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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pen Pal Ish


I remember this well. We had pen pals for Spanish and I never made the connection that I was only supposed to write in Spanish for them.

What can I say? I lived in a home where I had to accept violence as a way of life. I came to school and was harassed and berated. At no point was there even one voice to cut the hell storm.

I had identity problems then, and I have identity problems now. I wrote letters as R.L.N., and Leland, and Richard, and so forth.

It comes to me that I should have some refrains as to what was so wrong with me at that time so I can let any new readers know. Then again, I may just want to do that to settle my own mind.



18th January 1995
Dear Lydia,

         
How does it go in Trinidad, I am Richard L. Neal, but you can call me Leland. I am also known to my friends as Mr. Neal, and by a girl I know as Neal.
          
I’m always typing on my computer, it dominates my life. Most of the work I do is for school, but school never really helps me. It seems to get harder every time I walk through those gates the 1st day of school.
          
My friends are little company they seem to not understand my actions or my words, so the insults rag on, and I feel bad. It just seems that there spiteful, and they know it. So I feel strange and I seem to study everything that they do. Then I feel like I'm above them all.                
          
If I am not mistaken they speak Spanish in Trinidad, do you want letters in Spanish? It will be challenging, but doable.
          
I believe that it is harder to get mad at a pen pal because you really do not have the opportunity. I must continue searching for the best way to have a friend, despite the advantages of a pen pal it would be expensive if you had a lot of them.
          
So much for that, tell me about you, everything, anything, all I know is your name and where you live. Hope to write weekly, but that plan may be compromised. I fear that my letters will be short; because most of the things I write are, you will see this in all probability.
         
All I can say is that I will move in 6 years, and I have a lot of name labels to use, but that is not important. What is important is that we will be communicating in the time to come, and I hope it will be stimulating. The normal company I keep is my cat, and all she has to say is Food, out, and milk, so you can imagine how important your letters will be to me. Not to mention the growth of the stamp collection that is to become a family tradition if past on, you will find me a man with lots of hobbies in time it is all too obvious how I attempt to cloud my mind with possessions that are worthless. All I have said is that my life is anything but plain, and that all my friends think I am insane.
         
If you have any questions I would love to hear them and answer them to my greatest ability. I will be waiting for your letters. It will be up lifting to get more mail. It is not often that I get anything but junk, and it is boring. I think I would prefer if you wanted the letters in Spanish now that I think about it. It gives me a reason to learn the language better, and if it helps you to understand it helps us both.
         
I am afraid I must go now.

                                                                                                    Sincerely,

                                                       Leland