Talking Back to Fortune Cookies

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From: deepa@yahoo.com

Subject: Friendship.

Hello.

I am looking for a friend. Are you? If so, please write back.

Bye.

To: deepa@yahoo.com

From: darrengates@hotmail.com

Subject: re:Friendship.

Sure, I’m all for friendship, but who are you? What are you selling?

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From: deepa@yahoo.cm

Subject: Free to Be Friends.

Hello.

Let me start again.

My name is Deepa. I’m not selling anything. I don’t want to tell you any more personally, such as my family name, or country. I will never share a picture of me, but, I will share with you my mind like I’ve never shared before. This can never get physical. And that’s exactly what will make it beautiful and save it from ever dying. Are you in?

To: deepa@yahoo.com

From: darrengates@hotmail.com

Subject: Even Friendship Comes at a Price

Alright, I’ll bite. But let me tell you now, if this eventually comes to you telling me you’re some Indian princess locked away in some dungeon somewhere, with nothing but a stale loaf of bread and a laptop, and all you need is my bank account info to get out with the promise of millions in reward money, let me tell you now, I saw you coming.

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From: deepa@yahoo.com

Subject: re: Even Friendship Comes at a Price

Reading your last email, I would say you could really use a friend right now, couldn’t you? Forgive me for being so bold, but, I think that boldness is what will make this relationship work best. I understand that you are skeptical of my intentions, still, after reading your last email, I have the feeling that you’ve had your wings burnt. You can relax, cause you will see I only want your friendship. Give it to me freely and you will see that it will be returned, and maybe help replenish some of the faith you’ve lost along the way.

To: deepa@yahoo.com

From: darrengates@hotmail.com

Subject: re:re: Even Friendship Comes at a Price

You know you read like a fortune cookie? “Give freely and you see it will be returned.” I’m not sure it’s beautiful or it’s a dare, either way, here I am. I’ll keep this up as long as you keep replying, or, until you ask for my credit card. I like this every other day thing we’ve got going. I only check my email once a day. Today I was particularly popular. I don’t mean to take away from our dance here, but I got twenty-six emails today. Not all were from such good friends as you, Deepa. I’d never met, “My Web Cam Is On” till today. Junk mail, it’ll always find you, like dust that seeps beneath doors into our homes to settle on our mantel pieces. I’m really glad you found me, cause, I’ve never been in a relationship like this, and as a writer, I love this idea. I’m most romantic alone, so, this is perfect. Is it wrong to write I want more of you? Can we meet in some chat room somewhere?

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From: deepa@yahoo.com

Subject: Many Things.

Of course you want more, you’ll always want more. We could meet, kiss, love, you’d still want more. No, we can’t meet in a chat room. I’m not ready to speed things up to real time. Let’s keep this pace. You’re a writer? Really? I have never met a real writer. Are you a real writer, or are you just pretending? My next question, how do you know?

To: deepa@yahoo.com

From: darrengates@hotmail.com

Subject: re: Many Things

Last night I logged on the Christian Singles Over 30 chat site under the name, Lazarus, just to check out the scene and see what’s on the minds of single Christians over 30. Turns out, not very much. It was a lot of, “Oh, you like Garth Brooks? So do I!” And, “No, I’ve never been to Branson, Missouri, but I sure hope to!”

I wanted to get things going, so I opened with, “Hey, just curious, how do you explain the discrepancies between the Old Testament and the New, ie: eye for an eye vs. turn the other cheek?” You know, I thought I’d start with a softball, to get the ball rolling. Immediately I’m chastised for being disresepctful and rude. I write back I’m just looking for a bit of theological discussion. Nobody’s impressed, and they hammered me out of there. My nom de plume, Lazarus, is no longer allowed back to life in the Christian over 30 singles website. It was after I asked: Does it give you strength to consider that Jesus as Son of God and a man of the earth, had to perform the basic functions as a man, such as defecating? That was it for me, a golden hammer cracked my screen and I was thrown out of the website. I don’t mean to brag, but you asked if I am a real writer and how do I know. This is how I know, because I am curious and provoking, a hybrid of both class clown and teacher. So, if you ever want to give me the hammer, just know, you were not the first. I’ve got a question for you. Was it just my imagination, or, did I see you today?  

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From deepa@yahoo.com

Subject: Congratulations, you imagined the impossible.

You really do have an overactive imagination, don’t you? Is that what makes the class clown the class clown? An overactive imagination that causes you to lash out? I ask you, how could you have seen me? You don’t know what I look like or where I am. Please just accept me as words. You like words, don’t you? You must, you’re a writer. Stop looking for me, I’m right here. I am nothing more than these words.

To: deepa@yahoo

From: darrengates@hotmail.com

Subject: re: Congratulations, you imagined the impossible.

I think you’re a little more than just words. I see how you look at me. Your look changed today. You blushed when you looked at me, you never used to do that. And I notice I’m awkward around you, too, so my body must know something my mind’s just figuring out. It’s you. I see you. I’m going to talk to you tomorrow and unmask you. Nicely, of course, cause, I’ve enjoyed this. Part of me doesn’t want to say anything to you at all, not face to face, cause, I don’t want to lose this. But, still, I guess I’m not a writer, cause, I choose reality over writing and I’ll see you tomorrow at work.

To: darrengates@hotmail.com

From: deepa@yahoo.com

Subject: Wait! Read this first!

Darren, I hope you read this before you go off and do anything embarrassing or awkward with this co-worker, like assuming she’s been secretly corresponding with you. I am not her. Believe that, or you will lose this.

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