An Open Letter to a Guy Who May or May Not Be Named Dan, Regarding Our Recent Text Message Exchange

Dear Dan,

Dan's hand has been pixelated to preserve his privacy.

I hope you don’t mind if I call you Dan – your first text was “hey this is dan”, so I’m guessing that’s your name. And I’m sorry I didn’t respond right away, but I just kind of assumed you’d somehow magically realize it was a wrong number. I was wrong.

Your second message took me by surprise. As a general rule, I don’t welcome unsolicited photographs of strange men’s body parts, but I wasn’t offended at all by yours. That’s probably because the body part in question was your hand, it was next to a package of felt-tip pens, and the accompanying text was “these are the biggest sharpies they have. will they work or u want bigger?”. Sure, someone with a junior-high mentality could interpret “or u want bigger?” as some sort of crude innuendo, but I don’t think you meant it that way.

I’m not sure why I responded the way I did. I’m sorry. I just wrote the first thing that came to mind. “I don’t know anyone named Dan” was a lie, and a pretty transparent one at that. Of course I know people named Dan. Dan is a very common name. But all the Dans I know are either distant acquaintances or friends I’ve drifted away from over the years; I can’t think of a single Dan that I’m on Sharpie-buying terms with. To be honest, I’m not sure I’m on unconditional Sharpie-buying terms with anyone. There are people who’d buy me Sharpies if they happened to be going to the store anyway, but I can’t think of anyone I could call at 3am to run out and buy me Sharpies immediately, no questions asked. They’d all ask questions, Dan. Questions like “Do you know what time it is?” or “Can’t it wait until morning?” or “Did you say Sharpies?”. What’s wrong with me, Dan? Why do I fail to inspire that kind of loyalty and trust? Is it because my text messages are filled with lies and half-truths?

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