R-

So, you're moving. I admit, I was pretty angry that you up and decided to jump ship and flee to another country. But knowing what I know, I respect you for taking care of your family. And even if you two weren't close, I am so sorry that your father passed away. I said almost everything I needed to say last night, except the one thing I jokingly told you...I meant. I love you, and I always have. Always will. I think you and I both know that. You said you hoped that I would find someone, and that they'd be a lucky guy. I'm just hoping you realize that I did, and I found you. You said that you'll come back. I'll be waiting, even if you're under the impression that I won't be.

Don't lose what I gave you, and don't forget me.
-G

PS,
Don't forget to write.

Dear fantasy of mine,

You have plenty of flaws, you must have, everyone does.
And so do I ! I smoke, I drink I don't take things seriously, I laugh as much as I cry, and I get attached. I go crazy emotional but love deeply. I also give a lot, and pray a lot for you. I am honest, faithful, generous and can be a lot of fun. 

But I am also scared a lot, run away a lot, I'm always late, and change my mind a lot.

It's what makes me human. I can make one happy, angry, and sometimes crazy. But I still love with all my heart and wish to make something beautiful out of it.

Anyways, my point is. I only go crazy when I'm insecure. When I don't know what the other person feels/thinks/wants. I am very curious, hence if I can't find out, I may lose it. I don't do that to play with your mind, or for fun, I do that because I can also be weak sometimes. Ans trust me, that is anything but fun !

I have a lot of faith in you. Call it instinct, or an intuition. But it's all plentiful positive energy. And I am not ready to let go of that. I think we can make it, you and me. We can make something magical out of this. I just need you to be willing to give a try, to make a move, take a risk with me, live. If it works out, great, we would have the most amazing time, make a lot of precious memories, and share some wonderful experiences. 

If not, and if I am wrong and was wrong from the beginning, then so be it, it's a sad thing, but at least we would have tried, we would have lived.

Perhaps I am taking this too far. Perhaps I am being all dreamy again. But your eyes couldn't have lied, and my heartbeat racing like that couldn't be random. It must be something, it has to be.

love,
The one who could only write this, but couldn't shake it and click send.

Dearest Poop,

I'm tired of always being at your every beck and call.

Sure, you apply the greatest sense of relief and, sure, we've had our bonding moments.

But enough is enough! You're a distraction, a dominating enforcer, a pain in my butt that refuses to pipe down. While I'm inching my way through the day, you're inching your way through my body. Disgusting!

Look, Poop. It's nothing personal, I just don't really want you around anymore.

You have two weeks to pack your things and leave for good.

That's all I can do for you.

Not yours for much longer,
A Flatulant Host

Dear World,

I am so overwhelmed and proud of myself for the first time in my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments of self-loathing, being overly critical of myself, and I constantly try to improve myself because the perfectionist in me is insane.

However, I am finally doing all the things I’ve spent years talking about doing. I have no one to thank but myself either. Nobody has pushed me to pursuing anything…and that’s a first to. I owe all the credit to myself, and it feels so good. Despite all the stress these new, exciting, and terrifying things are causing me all at once…I feel a little bit of love for myself growing. Just a smidgen.  For me, that little bit is something worth celebrating.

This kind of pride is something that everybody should be able to experience; the pride in knowing you made the choices to create for yourself a fulfilling and content life.

So to all those people who sit on the internet, day after day, looking at and reposting photos of all the places they wish to visit and things they’d do if they could…stop looking and go pursue those things to the best of your ability. Stop wishing you could be somebody amazing, do amazing things, or go amazing places. Be the person you dream of, or the person you look up to.  I’ve been that person; I know how hard it is…how painful it can be just to leave your house or your dorm room for reasons you can’t even explain most of the time.  So trust me when I say, that I promise that your life will be better for it.

Please, for yourself and nobody else, remember that the world you live in might seem dull in comparison to the picturesque lives often conveyed online…but know that it’s all about perception. No matter where you are in the world, if you just turn off the computer, stop feeling sorry for yourself, explore, and interact with the people around you, then magic and beauty will follow.

Yours Truly,

A Very Small Animal

Dear Moose,

I've been told you're angry and bitter.

