, you know, obviously, some other stuff will be coming your way, after that super-long email. But either way, you won’t know which response to expect! It’s hard to say which one you’re gonna get, because again, I really cannot stress how little thought I have put into this whole process before just MAKING CHOICES and PRESSING SEND.
If you ever want to get coffee to…discuss things, by which I mean talk very imprecisely about whether or not I am a good person, I would be willing to do that. I promise it will be mind-numbingly uncomfortable, and that I will show up either a few minutes late or wildly early!
Anyways, hope you’re, you know, idk, not damaged or anything,
Sent From My Work Email
You have an additional six JITTERY, VAGUE, ANXIOUS-YET-TRYING-TO-SOUND-CASUAL unread messages from men you haven’t spoken to in years. Would you like to read them now?