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To: Miss Burrito Blanket.
Dear Miss Wonton,
First of all I would like to warmly welcome you. Be very welcome. I appreciate your presence and friendship.
As I write to you, the song Come a Little Closer by the American rock band called Cage The Elephant sounds in my ears. Does this band please you as well? As in everything that concerns my tastes, the genuine appreciation for music transcends a single and definitive musical genre. Eclectic, as they call it. Through the music I listen to, through the books I read, the content I watch, I am able to travel the entire world and discover the treasures hidden by the veils of Time.
I hope my words will find you better, Miss Wonton.
How are you feeling today? I wonder if the "rebellion" on your stomach has already been appeased or if its capricious and inconvenient wrath still falls on your bashful figure. Anyhow, aiming at your recovery, I took the liberty to elaborate something for you escorted by my sincere wishes that you get well soon, if this has not happened yet. If so, if you are already fully recovered or on the way to recovery, I would like you to know that this news would please me as much as if it were my own recovery. What can I say, I belong to the group of people who really care about the welfare of all living beings.
As your eyes will soon see, this letter accompanies a polished brown wooden box with three divisions and glass lid under an elegant and comfortable cloak blanket. I kindly ask you to accept the garment as a symbol of friendship on my part. If that is useful for you, you will be thanking me every time you use it. It belongs to you. Truly. I say this because the adorable scene of you becoming a human burrito at Books and Coffee, protecting your emotions and reactions from the world, was vividly outlined in my mind when my eyes rested on it. When something reminds me of someone, I let the person in question know about it through a word, an action, or, as in this case, a combination of both.
As for the wooden box. On both sides of it there is a small hand painted bird, the beauty of the drawn lines and realistic details combined with the vividness of the colors makes it seem that if you dare to blink you will lose sight of the bird, as if it were going to create life and win the skies any minute. Do you see how he appears to be positioned at the tree branch at the same time that he is facing away from the observer? This little and brightly colored bird depicted in the painting is a Todus mexicanus or Puerto Rican tody, also known as "Little Saint Peter". They perch alone in the trees during the day and at night, they are rarely seen on the ground. Therefore, it can be said that being able to contemplate them and take a generous sip from their company is a privilege for a few.
You must be wondering why I am talking about this particular detail (birds) in relation to the box chest when I could be talking about what it contains. Well, the devil is in the details. Or rather, the details matter as much as the whole when the immeasurable value of time is at the forefront of the mind and every opportunity is embraced or forged with Meraki. Therefore, I feel I must share with you a personal observation I made mentally when we met for the first. Your timidity reminded me of this bird.
If I had to use just one word to describe that haven for the bibliophile and coffeephile souls, that word would be: serendipitous. I am truly grateful to the Moirai for having woven such a pleasant event on their looms, because it was undoubtedly a blissful occasion to be able to enjoy the company of such kind people in whose heart lies the same love for literature and coffee. This certainly was a refreshment for the spirit. Not only because we can all share the same appreciation for something, but because together we build an environment where the conversation was able to present itself in a fluid, unpretentious way, being nourished organically well. Where the respect and empathy reign and differences unite in place of strengthening existing social walls built a long time ago by people who forgot that Life and Death, just like in a game of chess whose pieces (regardless of their differences) end up kept in the same box after the game, does not elect favorites. On my journey through this vast world, I have witnessed the decline of the human soul, or rather, its slow evolution, dressed in regression more times than I would like to admit. But my gaze always seeks (and always will) in the midst of this decline its opposite, like the flower that blooms in the crack of a sidewalk. “Because the world is so full of death and horror, I try again and again to console my heart and pick the flowers that grow in the midst of hell.” From the book 'Narcissus and Goldmund', by Herman Hesse. Speaking of flowers, in the dark times, which flowers console your heart?
Perhaps you are wondering why a letter. Perhaps that question did not even cross your mind and this comet just crossed the sky of my own mind. After all, handwritten letters are not exactly the cup of tea for some people. Even more a letter closed with a wax seal like the one you now have on your hands. For some people the act of writing a handwritten letter is a lost art. But nothing whose roots lie intertwined on our hearts is really lost, is it? Thus, the handwritten letters have their roots in me. Yet, the existence of this letter is due to a reason that outweighed my unfeigned appreciation for this tradition, in particular. I intuited that you receiving the treat unaccompanied by my physical presence could make you more comfortable. I thought of giving it to you personally. Knocked on your door after putting a blindfold on my eyes, so that you could explore the contents of the box without being in the spotlight of my attention. On the other hand, I am not sure if your neighbors would see the eccentricity of my act with kind eyes. Hopefully my intuition will be successful in guiding my decision. Kindly let me know about this detail, when (and if you come) to dedicate yourself to answering these lines. I am writing to you willingly, and regardless of your position (decision) on this, I wish you to feel free to do so under that same condition.. So, if you are going to do it, please, do it at your own time and pace. I am aware that the depth and intensity; the transparency on my actions and the frankness on my words, combined with other traits in my personality can be felt intimidating by some people, or interpreted in a distorted way. But I can assure you, Miss Wonton, this letter, as well as my friendship, is completely stripped of any level of judgment and demands. It is also stripped of dubious intentions. Of course, only the wise Time will confirm the truth in which my words have been imbibed.
I suppose that curiosity must be scratching the walls of your mind. Not to mention that this letter is acquiring biblical proportions (you certainly noticed how strangely voluminous the black envelope looked). So, let us get straight to the point, shall we?
Christmas and Easter this new year have not yet honored us with their presence, but inside the chest there is a homemade treat for you from my country (Greece) involving both festivities and a bonus. They are called Melomakarona and Koulourakia. Both are very much appreciated in my country regardless of the time of year. Although they are not donuts with chips (fries), they certainly have the potential to exceed any expectations aroused by the combination of aromas given off by them and their aesthetics. Speaking of chips, have you tasted Greek hand-cut chips? If not, I feel that you will want to do something about it. Then, until that auspicious day arrives, let me introduce the bonus mentioned by me. It is a version of that in the form of crisps. After all, to send you cold chips would equate to an act of war on my part.
Mr. Kartheus almost had his fingers bitten off for coveting the food belonging to Miss Tribbiani, also known as you, Miss Wonton. (Reference to the ninth episode of the tenth season of Friends, where Joey reveals that he does not share his food).
Stay safe and take care of yourself well. Taking care of yourself is taking care of the other. Taking care of the other is taking care of yourself. They are the two sides of the same coin. We are one, but we are many. Some of us feel lonely and isolated, as if they do not belong. We are many, but we are one. We are made of stardust. We are all connected to each other, whether it pleased us or not. To help someone is actually to help yourself. Quid Pro Quo. We are all connected.
February, 2, 2021.
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