David Shipko is a Los Angeles based scholar and writer.

A Letter

After a night of drinking at a bar I had come to frequent, where I had spent most of the evening writing in my journal a letter I would—will—never send, I dined, in Chinatown at a Chinese restaurant, where the tables and the dishes were family-style, alone. The restaurant was over lit and mostly empty. To return home, because the trains and busses had long since stopped running, I hired a car through a ride-sharing service. No sooner had I shut the door and the car had pulled away into the empty night than the driver, a young woman, possibly my age, possibly younger, had asked me how my night was going, and I had answered, “Have you ever been in love with someone you shouldn’t have?” She laughed and told me the story of her unrequited love for a friend that had lasted many years and had terminated only when he had married someone else, and even then it had ended only barely. I then told her my story, or at least I think I did, I had drank much that evening, on account of the letter I had been writing.