7.6.12

Excerpt: A Scene from "Letters"

To preface: "Letters" is the working title for a novel I'm in the process of writing. Something pretentious and quasi-literary, nothing like Dark Moon or any of the others you'll find in the tabs above.  Something I started the night I saw Jonathan Safran Foer talk about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Which you should read.  Because it's everything right with the literary world.  Ramble ramble.  Anyhoo, I've got this novel that's a series of letters and letters within letters and here's a snippet.  Enjoy!

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Laura didn’t see either of those letters.  Maybe if she had just glanced to the side, she would have found one and the surprise that had led her here would have made sense.  It had been chilling her all week.  Her PO box was hers, her own, a receptacle outside of the space of her daily life.  A private place where she could send everything she wanted to hide from.  Bills.  Her father’s drugstore greeting cards.  Penny saver ads.  Things too corrupt for her personal home mailbox.  Things too secret.  Home was for newspaper clippings from Gram and Christmas cards from her old college friends.  She didn’t need to hide from them.  They weren’t coming looking for her.  But someone had found her, someone who didn’t even know who she was, except that he knew her address.  Or she.  She supposed a she could have a girlfriend too.  But she got the feeling it was a he.  Something about the craggy penmanship like little pictographs instead of letters, like the wedge writing that the Babylonians used.  Actually it was all the Sumerians and the Babylonians only adopted it for their language, Akkadian.  You would know that, and you would tell me that I wasn’t quite right, and explain the real answer while I blushed self-consciously for failing to impress you.

But you wouldn’t care and you’d smile, like the blonde boy smiled at Laura as he walked past and she made a point of ignoring him, lopsided and otherworldly.  She didn’t know that he had written the letter, invaded her personal secret box.  If she had, she never would have stayed in her chair when he found her at the coffee shop, reading Everything Is Illuminated with her knees trapped between her chest and the table.



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