Let me start by saying I am appreciative of all the attention Little Pam has received. It’s not just the emails, the letters and poems you’ve unearthed and started posting on your own websites, or even the Facebook fan page someone started for LP (seriously), it’s this shared feeling of mortification and anxiety I’m causing. One of my favorite sounds is hearing an audience go from slight horror to laughter. I might not get to hear your actual reactions, but I can tell by your comments and emails that I’m getting the desired effect.
So I might as well continue with the embarrassing confessions. Well, actually, let’s get the first letter out of the way. Yeah, just like last time, there’s more than one letter from November 20th. By the way, the entry titles are exactly how I dated these letters. All those commas aside, I don’t know why I thought it was so much cooler to date things like that back then. But you guys, I really thought it was awesome.
20, Nov., 1990
You must really hate me. You do, don’t you? Jesus, did I smother you or something? What did I do to completely change your mind about me? Was it something I said? Something I did? Oh, if only I could journey through your mind and probe your inner thoughts.
Yeah, that’s some sentence, right there. I wish I could tell you what prompted this letter, but I don’t remember. Let’s see, it’s been a week since the last angry letters, so in this case I’m guessing he’s taken to avoiding me? I mean, if he’s smart, that’s what he’s doing. I truly don’t remember.
Do you hear me? I love you, dammit. I need you. My survival depends on it. Now I have the next four days all to myself, left completely alone.
Yikes, I hope I have enough paper to handle the next four days. Oh, look at the date — it must be Thanksgiving weekend. It’s only the SADDEST WEEKEND EVER for a teen in love with Homeroom Boy! Already calculating all those seconds and minutes into hours and days! How can I possibly be thankful when they haven’t invented a machine that allows me to probe inner thoughts?!
Completely lost. Completely confused. Completely empty. I want to cry, but I can’t. I want to scream, but I can’t.
The screaming, again. I guess I can’t scream because I’ll get in trouble? That must be it. I don’t know why I can’t cry, other than possibly I’m starting to realize maybe I’m not as emotional over this boy as I think I should be.
I want to run to you, but I can’t.
Because you won’t tell me where you live and we have this four-day weekend that you want to spend with your family instead of your soul mate, you selfish, brown-eyed boy.
I just have to sit here on my ass and wonder what went wrong. I want to show my feelings, but I’m so empty that I can’t even cry. Not that anyone would listen. The only one who ever really listened to me was you. And I can’t very well tell you about how much I needed you.
And then it just ends here like I threw my journal aside and shoved my face into my pillow and made crying sounds but not one tear.
Something I should probably note here is that these letters aren’t written on spiral paper. These are on loose-leaf three-punch lined paper. Which means I was probably planning on handing him this letter.
Last night I was telling Jason about these letters when something dawned on me.
I must have actually given the other boys their letters. These I had the good sense not to hand to the boy because he had no idea I liked him. But like, the others I’m pretty sure I folded up all origami-style and then shoved into a locker. Or, in the case of Douglas’ two-hundred page letter, I just handed over.
I’m sorry, it must be loud in here, because I could have sworn you just said you wrote a letter with a page count higher than the number TWO.
Two hundred. I wrote a two-hundred page letter.
Was it a joke?
I don’t understand that question.
Were you doing it to be funny?
How could that be funny?
Then I shouldn’t tell you I also wrote a two-hundred-and-five-page letter, too.
TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE PAGES?!
That one was a request. At one point I think he wallpapered his room with the pages.
Well, who wouldn’t.
I don’t think Douglas still has the 200-page letter.
Only because boys are mean.
I couldn’t actually remember why I wrote that 200-page letter, but luckily I’ve already mentioned it TWELVE YEARS AGO when I was also writing here at pamie.com:
When I was younger, whenever I had a crush on a boy, I’d write him notes. Not even love notes, just letters telling him what’s going on… blah, blah, blah. And these weren’t your boring, “I’m in third period. I’m bored. How ’bout you? Circle yes or no–” type of letters. It was pretty much what you guys see in these entries… except longer.
