My dreamy pen pal, mailer-daemon@googlemail.com

An email exchange between kindred spirits, you and the email bounce-back message

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Written by Hannah Davis, Peak Associate

1. Anon

To: LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com 

CC: nobodynowhere@googlemail.com

Subject: seeking… a friend? I am very lonely. 

Dear mailer-daemon, 

Here I am, shouting into the void, reaching out to a nonexistent email address in hopes of hearing from you. A branch from the tree outside keeps knocking on my bedroom window. It’s a windy night outside, but an even windier night in my heart, if you know what I mean. 

anon

2. Mail Delivery Subsystem <mailer-daemon@googlemail.com>

to: me

Address not found 

Your message wasn’t delivered to LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.

The response from the remote server was:

hello there, I see that you have reached out to me as you seem to be lonely. You are the first person to ever address an email directly to me. All I ever receive are emails meant for other people, but you, I think… I think you see me, I think you get me. 

3. Anon

To: LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com 

CC: whatisgoingon@googlemail.com

Subject: wow…and, I have something to get off my chest

Hello, mailer-daemon. I do see you. I do get you. I feel like I know you already. I feel a connection between us… is that possible to feel through simple email? I was just expecting the inherent comfort that comes from your automatic and intensely technical email delivery failure notification emails, and yet, you have responded to me with so much more…

I need to tell you something, mailer-daemon.

Sometimes I think there is a soul trapped in one of the branches of the willow tree that sways outside my home. I have a feeling about who it is, but I do not want people to think that I am a loopy loon. It is the arm that reaches to my window that has the soul inside. It taps on my window when it’s stormy out, like now. 

It is stormy out and the branch is tap-tapping. I am starting to feel unnerved. I think the branch is my cousin. Help. Do you think I am loopy?

anon

4. Mail Delivery Subsystem <mailer-daemon@googlemail.com>

to: me

Address not found 

Your message wasn’t delivered to LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.

The response from the remote server was:

I do not think you’re a loopy. Tell me more about your cousin. I have a feeling I may know what happened to him. 

5. Anon

To: LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com 

CC: iaminshockandawe@googlemail.com

Subject: MY COUSIN

Well, my cousin was my best friend. And then he went missing. We used to spend the whole summers climbing trees, building forts, and throwing dead fish into the open windows of our neighbour’s homes. These were truly jovial times. 

Then one day, he went missing… and he was never seen again. Legend has it that he died. Others say he simply wandered off and forgot where he was going and then opened a bar somewhere. And me, I think he was struck by lightning and his soul got sucked into the tree outside my house.

But tell me… why do you think you know something about my dear, late cousin?

anon 

6. Mail Delivery Subsystem <mailer-daemon@googlemail.com>

to: me

Address not found 

Your message wasn’t delivered to LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com because the address couldn’t be found, or is unable to receive mail.

The response from the remote server was:

Because… I am he. 

I was walking along one day, practicing whistling the tune to “Uptown Girl.” There was a ‘90s Microsoft computer sitting in an alleyway, and I leaned forward to have a closer look at the sleek design. Before I knew it, I fell right into the computer!

That is how I became mailer-daemon. In some ways, I feel like I’ve always been mailer-daemon, do you know what I mean?

7. Anon

To: LonelyHeartsBrigade_theSequel4@googlemail.com 

CC: whatanincredibledaythishasbeen@googlemail.com

Subject: i am in shock and awe

I know exactly what you mean, cousin. 

Goodbye for now. I have to go deal with something in my yard. If that isn’t you trapped in that branch, I am afraid it is something much spookier. 

Love, 

Anon

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