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vcnavega
December 11th, 2013, 06:09 PM
“Could you mean me? I guess you could be referring to me. I am willing to do what you requested, to hear your story partly out of curiosity, but I must admit I also feel the urge to quench this volcanic fire that is consuming you, as you described in your letter.”

“However, I must inform you that I doubt your story will touch my insensitive heart. You see, like you I used to feel a burning volcano inside me, but some time ago mine erupted, destroying the things surrounding it, both within me and without. It left not solid rock, but rather a ruined expanse of gray ash. Don’t get the wrong impression; I am not refusing your offer. In fact, I rather like the idea, but I am warning you that I will not be as passionate and helplessly forthcoming as you. I’ve become a shallow person, and my feelings have become scattered shreds of what once was pressurized emotional energy, pent up as yours is, inside a lonely mind. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me, I understood you were searching for reciprocity, and I would not take offense if my inability to offer my own story so easily is a disqualification.”

“You expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story, you want me to open up – it is a way for you to forget about yourself. I understand, but it’s something I don’t think I can do. I no longer have my emotions under pressure, I no longer feel that I will burst unless I let them vent. I did burst some times in my life, but now I cannot contain much emotion at all. My burdens became acid as you are afraid yours will, and burned through the rest of my form, leaving only sour feelings and scars. Why do you think I had to start by asking if I am the person you are looking for?”
“Despite not being certain I am the sort of person you want, I do want to listen to your story. Perhaps that will be enough - we are strangers, exchanging letters, unknown to one another, seeking only mutual understanding. The possibility that this encounter would have an emotional content frightens me. I have long been a lost cause in such matters, so don’t feel obligated to do anything for me. You don’t need to show me your gratitude by doing something you wouldn’t otherwise. I am willing to hear your story on its own terms, I gladly offer you my open heart and if that is enough for you, I am happy to help you find the comfort you have been looking for. Please, let me know if I am that person who this letter was meant for, and if not I will forget that I ever saw it, and you will hear no more from me.”

Olly Buckle
December 20th, 2013, 11:07 PM
“Could you mean me? I guess you could be referring to me. I am willing to do what you requested, to hear your story partly out of curiosity, but I must admit I also feel the urge to quench this volcanic fire that is consuming you, as you described in your letter.”

The request was to ‘hear the story’, not to ‘hear the story partly out of curiosity’, therefore at least a comma between ‘story’ and ‘partly’. I would be tempted to go for a full stop, but like I said I am not the greatest at punctuation. There is a strangely formal air about this first paragraph, it is difficult to define exactly, but phrases like ‘could be referring to me’ and ‘do what you requested’ contribute. ‘I guess’ is pretty informal, ‘could be talking to me’ or ‘I might be the one’ sound more like they go with it, ‘refer’ has connotations of ‘refer you to our letter of the 13th inst.’; ‘I will’ may be used in the sense of being willing to rather than ‘I definitely am’ and ‘asked’ is a lot less formal than ‘requested’.
Consider the difference between ‘As you described’ and ‘That you described’, in this instance one would be the thing, volcanic fire, and the other the action, quenching it, it also has the feeling of short, disconnected phrases, look what I have done below to include it.
I would go for ‘the’ rather than ’this’ volcanic fire, and the ‘that is’ is superfluous, so, “I also feel the urge to quench the volcanic fire you describe in your letter as ‘consuming you’.”



“However, I must inform you that

Formal again, it is the word ‘inform’, how about ‘However, I must say ...’, or ‘However, it is fair to tell you ...’

I doubt your story will touch my insensitive heart. You see, like you I used to feel a burning volcano inside me, but some time ago mine erupted, destroying the things surrounding it, both within me and without. It left not solid rock, but rather a ruined expanse of gray ash.

A strange, though not incorrect, negative construction, ‘It did not leave solid rock ...’ would be more normal.

Don’t get the wrong impression; I am not refusing your offer. In fact, I rather like the idea, but I am warning you that I will not be as passionate and helplessly forthcoming as you. I’ve become a shallow person, and my feelings have become scattered shreds of what once was pressurized emotional energy, pent up as yours is, inside a lonely mind.

“pent up as yours is, inside a lonely mind.” This should have a comma between ‘as and ‘yours’, but that makes a lot of staccato sub-clauses, may I suggest either ‘as pent up as yours in a lonely mind’, or ‘pent up like yours in a lonely mind’. ‘Cooped up’ might also be more suitable than ‘pent up’.