My mom said never to approach you, or anyone like you.

But...maybe you just need a hug and someone to tell you that everything is okay?

Well, everything is okay, Moose, and I'd gladly hug you if you ever need an embrace.

I hope you have internet access and read this,
Hiker

Dear Redondo Beach,

What the hell is this water falling from your otherwise clear blue skies? Why are there grey clouds blocking my coveted sun? Why is it below 70 degrees? Two days ago I could wear a crop top and cutoffs and brag about the fact that living here is an endless summer. It was 83 degrees on CHRISTMAS DAY.

I DON'T OWN PANTS, BRO. I DON'T KNOW WHAT "WINTER CLOTHES" MEANS. I CAN'T DO THIS.

Stop being a douchebag, Redondo Beach. I didn't live here for 21 years to suddenly be rained on. I don't even know what that is like, why are you doing this to me?

Sincerely,
A Very Pissed Off Southern Californian.

Dear R.,

You're full of shit. We are not best friends. We are not friends with benefits. If we have been intimate with each other for almost three years and exclusive to one another, we are very obviously in a relationship. Also, you don't tell someone you love them and then change your mind three days later. You have feelings for me whether you like it or not. Get that through your head, because I won't wait for you much longer.

If you can't see that I love you for who you are, the good and bad, without judgement, and that I am basically your girlfriend, you're not worth another argument, another break up and makeup, any more of my tears, or another minute of my time. You told me I deserve better, and maybe I do. But that isn't your choice to make. I chose you, and really can't understand why you run away from me like a man covered in gasoline runs away from a lit match. I'm not going to hurt you, or set you on fire. I've been a spectacular friend, significant other, and apparently the best lay you've ever had. You're crazy if you don't want me around. Hell, if I were you I'd marry me in a heartbeat.

Call me when you pull your head out of your ass and want something more than a quick hookup in the backseat of your car. I love you, and believe me, you're going to regret losing me more than you think you will, because you and I both know I'm the best thing that's ever happened to you.

-G.

Dear Everything,

You encapsulate my shoulders and shrivel them together. Sometimes I tell myself I can just take you off them and let you wander away. Sometimes I want to so badly.

But I can't.

Your weight will keep crushing them--me--until I'm nothing but dust and you sweep me away and force me to join you atop the next person. I guess I'll feel lighter then, at least.

Soon to be,
Engulfed

Dear Role Model,

Today I met you for the first time in my life. You were so kind, professional, and truly everything I wish to be in the future, through hard work and dedication. You inspire me to expect more from myself, and you've helped me be reassured and somewhat relieved about my life pursuit. Thank you.

Der "a" key on my computer,

Would you plese just do your job? I don't understnd why now out of ll times you decide not to work. I cn't type without any a's, mn. People think I hve a weird writing disbility.

Imptiently,

Me

From fighting for you, to fighting for me.


      You know, it’s been a while since i’ve had these thoughts in my head, about you, and probably now’s not the right moment to jot them down, but it seems right to me.

I’ve got to say, I fell for you, hard. The way you get to hear from ageing couples in love. The weak-in-the-knees-can’t-keep-my-words-straight kind of feeling, the sort of thing you see in romantic comedies where the good guy always gets the girl and they kiss at the pier at sunset. Yeah, I’d fallen, but I knew you had fallen too. We were in love, theres no denying that.

We spent countless hours together. Making jokes, listening to music, kissing, holding hands… Heck, 90% of our time was spent just laying around, just about anywhere. That was our home, each others lips and arms. We felt nothing could ever break between us. But it did.

      We fell apart, we fought, we got back together, we tried to stick the pieces together again… But by the end, I’d learned there are only so many times something can break before the pieces refuse to fit again. It’s as if every time they fell, they did so in such a fashion, that they purposely got lost and jumbled, so it was very hard to find them in the same place. Very hard to start over.

You grew tired of it. Not that I blame you. At the beginning, it was all you. You fought for me, and I wouldn’t hear any of it. I was sure of the path I was treading, I wanted adventure, I wanted a thrill. I thought I had found it. Exactly how wrong I had been, was still to dawn upon me. Then the cards shifted.

