Return to sender, address unknown.

As a child I always got excited when someone would send me a postcard or a letter, even when it was advertising material – as long as it had my name on it, I was happy. This excitement didn’t fade with age, I still get giddy coming home and opening the mailbox. Even if it’s a bill, as long as it has my name on it, I am happy.

I must have about a billion (probably a bit less, but for the sake of this story, let’s just go with a billion) of letters and postcards from A. I really do. They were plastered all over my walls in Vienna and whenever I got a letter or a postcard from A, I would find a special place for it. I got them pretty frequently. Granted, thanks to technology, we didn’t really need to send each other postcards BUT it was the gesture that counted. Some of these postcards just had an ‘I love you’ written on them and some of them had whole essays (with citations) on them (that also was A’s way of showing me how much he loved (and still does) writing academic papers). Sometimes the postcards showed a special place in the U.S. he was visiting, and when the place wasn’t so special, it was something else that reminded A of me, which is why he sent ‘this particular’ postcard. I was giddy as a child in a candy store, whenever I got these postcards and letters.

After we moved to Oslo, sending postcards wasn’t as important anymore, because we got to see each other daily and when we didn’t see each other, we communicated through the entire virtual spectrum with each other. And then A would come home and we would talk some more. And yes, that’s what we do – all the time – talk (after all, A’s half-Greek, so it’s never really quiet in our home; when he’s not talking, he is singing, when he’s not singing, he is thinking out loud, when he’s not thinking out loud, he makes noises and tries to communicate with our hamster. Side note: Our hamster is not really impressed by all the noises A makes, I think he has gotten used to the loud home).

Lately A has been traveling quite a bit again. He is all over the place and I wouldn’t be surprised if you met him at some random place in Europe and didn’t even know that it was him (also, unless you know him, how would you have known that it was him?). Only recently have I gotten more and more excited about opening the mailbox again. Not so much because of all the bills with my name on it, BUT because A started sending me postcards again from every place he goes. Sometimes he writes whole essays, sometimes he scribbles a quick ‘I love you, see you soon.’ on it. But even after almost 4 years my heart melts on the inside.

I’d love to be able to describe to you, how much I love this man, I really do, but I can’t – with words anyways. He is my home and I know I am his. And with me, he knows that his letters never get returned…

old letters bundled together on the window sill

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