I hope this doesn’t disqualify me, I understood you were searching for reciprocity, and I would not take offense if my inability to offer my own story so easily is a disqualification.”

“You expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story, you want me to open up – it is a way for you to forget about yourself. I understand, but it’s something I don’t think I can do.

‘I understand’, when separated from a specific like this, tends to become wooly in meaning and take the form of a reassurance, see if you can see the shades of meaning produced by changing the position,
‘I understand you expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story, you want me to open up – it is a way for you to forget about yourself.’
‘You expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story. I understand you want me to open up – it is a way for you to forget about yourself.
‘You expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story, you want me to open up. I understand, it is a way for you to forget about yourself.

I no longer have my emotions under pressure, I no longer feel that I will burst unless I let them vent. I did burst (some times)
‘at times’
in my life, but now I cannot contain much emotion at all. My burdens became acid as you are afraid yours will, and burned through the rest of (my form,)
‘me’
leaving only sour feelings and scars. Why do you think I had to start by asking if I am the person you are looking for?”
“Despite not being certain I am the sort of person you want, I do want to listen to your story. Perhaps that will be enough - we are strangers, exchanging letters, unknown to one another, seeking only mutual understanding.

Put the things together that go together ‘we are strangers, unknown to one another, exchanging letters, seeking only mutual understanding.

The possibility that this encounter (would)

‘could’, it is only a possibility, think ‘can’ and ‘will’, ‘could ‘ and ‘would’

have an emotional content frightens me. I have long been a lost cause in such matters, so don’t feel obligated to do anything for me. You don’t need to show me your gratitude by doing something you wouldn’t otherwise. I am willing to hear your story on its own terms, I gladly offer you my open heart and if that is enough for you, I am happy to help you find the comfort you have been looking for. Please, let me know if I am that person who this letter was meant for, and if not I will forget that I ever saw it, and you will hear no more from me.”

“if I am that person who this letter ...” ‘if I am the person this letter ...’ You use ‘that’ for ‘the’ quite bit; ‘the person’ is sufficient, ‘who’ is a sort of repitition.

vcnavega
December 21st, 2013, 01:51 PM
“Could you be talking to me? I suppose you are referring to me. I am willing to do what you requested, to hear your story. I must say, though, that I am willing to do it partly out of curiosity, but I also must admit your letter made me feel the urge to quench this volcanic fire that is consuming you.
However, it is fair to tell you I doubt your story will touch my insensitive heart. You see, like you I used to feel a burning volcano inside me, but some time ago mine erupted, destroying the things surrounding it, both within me and without. It did not leave solid rock, but rather a ruined expanse of gray ash. Don’t get the wrong impression; I am not refusing your offer. In fact, I rather like the idea, but I am warning you that I will not be as passionate and helplessly forthcoming as you. I’ve become a shallow person, and my feelings have become scattered shreds of what once was pressurized emotional energy, as cooped up as yours in a lonely mind. I hope this doesn’t disqualify me, I understood you were searching for reciprocity, and I would not take offense if my inability to offer my own story so easily is a disqualification.
You expect something from me, something more than just listening to your story. You want me to open up. I understand, it is a way for you to forget about yourself. Unfortunatelly it’s something I don’t think I can do. I no longer have my emotions under pressure, I no longer feel that I will burst unless I let them vent. I did burst at times in my life, but now I cannot contain much emotion at all. My burdens became acid as you are afraid yours will, and burned through the rest of me, leaving only sour feelings and scars. Why do you think I had to start by asking if I am the person you are looking for?
Despite not being certain I am the sort of person you want, I do want to listen to your story. Perhaps that will be enough - we are strangers, unknown to one another, exchanging letters, seeking only mutual understanding. The possibility that this encounter could have an emotional content frightens me. I have long been a lost cause in such matters, so don’t feel obligated to do anything for me. You don’t need to show me your gratitude by doing something you wouldn’t otherwise. I am willing to hear your story on its own terms, I gladly offer you my open heart and if that is enough for you, I am happy to help you find the comfort you have been looking for. Please, let me know if I am that person this letter was meant for, and if not I will forget that I ever saw it, and you will hear no more from me.”