My 14-Year-Old Self Came in the Mail

Should I Open It, Or Not?

A large brown envelope arrived recently in snail mail from Ashtabula, Ohio. It contained copies of letters I wrote to a young woman named Mary when we were 14. We met in the northeastern Ohio township, and decided to keep in touch when my summer vacation ended.

I found her on Facebook, and we got in touch after four decades. When she realized I’d become a writer, she mentioned my letters in a box in her attic. Would I like copies? What could I have possible said in those letters to a relative stranger 300 miles away? And why would she save them into this millennium?
“They’re about what you’d expect a 14 year old to write about,” she said.

Would I like to meet myself at 14? Not that I could go back and talk some sense into my head, but what I think about those times now and what I was actually saying at the time, well, they’re mountains apart..

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