One friend of mine received a 200 page letter (on a dare that he said I couldn’t write one), he got it in three days. Another friend of mine was sure I couldn’t beat that record… three days later he had a 205 page letter. I would fill up notebooks with my thoughts to keep them entertained throughout the boring school day. It also kept me busy during tedious classes. If you’re looking to impress someone, nothing leaves an impression better than a stalkeresque ramble and rant about how the cafeteria sucks and “my parents aren’t home tonight by the way I love you.” Just reels the boys in, let me tell you.
So I wrote a lot when I was younger, and I still wonder what was in those long notes I gave to random boys throughout the years. Do they still have them (as I know 200 page and 205 page boys have theirs (they kept in touch… like I said, it leaves an impression)), or did they throw them away with all the other love notes they got throughout their lives? Even if they did, I made a few boys more literate than they normally would have been… and that makes a difference, I guess.
God, even twelve-years ago me is a total dork. “At least I made some readers!”
So what I’m saying here is that 20 November ends up being kind of a banner day in this one-woman romance. You’ll see.
20, Nov., 1990
So this is heartbreak. So this is heartache. So this is what it feels like to be scum.
I have to guess that the only thing that went on between the writing of the last letter and this one is an unanswered phone call, or one where his mom or sister said, “Hold on. ….Huh? You don’t– Oh. Um, he’s not here right now, can I take a message?”
It’s even more painful than love. And I thought that love sucked. Love was a giggle compared to this.
That’s fucking poetry, man.
I feel so empty. I feel so alone. why did you do this to me? You said it was too fast.
Oh, shit. I guess I DID get friend-dumped. You guys, friend-dumping. It’s so sad. I’m so sad for LP. She’s so confused. How did she get friending so wrong?
Too fast? How? We’ve known each other a year and a half and you’ve never even held my hand. You’ve never kissed me. You’ve never held me. You’ve never told me you loved me. Now all of a sudden you need me to leave you alone?
Oh, man. That’s like an order! “Leave me alone.” I bet I won’t listen!
PS: If I’d been told by an authority figure to do something, I completely would have listened, as “Getting In Trouble” was — and still is — the worst thing that could ever happen to me. But since this is just a boy who doesn’t understand how important it is that I love him, I will continue to make sure he is really sure that he means “Leave me alone.” I mean, first of all, there’s so many ways to interpret what he’s saying. And really, if you look at it, it’s only three words, what he said. I’ve said WAY more words than that. So, you know. I’m clearly better at this than he is.
What did I do? I just want you back. I need you. Maybe you’ll feel this
emptiynessemptyness [sic] as well. Maybe you’ll miss me. Maybe you’ll know how it feels to have your heart torn from you. What do you mean “It’s not gonna happen.”?
Okay, so we’ve reached the part where I have to make another grown-up confession. I now remember parts of this letter, and realize why I found this stack of letters. This was the inspiration for LETTERS NEVER SENT, the show I did six years ago with Liz. I used to perform parts of this letter out loud every night, eventually for the HBO Comedy Festival, and what would happen is I would read this letter and Liz would make fun of me and over my head on the screen behind me was a giant picture of my high school yearbook photo and… well, this boy’s head as well. Which is why I’m NEVER GOING TO SAY the recipient of this letter… unless you went and saw that show years ago, in which case, you heard me say his name. And saw his face. Which he totally can’t sue me for because I didn’t make any money off that gig.
Yay, confession over! Back to the horror:
It’s so final. So serious. So fucking painful. Don’t you like me anymore? How come you did five days ago? Enough to discuss it with the others.
The others! I can’t believe I don’t have any letters from five days previous, when I found out somehow that he liked me maybe kind of. Where are the happy letters? Wait. I bet I wrote them and gave them to him and then he called me to say “IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. LEAVE ME ALONE.”
But you know, again, I have to say… he’s not really being all that clear. I mean, LP likes you to break it to her super-gently. Like, say over the course of five years.
Now you call me like nothing has happened. What’s your deal? Do you love me or hate me? There are no in-betweens. No exceptions. Love doesn’t make exceptions.
And it ends there because that’s some powerful shit LP just laid down.
Okay, so let’s see here. It appears I have a friend who is a boy who is getting all these love notes from me and said somehow, “We’re just friends and only going to be friends.” He might have even said, “Leave me alone.” But I bet he was like, “Now who’s going to do my homework over the phone?” and called me, hoping I’d have already gotten over him. So, you know, in my defense… that’s pretty stupid, right?
