It feels like I lost my exboyfriend. Actually, it’s the social equivalent of a one-night stand where I don’t remember the guy’s name — nor he mine — but, you know, we shared something. Paul Walker was my adult crushContinuing my long-standing practice of penning Open Letters to strangers, here’s one for my Paulie.

Photo of Paul Walker at Fast & Furious promo in Paris by Nicolas Genin

Photo of Paul Walker at Fast & Furious promo in Paris by Nicolas Genin

Dear Paul Walker –

I am sitting in my apartment when Twitter tells me you’ve died. A sex educator and columnist 2,640 miles east of Hollywood, you wouldn’t know me unless you’ve randomly read my work. Nevertheless, I was a dedicated fan who devoted a huge chunk of real estate on my creative home, FUNKY BROWN CHICK®, to you. It was pretty much Paul Walkerville for a while. To learn why, grab my hand and stroll back in time, my love.

I discover you in the 2003 film 2 Fast 2 Furious, and I later proclaim NO ONE loves you as much as I do. Because you have a California surferboy accent, and I’m an asshole who sometimes forgets famous people are human, I make jokes about a gorgeous, up-and-coming airhead. When I learn you are a passionate philanthropist and outdoorsman, I pull back on the Dumb Blonde cheap shots. In 2005, I write an original ode to you. I later poll my readers, asking if blonde men (like you!) are hotter than brunettes. I write a song, Twelve Dudes of Christmas, and it includes a lyric insinuating I’d like to fuck a Paul Walker lookalike. Expanding fake musical ambition, shortly after Valentine’s Day 2006, I drop a goofy album called Yo Soy La Chocha De Tu Madrementioning you in the liner notes.

Celebrity crush? I pick you hard. When I run for president in 2006, I appoint you the “National Boy”:

World leaders introduce themselves to him as Prime Minister, King, Queen or High Grand Pumba or whatever. And, when they ask Paulie what his job is, the conversation goes something like this:

King of Spain: So, who the fuck are you?
Paul Walker [sticks left index finger into right ear to release trapped ocean water]: What?
King of Spain: Who the fuck are you???
Paul Walker: Um … I think I’m just … you know … [sticks hands in air and makes “air quotes” with fingers] … “The Boy.”
King of Spain: What does a Boy do?
Paul Walker: [giggles, smiles.]

Though you and I are adults aged only a couple of years apart, I write “Mr. Paul Walker loves Mrs. Twanna Angela Hines-Walker”  in bubbly, cursive letters in my journal as a junior high school girl would. Kidding, of course. I’m a writer. Professionally, I’d never change my byline / last name ;)

On a more serious note, speaking of little children, I stop following your career after multiple media outlets report you have a 16-year-old girlfriend. Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell is only a few years older than your daughter. Although I am wholly uninterested in celebrities’ love lives, I am unable to keep a lady boner for a dude rumored to date a child. Years pass. I speak your name less often and, when friends do, I shush them.

Even though our one-sided relationship fades, for better or worse, you change me. You make me believe in blonde men. In fact, you’ve made such a lasting impression that, when news of your death breaks, a few longterm FUNKY BROWN CHICK® followers mention they immediately think of me because I used to crush so hard.

Paul, I liked you before liking you was cool — as every admirer probably proclaims. I might be one of a million past and current fans thinking of you, but there will only ever be one Paul Walker.

May you rest in peace, sweet angel face.

Your former biggest fan,

Twanna Angela Hines-Walker