Updated: Sep 5, 2020
What would love be without letters? It's a gift we can save, read again or even throw away to symbolically put an end and find closure. Each word charged with emotion.
The first love letter I received, was when I was 14 years old and we were staying a month in St Pierre sur Mer, in the south of France, together with another Swedish family with kids our age. I kind of liked his friend better but nonetheless, I pasted the little handwritten note by Eric, a French guy, in my diary.
The second was a card with a schedule for classes where I was noted by my boyfriend Christer in 12th grade in Sweden. I was 17, he was 20 and he liked to call me his Minerva, ie his goddess.
This was followed by a folded handwritten note by a guy called Doug at Ticonderoga High School. He was a bit of a brawler, but nonetheless drove me home from school one time. That year, I also received letters from two fellow Swedish exchange students who also were in the United States when I was: Torbjörn in Vermont who I met at a gathering, and Fredrik in Rhode Island who went to the same Swedish High school I did. We all kept in touch for a year after.
I have also received a poem in French one time, by a Swedish boyfriend called Mikael that I hooked up with, after we had been a small group backpacking and interrailing through Europe a summer when I was 21.
A long excuse and explanation of his deepest feelings, by my long-time boyfriend Lars of course. But it was the joy of receiving a postcard from one of his friends Johan, during one of our pauses, that made me feel invincible and I got the job I was on an interview for the same day, carrying it with me.
Then a folder filled with letters between me and Göran, who I worked with at an advertising firm. Signed sometimes, but not handwritten.
Followed by one from Björn, a German guy from Hamburg that I had met in San Francisco, who came with his friend to sleep over and see me in Sweden on their way to a festival. And it was then, I realized I wasn't the same person, the same way, in Sweden as I was in the United States. Did I leave my heart in San Francisco?
It was before the internet era started. It was when love was a four letter word. And I wasn't the only one writing.