Because, you guys, what happens next is so embarrassing that Liz and I wrote an entire show around it. I mean, our show was ultimately about other things entirely, but the inspiration was on this one moment in my teen life where I made a pretty big mistake.
It starts with this.
20, Nov., 1990
[HIS NAME HERE]–
I think I have a problem. Great tone to start a letter with, I know. But just please listen to me.
See, there’s this guy, and I really think I fucked things up between him and me. See, we’ve been pretty good friends for a while, but lately we’ve gotten to know each other better.
You guys, can LP get a high-five for how super-casual she’s pulling off this tone? It’s like, “Hey, friend. Can we talk, FRIEND TO FRIEND? See, I’ve got this friend who’s totally not you, so don’t you worry. I just need some ADVICE. About this GUY. I’M LITTLE PAM AND I LOVE YOU.”
I always thought he was cool, so there’s never been anything real awkward between us.
I have no idea what that means.
I guess we hit it off right away.
But I do know that right there I am straight-up quoting a lyric from the “Cell Block Tango” from the musical Chicago, so that’s awesome. Oh, man.
You know who knew the lyrics to Chicago in 1990? Ann Reinking and me. That’s it.
Now, don’t get the wrong idea about him, [BOY’S ACTUAL NAME], he’s always been a perfect gentleman. He’s never been anything but nice to me, and everyone agrees that he’s a great guy. My problem? I’m getting to it, just hold on.
I can’t believe how embarrassing this still is.
I don’t know how or why, but we started to become closer and closer. I thought that maybe I was forcing him or something, but he called me as often as I called him. He’s different from most of the other guys. Most of the others are constantly making disgusting sexual comments or whatever to me, and commenting on the size of my chest, but like I said, he was different.
I’m not going to say anything here, but I’m sure you need a break, so… go ahead. Catch your breath.
And I don’t know. Maybe. He might have been gay. I DON’T KNOW. We never talked about it. Because there was no such thing as gay at that school at that age. Gay wasn’t invented in Katy, Texas, until at least 1992.
So, I found myself thinking about him more and more. He was, like, always on my mind. But I kept trying to make myself not like him. I kept telling myself that he was only a friend, and that’s all he’d ever be, a great friend. Even [NAME OF MY BEST GIRLFRIEND AT THE TIME] thought that I should leave it at friendship, because we were so close.
…and she must have known he didn’t like-me, like me.
And I took all the advice, but… well, you know that little voice inside of you that constantly goes on about how you need someone, and how it goes on about this one person until you can’t get that person out of your head? Well, that little voice started rambling about that guy. And while I forced my head to concentrate on my studies, my heart pulled up a chair to chat with the little fucker.
This is where I worry that my writing hasn’t improved in the slightest since 20, November, 1990.
And my heart ate all of that sappy shit up and started fluttering and fainting whenever that person was around. I started feeling stupid. But I was kind of drawn to him, you know? I tried to keep my heart away from him, by being with other guys, but once my heart makes up its mind, the rest of my body is hopelessly helpless. It’s actually quite a pitiful sight. I always talk about that person. I dream about him. I wish for him. And then, when I know I’m truly hooked, I write about him. Not dopey notes like the ones I give you. These are full-blown mushy sappy sexual romantic tear-jerking love letters. Do I send them? Hell, no. No one has even seen them. You are the first I’ve told about them.
Okay, so… first of all let’s talk about this serious issue I’ve brought to light. Fainting Heart Syndrome affects one out of every five dorks, and it’s truly no laughing matter. I mean, a heart murmur is a giggle compared to Fainting Heart Syndrome. Symptoms include: a weeping heart, confusion and understanding, a yearning for wit, hypergraphia, sighs that sound brainwashed, an inability to cry despite feeling overwhelming sorrow, an urge to kill and/or die for a near stranger, and a fixation on having someone’s breath dancing upon one’s virgin neck.
Oh, God. This letter. It’s just not over yet, you guys. There’s more sexual romance to come.
