Dear Sir or Madam
A revised story.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I was walking through a door several times over when I grew obsessed with the idea that Life, the one with the big L, as opposed to minor life, like seaweed, was passing me by. Desperate to make it last, I began (very briefly) narrating the events of my tedious capitalized Life in the third person as follows:
He was walking through a door when the door shut behind him and a voice said: “Stop there, thief!” He turned and saw a younger man than him, twenty perhaps or maybe twenty-three, standing before him with a letter in his hand. He said: “You there!” to which my reply, “Yes,” was apparently unsatisfactory, for the young man threw the letter at my feet and said, “Pick it up!”
Which I did, and to my dismay, the young man then proceeded to chase me through the building, as though I had stolen the letter from him — an absurd idea, since I had no notion of what the letter contained nor from whom it was or to whom it was meant to be addressed, and therefore had no interest in the letter as an object. Yet the more the young man chased me the more I grew jealous of the letter’s contents, until I was determined not to let him have it, try as he might.
He followed me into the dark abyss of infinite melancholy, access to which is difficult to find in the sunlight, but since it was a rainy day at this point in the narrative, I had little difficulty in pressing the correct buttons to open the metal door that led to the fabled land of Melancholia. I sped through the darkness, narrowly dodging the bricks being tossed at me by grinning simians all named Barry. My pursuer was not far behind.
The chase gave way to a special dinner party at which I was prompted to give a speech in celebration of a man with whom I was not acquainted. From the pulpit I noticed the young man in the audience and attempted to kill time by uttering the following: “Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to speak about the person in whose honour we are gathered here tonight. For this person is both worthy of mention and in every way a mentionable presence, although I might specify that by not mentioning this person by name I am perhaps including everyone in my praises.” Before I could finish what I considered to be a quite brilliant speech, the young man raised his fist to the ceiling and declared me a thief.
I ran out of the party and into a Chinese restaurant in which Japanese-looking persons were serving mutton chops to a series of distinguished personages, one of whom happened to be my long-dead father. As I had a bit of time before the young man’s due appearance, I sat before my father and told him I loved him. He looked at me but did not look at me; how shall I explain? He looked through me as you would a child who bores you with a story you must listen to lest you hurt its feelings. “
Do you not love me?” I asked, and his answer was the following:
“I love you the way grass loves the grazing cow; I am neither aware of you nor dependent on you, yet you depend on me for your survival. My shadow will haunt you for as long as you deem it necessary to live; and then upon your deathbed you will remember these words and weep yourself to a slow and lonely departure.”
“Surely you must have some feeling of warmth towards me!” I insisted.
“No; parasite that you are, you cannot but disgust me. My name is your name, my wife your mother, my voice your God’s. If I had a whip I would whip you; but since all I have is this final mutton chop, I shall eat it before you as though you were a fat hungry dog begging at my side.”
At this point the young man ran into the Chinese restaurant and informed my father that I was a thief. “That is false,” I said, but my father had morphed into the face of God and glared at me with eyes fiercer than the fangs of a frothing wolf. I ran.
I ran out of the abyss of infinite melancholy. At the entrance to a butcher’s shop I encountered a little girl whose head had been cut open by an axe. I hastily composed a small eulogy for the girl, for I understood, without truly understanding in words, that the girl was the ghost of my future wife, whom I loved, whom I despised, and whose hair was brown like a bear’s mantle. The eulogy went as follows:
the poetry of death!
the poetry of LOVE!
these were things you liked.
all's well, it's neat to live,
and, glad to say,
you made it neater,
but what a mess you made.
now sleep a bit and rot away,
you'll wake up if He comes.
you and me, surface and depth:
where you saw stuff I saw Things;
that was lovely too.
now you're just stuff in dirt
but the dirt's become a Thing.
it's rather hard to ponder
but let it be a tribute.
you did not make sense most times
so rot in peace and sleep away.
the world is good and God is nice
if he does exist.
or as you put it in a letter:
without God good but with God better.
through the incompetence of words
we let ourselves be loved;
now yours are gone, the world
is forced to be wonderful without you.
I considered it a very valuable piece of poetry, perhaps destined to become one of the great classics; yet the young man, who by now was standing a few feet away from me, declared it unreadable, stupid and maudlin. He said, “You foolish fiend! You dopey diddler! You miscarriage of a man! Burn those words and let them flame forever.”
And those flames indeed were hot and red and the letter in my hand had begun to melt. I tried to open the envelope before its contents fizzled away. It was too late; the ink was effervescing and slowly fading into a white pulp that burnt my fingers. When the young man saw this he chuckled and said: “Ha! Now you will forever wonder what that letter could have been about!” And he was right, and therefore I wept.
But there was only so much weeping to be done before I realized, with great astonishment, that I was dreaming. What alerted me to this was the implausibility of the entire scenario. So I endeavored to wake up by whatever means necessary, for it was an unpleasant dream at best, and I was probably late for work. I found myself in that grey zone between dreams and waking life, in which the mind grows aware of itself and the universe becomes a lovely metaphor for something so much simpler.
I resolved never to wake. And that is when I woke, and the whole thing felt like a perfectly futile demonstration of the power of dreams.
thanks for sharing.blackhawk tactical pants.
"I could have done worse!" exultantly cried the murderer Lebret, sentenced at Rouen to hard labor for life. — Félix Fénéon