Once I realised the road had taken me to a dead end, I started chasing you. I insisted and you resisted, it was the way of things. And when that last time came around and you still wouldn’t budge, I swore I’d make my way back to you one day. I knew deep down, that we were meant for each other, and I knew you felt the same way. But it was your pride that started to get in the way, and it turned out to have such a blinding effect on you, that you could no longer see me for who I was or what we had meant for each other all those years.

Again, I don’t blame you, I guess there are just one too many heartbreaks one can endure, and I failed miserably at sparing you of those.

    Time went by and I would barely hear from you. My days grew silent, and my nights tormented. I couldn’t get you off my mind. I was thrown completely off balance. I thought I knew what I wanted, had what I wanted. But I failed to see what I needed. And I had lost my chance.

Losing our relationship was hard, but losing our friendship as well was utterly unbearable. Then, something surprising happened. You spoke to me. But I wasn’t prepared for what you had to say.

You asked me if I would let my own pride aside and grant you one last shot at our, intimacy. One more night. I told you you were arrogant and selfish, asking that from me. I had the sense that you didn’t respect me, and that was that. I wasn’t going to give in. I didn’t.

I thought I had won that battle. I thought that by simply denying you this ‘pleasure’ I had won, somehow. Whatever that meant then. And when I didn’t hear from you again, I felt lost. Thought maybe I had pushed you away too hard, that I had done it for good. Then I knew I hadn’t won any ‘battles’, I had already lost the war.



    I started over thinking, like you know I always do. Those thoughts kept consuming me, until they were a part of my daily life. Every waking second and every unconscious one, was filled with the thought of you, of us, and all those things we had fought for all those years. I found myself longing for you in ways pride would no longer weigh in. To be silent and grounded was no longer an option. I cast aside my fears and doubts for rejection. I gave into my feelings, pouring my heart out more than once to you on the phone during odd hours. I made calls while I was drunk, or pretending to be drunk, for effect. I guess that never fazed you, you never budged, not one bit.

Frustration overpowered me. I knew I deserved to be with you, but you couldn’t see that like I did. I felt miserable. The last time we spoke, you made it very clear to steer away from your family and your life, for good.

Devastation. The thought of your name brought me to tears. To say your name out loud was unthinkable; I would croak and choke on the first two syllables if I was in public and continue my sobbing in private. I would lie awake at night trying to figure why I was such a bad person, why I couldn’t figure it out earlier. Realise that you meant everything to me, that I had damaged our relationship beyond repair, that you were my one and only, forever and a day. (Remember that?). I knew I had taken you for granted, but my reasons then seemed so weak now. That I could willingly let go of all that we had for a few nights of what I thought up of as an adventure at the time seemed not only ridiculous, but downright embarrassing. How could I not have seen this coming? The flesh really is the weakest part of our selves.



      I saw myself alone, more so than I had been in years. I decided to win you back, somehow. I thought of a million different plans, but all of them to no avail. I could no longer pluck up the courage to see them through, they all stayed in my mind, as ridiculous as they were, taunting me. I never acted on them because, truly, I didn’t want you to think I had gone mental. I didn’t want to be the creepy ex-girlfriend. But I had. I was.

The thought of never having you in my life again, destroyed me. I was literally, emotionally void. I couldn’t eat or sleep right for weeks. It took months of my life to get past the physical aspect of it. A point where if I heard your name, my body would automatically contort in pain around my chest, my stomach would sink and my eyes would well up with tears.



    I never did understand why, specifically, but I guess it meant I had lost something more valuable to me than I had given credit to and that emptiness inside me, had created a gap. One so deep, so dark, that my own body was afraid of letting itself be consumed by it. Like a dark vortex, engulfing my very existence to it.

I guess this sounds a little melodramatic. To me, that sounds extremely accurate.

    For months I tried everything. I even started a whole new relationship, to see if I could, somehow overcome this, ‘loss’. I thought that by putting my thoughts elsewhere and re-focusing my feelings, I could somehow, push you away. Although, I knew from the very beginning, it would mean a lot of work and patience. A virtue you very well know I don’t posses.

