Dear No. 26,

Hi darling! It’s been so long. I miss your face. How do you like living in Manhattan? You’re a true city girl now! I was so happy when you started working at admissions, because as creepy as this sounds (this is a really bad preface, but I promise there is a method to my madness) I always saw you around campus, and wanted to be your friend, but didn’t know how to approach you in a non-scary way.

I hope you’re dong well, you always brought joy to my day. You have such a cheerful and positive demeanor, but you also laugh at my self-deprecating, dark humor. I appreciate the duality. Every time I see you, you have a big grin on your face and I really love that energy; it’s unparalleled. But I also don’t mistake your smile for submission, you don’t take anyone’s shit. You’re a very matter of fact person. You’ve got goals and a trajectory, that you don’t seem like your compromise for anyone. It’s very inspiring.

I feel like you probably always get compliments on your style, but here’s another. I love the little heart you draw under your eye. Everything you do always has a theme to it, and I really appreciate your dedication. You really get into character. I think my favorite “theme” of yours is actually the one you did for you All American self-portraits you did where you dressed up as the quintessential Dad. Superb. Five stars. Big claps all around.

Do you still want to go to the Yale MFA photography program? If so maybe, I’ll see you around! I’m hoping to wait a few years and then apply. Are you doing online classes or hybrid? I haven’t seen you around campus. We should grab coffee or a bagel sometime! Something the pandemic has made me realize is that there are a lot of people I really enjoyed having in my life that I never purposely had to will into it or try. In the sense that you were a constant in my week. I knew I’d see you at some point in the office. I took that for granted, and I wish more than anything that we could just be back in the break room or at the front desk again.

Best of luck with whatever you’re doing with this time, whether that be school, enjoying life, enjoying Manhattan life, and what not. Know I will always love and support you. Thank you for being my friend!


©2020 maura lian