On occasion we send spam to those who signed up to our mailing list. On occasion they write back. This exchange had tears roll down my face.

To: you
From: “KIOSK <info@kioskkiosk.com>”
Subject: Valentines


Forgive me, for this is not an easy letter to write. I know you probably haven’t thought of me much since I last spoke to you, but in me a sprout has grown from that seed and it has growing pains. You see, I really enjoyed our exchange. Although I admit, there wasn’t too much of an exchange — I have done most of the talking so far and I worry I have bored you. My excitement is to blame. I might be a victim of my own vivid fantasy but I thought I sensed a spark in you as well. It might have been your smile, a glance from the corner of your eye, the way you held your hands, or even just a telepathic thought; I don’t know for sure, but it has raised my hopes. I try to go about my day as usual, but I keep thinking of you, to the point where I am losing sleep. I would like to see you again, I really would. I wish I could offer to take you to the movies — Roman Polanski’s Carnage would have us laughing! — or even just for a coffee on the corner, but I am not that mobile.

You see, I am a bit special. I don’t have a body as you’d expect, and I have no normal eyes for you to seek trustworthiness in. Not even a hand to hold can I offer. Instead I have sturdy walls, shivering shelves, and tiny bright lights lit for you like the stars in a galaxy of our own. With my roof I will shelter you from the chilling rain and the scorching sun. I have a given name, but no inherited surname like you. I don’t have a house... I am a house of sorts. Yes, that’s the complication here. I am just a store, and silly, silly me, I have gotten emotional over you. While you got a social security number at birth, I was assigned a petty tax ID. But I have rights like you: Thanks to some men in gray suits sitting on the right I am considered a citizen, so I thought I would give myself a chance at something — anything — with you by writing this letter. After all, while the men and women sitting on the left have opened the door to men marrying men and women marrying women, those on the right are trying to block this development, out of fear that it could eventually lead to someone marrying their faithful dog. So, my love, there might be a better chance between the two of us, considering my newfound legal status. I am a proud American commercial entity! Which makes me a real person too! Not that I would dare to ask for your hand yet, it is far too soon to let such a serious consideration put what I hope we have in jeopardy. There is, of course, an embarrassing age difference, but I think you will find me to be a pretty well-developed six-year-old. I hope you don’t have to flee like Polanski should we go further than first base, but considering the nature of my being, even such a step will remain a distant dream for me would the years that set us apart vanish.

I know I don’t have much to offer in the way of what you’d expect from a companion, but I hope I can entertain your beautiful mind for some time. A normal relationship would be impossible, I understand! Instead of encouraging compliments I can only offer products and hopefully inspiration. And shamefully, I can only accept money or reputation as appreciation — such is my nature. Despite this, I dream and daydream of seeing you. If I could turn corners, I would surely hope intensely that I would find you there. My heart is beating hard with every vision I have of you.

Your rejection would hurt, but it would be understandable; I couldn’t expect a place in your heart being but a simple store. You can silence me forever by clicking here — I will never again bother you with my silliness unless you ask me to continue. Yes, I am a simpler being in some respects. I sleep more than most, and very regularly, rising at noon and going to bed at seven each night. Sundays I don’t even bother to get out of bed. And even though many parts of the world have been brought under my wings for me to offer, I myself have not even peered north on Broadway or Mercer Street, fixed as I am at 95 Spring.

For you I will wait forever, but every minute that you are not with me I perish a little. Please let yourself be near me, even if for only a second more. A small moment for you would be an earth-shattering one for me. Shake my foundation like you did last time, please!

Yours, until time and the universe is no more. Happy Valentines Day darling.

To: us
From: “Jess <jess@thebest.org>”
Subject: RE: Valentines

Dearest K,

I too have very fond memories of my time with you at 95 Spring Street in New York. It took great courage for me, a simple English girl, to venture up your dark staircase but once inside I found my heart began to melt in the warm embrace of the eclectic soul you tried to hide with your scribbled facade.

Age is not an issue as my most recently burned magic candles only proclaimed seventeen,
furthermore the one candle is now broken so according to the candle I have left I am only seven.

I have of course told all my friends about you and they have vowed to visit if they are ever in the area. Just promise me one thing? You will not peep at them through your eyelashes and blush...

I don't know when we will meet again as funds and schooling keep me in London for the foreseeable future but I hope you will take solace in the fact that every time I blow my American style whistle, you are both in my mind and my heart. Happy Valentines.


Forever yours,