Mark Goodwin

The Letter Men

Yes. This is all of them. The Letter Men.

A. I am shocked, but not necessarily in a bad way, about things I have
learned about you. You have changed a lot, and you seem very hidden
and remote. We never talk anymore. We used to talk, a lot, about
everything, but never anything personal. For some reason you never did
tell me who you liked, what you did for fun, all of that. We were like
brothers, but not family, or the other way around. I am not sure. I
would still take a bullet for you. And yes, I do mean that.

B. I have lied to you, about stupid little things. Mainly to make
myself up to be a bigger man. Stupid, childish stuff, but if I had to
choose someone to have "alone" time with, to just hang out and talk
with, it would be you. It seemed for a while that we were going to
stop hanging out. We hadn't in a real long time. But recently it has
picked up the pace, getting back to normal. It still isn't enough. I
know you care about me, because you always do me favors, and I always
try to return them. "It all evens out."

C. Oh man, what can I say? We know each other WAY too well. Even to
the point in which we are finishing each other's sentences and musical
phrases. It just doesn't make sense. There is no one with whom I would
rather do what I do than with you. I want to make it, but only if you
are there with me. You are the most talented person I know. Please
don't waste it.

D.  For the short time we have known each other, we have learned so
much about one another. You are hilariously funny, but also have
common sense, which is becoming hard to find in high school. Sure, we
have had our fair share of teenage idiocy, but we can always stop and
have a down to earth conversation. You are so generous; your heart is
anything but small.

E. You do a lot of stuff that pisses me off, but for some reason we
always come to a resolution and are fine again. We have done some
stupid stuff together, and verbally beat the shit out of each other
time and time again, being careful not to tread on touchy subjects.
Despite all this, I consider you a great friend. We got very close
this year.

F. I feel like you have to compete with another one of the Men to
spend time with me. This is the worst thing a friend has to do, pick
between other friends. I love your passion for what you want to do. I
also hope you know that isn't easy to succeed in.  But I do wish you
the best of luck. The only flaw I can find in your personality is
sometimes I feel like you are sexist against women. Don't know why you
are, but hopefully it is just a lack of maturity. You are like a
brother to me.

G. You are the one that has to compete with Man F to spend time with
me. And it sucks that it has to be that way, but sometimes it just

H. Our friendship is strange. I think I like you. I feel like we
really hit it off. When I am around you I feel like I should be very
protective of you - constantly checking to make sure you are ok, and
those types of things. It started off as something meaningless, but it
has grown to be so much more. Give me some time; I will work my
courage up.

I. My most athletic friend, but also very intellectual. I love hanging
with you, and just talking about life. When we had sleepovers and we
would just talk about those are the best conversations I
ever had. You aren't the smartest kid in the world, but you have the
greatest work ethic I have ever seen, and you are going to be
incredibly successful and happy in life. We had a little break in
which we didn't do much, but recently we have started to hang out

J.  Just recalling our memories and times together makes me laugh out
loud. You are the nicest kid I know. You just care about everyone and
everything. We got really close this year, and I just love the way you
treat everyone, especially me. I can't think of a single time in which
you said something that annoyed/pissed me off, except that sometimes
you are uncomfortably touchy.

These are the Letter Men. They could be insignificant to you, or even
non-existent.  You may not know their real names, nor what they look
like. But sometimes the importance in your world means nothing in
mine. The Letter Men are 10 of the most important people in my world.
Maybe one day you will meet them, and I hope you do. But treat them
well, my friends (I use that word much too lightly, it seems), for
that's what they are. Friends.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.