Thursday, April 01, 2010

Dear Bob

Dear Bob,

Thank you for your recent fan letter. These days at Auspicious Jots due to our blogging negligence we only receive spam mail so it was exciting to recieve a note that was in English, pertinent to the blog, and complimentary.

Regarding your questions in order:

1) The long delay in this response is due to many obligations to my fans. This is an award winning blog that examines life and death issues, the heartbreaks and joys of parenting, and honky tonk music. With such a wide-ranging scope we have a breadth of readership that is... what is the word... ? Ok, well... by breadth I am referring to the two other fans named Gray and Mary Rose. Lovely people those two. I'll introduce you some time. They were probably at my local watering hole when you celebrated my birthday in my honor but without my presence. And by my many obligations to them I am referring to the concentration required to change the subject quickly and dramatically when they mention the blog.

2) I do not need an intervention. I stopped writing the blog because I no longer had an audience. Or so I thought. Now that the three of you have let me know your interest, I will resume writing. I will just need you to intervene periodically and remind me of my blogging purpose, give me encouragement, threaten me at times, and prod me. But this is in no way an intervention.

3) You asked about my new vocation. My latest career move involves many, many copies. Copies and file folders and facsimiles and duplicates, because I can't say copies any more without looking dim.

Each day I sit at my desk after a long round at the copier. Once rested, I offer a meaningful look at the phone. Sometimes I cock an eyebrow so the phone knows that I know, but I don't really know. Eventually I break eye contact to get up and move the furniture until the phone rings because I stopped watching it.

After I tend to the phone's needs I look around the office. Eventually my eyes fall upon boxes of my own writings and hundreds of books that I collected in a 15 year career. I try not to give these boxes meaningful eye contact. I try to give them the disinterested face I give lotion hawkers at the mall. But the boxes stare and I think they sometimes lift a communal cardboard eyebrow to let me know that they know. And it seems that they really know.

When the boxes are staring me down I take a deep breath because that's what I used to do for a living - I led by example in breathing deeply. Sometimes I open a flap on one of the boxes with my pinkie finger to peep inside. If I open the flap wide enough to let in some sunlight I see orders of service with my name on them. I see sermons and funerals and newsletter articles and meditations all in my handwriting or with my name on them. The books have meaningfully turned down pages and enthusiastic marginalia and on the inside covers -my name. Occasionally there is a photo tucked in of someone who looks a lot like me. Like me if I wore a robe for a living which is a silly but oddly familiar thought.

And if the phone still does not ring I stare intently at these papers who would very much appreciate some collating or filing or even a little shuffling. I stare at the books with their bright underlinings. I stare inside these boxes full of my name and the office gets very quiet. I take another deep breath. I blink. I breathe again.

Then I look away. I break eye contact with the boxes, slide my pinkie back closing the flap, and I walk back to my desk adjusting the rocking chair on the way.

I say to myself that my name being all over those things is a coincidence like when you have cereal with honey for breakfast from a little plastic honey bear and then driving home from work the radio plays Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears. I say to myself that somewhere very close by is a piece of paper that needs to be duplicated then I look hard at the phone to hurt its feelings so it will go away for awhile.

This is what I do.

Thank you for your letter, Bob.

2 comments:

ms. kitty said...

I miss you, AC! I'm glad you wrote this so that I know you're still alive out there and the fullness of your days.

Christine said...

Well, I read your posts (when you do post). Not sure how I found you, but you're a good writer. Keep it up, you may have more lurkers than you realize....