Anyway, I was writing pages and pages about the guy. I was in love, I thought. About this time, people began to bug me about him. Do I like him? Do I love him? Does he like me? Is he going to ask me out? Like I’m fucking Nostradamus or something. I couldn’t very well ask him. I just kind of played it cool, you know. I didn’t tell anyone my feelings, because my head was still trying to talk my heart out of this mess it was getting me into. Then I found out that he liked me. He told one of my friends who told me. So, I’m estatic [sic], right? And I’m ready to leap into his arms and be carried off into the hokey sunset.
Those of you who have written to tell me that my teen letters sound like chapters of Twilight, I have to ask… is this still the case? Because LP’s developing a cynical jaded streak right before our very eyes. It’s like, this unrequited love WHICH LASTED LESS THAN THREE WEEKS is to blame for a good third of my (possibly still current) trust issues.
“Like I’m fucking Nostradamus,” indeed.
I would have done anything for him, [BOY’S ACTUAL NAME]. I still would. Lie, cheat, steal, beg, kill, die — nothing was too much. I began needing him more and more. I knew I was in love, and to tell you the truth, I was scared shitless, because I know that when I fall in love it’s forever and I never fall out of love, only move on.
I’m just letting you know here that I just had to turn the page. Because we are now on PAGE FOUR.
I wasn’t going to leave this guy. [BOY’S ACTUAL NAME], he was, well, is, so nice. He’s a great guy, really. He’s hilarious and good looking — great looking and all.
If I recall correctly, in the live show, this is when we put his yearbook picture up on the giant screen.
So now you’re like, so? What’s the deal? My deal is my problem:
He told me that he doesn’t like me. Well, he didn’t use those words, he kinda said it wasn’t going to work out. He was real nice about it, I mean, I know he didn’t mean to hurt me, but there’s really no nice way to crush someone’s heart. But I’m not blaming him or anything, it’s not his fault if he doesn’t like me anymore.
No, LP! Don’t give him excuses! He’s just brainwashing you again.
It’s not illegal to change your mind — yet.
I mean, think about it, you guys. I mean, really think about it. It could happen. It really could. I mean, think about it.
It’s just kind of painful, you know, and I’ve just spent the past couple of days healing. Writing and sleeping and crying, my basic pattern. I learned something: some really fucking great writing comes from pain.
I’m just worried that he thinks I hate him or something — which I sure as hell don’t. I remember right before he told me it wasn’t going to happen —
Going down memory lane already! See, Homeroom boy, we’ve already shared so much! How can you just throw it away like that?
— he asked me what I thought of him, how I felt about him. Had he not already started with some bad news, I probably would have told him. I wouldn’t have hesitated. I’ve only said it three other times before in my life but I know that this one would have even more meaning, more feeling than the others.
My apologies to the other three boys, just in case you’re reading this. It’s possible at least one of you might find this some day. Baby, you know I didn’t mean it. You know when I said it to you it meant the mostest. Except YOU, the one who dumped me because I wouldn’t take off my panties while we made out to your 2 Live Crew record. You know who you are. You can suck it.
Jeez, apparently I no longer have any inner monologue. Hi, everybody.
I would have straight out said it: “I love you.” But I didn’t. I sat there like a dumb-ass and made us both feel like shit.
[BOY’S ACTUAL NAME], I hope he isn’t pissed at me or at himself. How do I tell him that he didn’t do anything wrong and that no matter what happens I’ll always be there for him? How do I tell him I care without him freaking out? How do I tell him that he’s my best friend in the whole world and that I need him?
Maybe I already did.
It gets worse from here.
Because what I did next was… I called him. I mean, I immediately called him. I know I finished this FIVE PAGE SINGLE-SPACED LETTER and then picked up my phone and punched up his digits. And then.
I READ THIS LETTER TO HIM OVER THE PHONE.
Every word. I read him the entire thing. Without stopping. Without even checking to see if he hung up at any point. I just barfed out my weepy, fainty heart.
There was a pause after I finished the last word. That last word being, “Pam,” just in case he was unsure who was talking to him. There was a pause. A pretty long one, if I recall. And then he said:
“I have to go.”
He hung up. And that was the last time Homeroom Boy ever spoke to me.