Boston, February 12, 1999

Dear Melissa,

I tried very, very hard to write you a letter.

But I could not finish it.

Still, counting on my convincing need to tell you how I feel, and relying on your understanding personality, I decided to send you the enclosed text. I call it "An attempt to write a letter to my dearest Melissa."

Much love,


Part 1 - A Foggy Night

The hazy, blurry fog dressed the air in faint shades of gray, and the lazy humidity conveyed a unique scent to my nostrils. I walked out the balcony resolute on writing you a letter.

But as I stood tall before the embracing heavy vapor, my strengths, for no apparent reason, started to fade, and, crumbling one by one, bent my spine in slow motion, short-circuiting my inspiration.

Feeling defeated, I sat on the heavy black iron chair with my face laid quietly on the palm of my hands: - No, dear Melissa, I thought, This is not a good night to write you anything.

Part 2 - Dawn

The fog outside slowly faded, giving away to the rising sun, which I couldn't see. The round clock on the wall displayed the time: 4:23 in the morning. I spent the last five hours pacing through the narrow isles of this apartment, changing venues from living room to kitchen to bedroom to bathroom to living room.

I opened a bottle of wine, gathered my French cigarettes, two boxes of matches, a blue notepad and my favorite fountain pen. I scribbled the first line - "Dear, Melissa" - and carefully crafted the following sentence: "How are you doing?"

I couldn't believe my own eyes as I read what I had written.

How pathetic!

That was my second attempt to write you a letter, and it felt like a beautiful thought lost in a doltish paragraph.

What a waste…

Part 3 - Daylight Comes

It was about 11 o'clock in the morning when I woke from a three-hour nap prompted by the powerful wine I had drunk earlier. I looked at the mirror, my eyes red, my mind in a daze.

Instinctively, I picked up the notepad again. The only feeling I could identify was that of having left something pending, a job only half-done, like dust swept under the carpet.

I scratched my eyes convulsively, leading an eyelash straight into my left cornea. I did not realize that at once. But it did not take long: First, a small itch, and then an excruciating pain, which forced me to jolt my eyelids up and down, up and down to no resolve.

I rushed to the bathroom, desperately seeking running cold water. I felt good after I managed to get rid of the bothering intrude.

I almost forgot I wanted to write you a letter; a well-written, complete, all-around meaningful letter. But that realization couldn't help me much, for it was already noon, and I needed to go to work.

Oh, that dreadful work…

Part 4 - Back Home

I am afraid to describe how I felt that day at work for you could think I'm either too shallow or too bitter. Oh, my sweet and loving Melissa, if I could only tell you what has been locked in my heart for so long…

Part 5 - All I wanted to say

I feel defeated.

I wanted to write you a beautiful letter; I wanted to choose the right verbs and nouns and adjectives, but I cannot.

I wanted to make it special; I wanted to make it unforgettable; I wanted to write you a letter that would be good enough to be published someday. I wanted the letter to express the way I feel about you.

In the end, my sweet Melissa, all I wanted to say is that I love you, all so very, very much.

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