Time went by and it kept getting easier to forget, or rather, set aside, the feelings I had for you. However, suddenly, things started to get out of control. It came to the point that I had to watch my words in case I called him our favorite nicknames for each other, or your name for that matter. The words usually came close to spilling out from my mouth whenever I felt angry or frustrated, like your name had turned synonymous with desperation and longing.

It became worse. I kept getting flashbacks of us, while I was with him. I would close my eyes and I would see you, and I felt uneasy. During the early months of my relationship to him, I found myself crying silently to myself whenever I caught my train of thought. Ridiculous. Unfair. That’s what it was. Your ghost was haunting my new relationship, like a poltergeist, and I couldn’t let you further into my life, or his. Not like this.



    He had leapt headfirst into an overwhelming depth with no visible end a long time ago, and because of you,  I was still up at the railing, over-thinking. The only link keeping me rooted to the edge, was… I decided not to look back. I cut myself free and I jumped too. I saw the gaping hole, dark and misted and terrifying. But I wasn’t afraid. I knew he was down there somewhere, and I knew I’d find him, waiting.

I invested in my relationship, acknowledging what I was getting myself into. I compromised with him, in the emotional reality of it all. I started to embrace change. I had been moulded into  something else when I was with you. Something, I learned as I fell, that I wasn’t comfortable with. I have to admit, adapting to him, his perks, his quirks, his mannerisms; it was hard, but I made it. He and I. We made it.



    In the process, I realised something. What I had been chasing before, was an ideal, a dream. Not a man.

I knew that all those flaws that I had seen when we were together, were still there, and they were very much real. I thought about what we had ‘planned’ once. Saw myself being with you all those years, for the rest of my life, somewhere in Pennsylvania or some frigid state with a one story house and a few kids.

Remembering how you said you’d take a part-time job so you could become a pilot and buy all those things you wanted, helped me understand. I couldn’t be with you. the reasons I had left you in the first place were still true to this day. Despite everything we had gone through, I realised then and there, I wasn’t willing to fight for them anymore. I wasn’t willing to fix you.

I knew I had to stop beating myself for not being with you. I had bigger, better things beyond the towers of insecurity I constantly found myself building in order to reach my utopian relationship with you. The one where we were always deeply in love, you were so attentive and our wedding date was set right off college. Never seemed to look twice at the one I knew we had deep down. One where you scrutinised me often, wanting me to be the perfect lady. Telling me what to wear, how to stand, how to not touch my jewellery in front of people to show confidence and status.

The one where you barely did anything for yourself at home and expected everyone else to do it for you. How irritated and frustrated you felt whenever it came down to your family. How out of place you felt with them, like you were somehow trying to go beyond and above, because you were better than them. How little you seemed to care about your future, the real one, not the one you wished you could have.



    You know what? I did. I stopped beating myself. I embraced the relationship I currently hold and I no longer hurl and sob at the sound of your name. Heck, I could even write a song about it. I believe that in the end, losing you was a choice. Had the situation turned out differently, I know we’d still end up here.

You letting your hair grow and your game collection stack up as your keep repeating college courses, smoking weed and filling up with food. Me working my ass off to make a decent living and love the man I am with now, while I continue to study and learn my trade, while I try to be better than what I see in the mirror. Every. Single. Day.

This essay, manifesto, proclamation or whatever it is, is my reasoning. My prerogative. The words in it have been gnawing at the back of my mind for the longest time, waiting to break free from their mental prison. Waiting for enough spark to start a literary fire. For what purpose, I really can’t say.

Maybe its all cathartic. Maybe I’m aiming for closure. One way or the other, this experience: having you, losing you, trying to get you back and failing miserably, has certainly made me stronger.

And I have to thank you for it.

If it weren’t for your constant rejections to my advances, I wouldn’t have fallen. If I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have seen the helping hand of my current partner, looking out for me and beckoning me to stand up straight again. I would’t have built up the courage to look at myself in the mirror and see how broken and small I had become. I wouldn’t have leapt, and I wouldn’t have found the love that was waiting for me at the other end of the chasm.

I now know that thanks to you and all those months of self loathing, I have a better perspective of what my life is and will be. That I still got the will to fight, but this time; I’m fighting for myself.

