In the age of Facebook and email, the love letter may seem awfully antiquated, but not to pseudointellectual lovers with underutilized English degrees. Me, I prefer to fully articulate my intentions well in advance so there’s no confusion, no “Hold on, is this a date?” or “Why is your face so close to my face?” or “Where are you taking me? Please let me out.” Better to fully disclose your feelings immediately upon meeting someone than allow any possible ambiguity. Spill your guts and then wreathe him/her in your metaphorical entrails. That’s why 90% of my letters start out with “I know we just met…” and end with “…so please don’t tell anyone.”
The love letter should be handwritten so as to confer a sense of gravity and romance. This is, after all, the ancient method by which loins were moistened in previous centuries, utilized by Napoleon and Josephine, Goethe and Charlotte, Hinckley and Foster. But it also presents a problem: most millennials’ penmanship have long since declined into indecipherable chicken scratch like the path of a Family Circus child. How to legibly convey one’s longing? Try dictating your letter to an old person; any old person will do (the elderly nearly always have excellent handwriting due to childhoods sans computers). Or cut and paste letters from a newspaper. Or acquire someone else’s love letter and, using white out, insert new names and altered descriptions. I mean, that’s how I, Laura Jayne Martin Brad Pike, write most of my articles.
First, you want to start with an initiation. “Dear” is trite and formal, but you also don’t want to immediately frighten her off with a “My Beloved” or “Precious Angel”. How about “Honey” or “Prospective Affection Receptacle”, something to convey a strong but nonthreatening fondness? Ease her into the oncoming Soul Discharge rather than waterboard her with affection.
Next, establish some caveats regarding the letter’s upcoming praise and admiration so as to head off her kneejerk reaction; i.e., terror. For example: “I know this letter may come as a surprise, seeing as you don’t know me, and I can’t be sure if you have a boyfriend, and most of what I know about you comes from Facebook, and I’m very unattractive from what I’ve been told, terribly repulsive, inhuman on a fundamental level, incapable of eliciting love from other creatures who exist outside of myself (though ugly people are not allowed to acknowledge this due to cultural stigmas regarding self-pity), and thus, it must seem terribly presumptuous and pitiable for the Unworthy Animal to consider its own feelings worth promulgating, but nevertheless…” And then you proceed into the body of the letter.
At this point, you want to recall your history together (if one exists); e.g., your first meeting, your first date, how you stumbled upon her profile photo, etc. You want to astonish her with your eidetic recollection of each and every encounter, and by this, convey how significant she is to you. Describe the encounter and then follow it with a description regarding your strong emotional response, as in: “I remember when I stood behind you in line at the Starbucks. You were so beautiful with your short black hair and cute black glasses, and intuitively, I knew you had a warm and compassionate soul even though we’d never (have never) had a verbal interaction. Then you gave your first name to the barista, and by going through every single Jennifer on Facebook, I found your profile. Then I found out where you work, and that’s how I’m here now, handing you this letter.” Punctuate every few sentences with, “I’m a reasonable person,” to reassure her.
And now you move onto the most important section: the effusive glut of imagery describing her beauty, intelligence, wit, kindness, and overall appeal. Here at last, the torrent of adulation you can never express aloud without appearing obsessive or clinically deranged, but via the medium of a letter, seems slightly more reasonable, slightly less threatening. Excavate your soul’s moonlit graveyard for those oozing, putrefied feelings hidden deep underground. Peel back your skin flaps and expose your chest cavity to potential abuse. Use words like “rose”, “sunlight”, “kiss”, and “gaping black maw of emotional need”. Here’s an example: “You are a rose bathed in sunlight, and though nothing can ever fill the gaping black maw of emotional need inside me, that’s okay I guess. Kiss!” If properly elucidated, this part should amount to at least ten pages, possibly more depending on the depth and severity of your fixation.
Finally, close out the letter with a humble suggestion for a first date scenario: “My grandmother just died, and I’d really like for you to come with me to her funeral,” or “In conclusion, I’d like to take you deep, deep into the forest for a fun campout!” Then sign the letter, seal it up, and hand it to her when she least expects it, like when she’s out jogging or on a date with her boyfriend. As you give her the letter, whisper, “I’m sorry.” Because after all, none of this will be reciprocated and will only serve as a desperate futile howl into the apathetic void.
That’s why you’ll need to write thousands upon thousands of letters!