I received your letter over a week ago and have been mulling over how to reply, what to write about and, more important in the long-term, what it is that you are looking for. My problem is not who you are nor where you are and also not why you are where you are. All of these details are known to me and make no difference; we all take our own route through life and sometimes the decisions we make or the actions we cause, do not lead us to where we wanted to be.

No, my thoughts have revolved around a single word which you used in your short letter and that word is Companionship. It’s not that I have a problem as such, just that I would appreciate a clearer understanding of what you mean. I write letters, and have done so for many decades. In all this time I have only ever met one of my virtual friends. If your use of the term Companionship involves any form of personal interaction outside of words on a sheet of paper, then I am not the one you are looking for. My entire interest is based on getting to know people and corresponding with them through letter writing.

Making changes in your life is decidedly a good plan, no matter what your given situation may be or how difficult it seems to break away from the past and begin from scratch once more. We all go through these phases several times in our lives and make promises, express wishes and desires but, sadly, rarely follow through. Circumstances make it easier for us to go back to where we were before, to the things we already know. And, of course, some are faced with the stark reality of life: there are few who believe a new start is being made, few who trust you to make those changes based on the past. They can see what has happened set down in words, filed for future use, and these words, this assessment of character and willingness to begin again darken their minds and leave them, based on their experiences with thousands of other people, with no belief in the real person before them.

If, however, your idea of Companionship is purely through the written word, purely through writing letters, and if you believe that you can really open up and let everything out in a letter and build up trust and friendship that way, then you’ve found the right address. And if that is the case and you reply to this letter, take that first step towards change with no promise of material benefit whatsoever, then I will write back.

Take good care of yourself.