- Michelle Benavides

Dear Vivacious Visceral,

To be in tune with you is the ascension of nature; I can abscond beyond myself and hide in your warm, amorphous form.

It is not a love to be described through sight or touch or any sense written, but one still in the creation. Perhaps it sits in our core as we melt into smiles and thousands of fingers clasping and twirling and holding. It's a star, maybe, but that is just so we can envision what still can't be understood.

Yes, we are birthing a star for the universe while we collapse and reach through each other, setting anchors in each other's backs and silently pleading to the cold, empty holes behind us to never show themselves again. To never let go is a dream set in reality, finally.

Yours,
Voracious Vitality

Dear Kale,

If you truly had the "it factor," you wouldn't have to go looking for fame -- It would come to you like a Pilates instructor at whole foods. The way you're waving your leafy-ass arms around makes you look like a washed-up child star, and everybody's over it.

Yeah you've got some nutrients that iceberg might lack, and that's great for you. But let's nix the overexposure. One health blogger called you a "superfood," and suddenly you think you're invited to every salad and smoothie and sandwich? You're not.

You're even trying to get your chip career going by thinning yourself out in the oven dressing in expensive chocolate. You don't see romaine doing that, do you? Two words: Give up.

Sincerely,
Anyone Who's Ever Eaten A Caesar Salad

Dear... I don't even know what to call you,

After you, I don't trust anyone. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to see you. I don't want to hear about you. Every time I hear your name it makes me want die. I miss you and I still love you, but I know you will never feel the same..

I'll always be waiting for you,

Yours truly;

Dear Mother,

You hit me today.

You hit me today and instead of taking it like I normally do. I hit you back. 

I hit you back and you kept trying to hit me, and I pushed you off and you screamed at me not to hit you, and I screamed at you that I was 20 years old and you don't get to hit me anymore. 

I hit you back because that bullshit isn't okay anymore. 

You know what else isn't okay? How I have more miserable than happy memories with you. How any happiness I've felt being in this house for the past SEVEN years has not been tied to you at all. How I think about when you got really sick, and how it probably would've been better for me and for my sister if you had just died.

How dare you say that I have to respect you because you're my mother. Last time I checked, respect is EARNED not just handed to you. And you haven't been a good mother to me or my sister in years. I don't care that you're my mother. I don't care just as much as you don't care that I'm a human being. That I have feelings and needs and wants and that when you insult me, and criticize me, it makes me feel worthless.

That's not how a parent should make their kid feel. You've never been there for me, why should I give you anything? Much less respect you.  

So screw you. When I'm gone, I'm gone. I'm not spending anymore time talking to you, being around you, arguing with you, looking at you, than absolutely necessary. See how many times I come home from college after this. See how many conversations we have where I say more than one word to you. See how many times I respond to your, I love you's with anything more than "sure" or "okay." And if by some terrible circumstance I have children (because lets face it, after how you've screwed me up, I can't imagine having children and not ruining them), they won't know their grandmother. Why would they need to, when their own mother doesn't even want to know her?

Because as bad as it may soundI don't love you, and I don't want to know you.

I haven't for a while now.

From, 

Taylor

Dear Meat,

I haven't eaten you in years but, with perfect clarity, I can still remember your taste.

Still, I hope I'll never have to prepare you for anyone else. I'm a terrible chef and maybe a bit crazy, considering I'm writing a letter to food. But maybe that's how one becomes a better chef: know the food you make.

Anyway, we've had some good times.

See you around friend,
Matt

Dear Reader,

Hello!

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Dear Meat was a passionate, community endeavor. I would like it to continue being just that. While our location has moved, the drive to share and showcase creative, cathartic, and powerful letters remains set in place.

Join me as we work together to share letters of adventure, thought, emotion, conversation, imagination, exploration, reflection, and much more.

Please excuse any mess as we continue to improve our new home.

Remember, you can submit letters by either mailing them to

Dear Meat
12394 Charles St.
La Plata, MD 20646

or emailing them to

dearmeatblog@gmail.com

Thanks for everything,
Matt

PS. You can still wander through our old residence at http://dearmeat.tumblr.com