Welcome to Things Found In Books. Today's episode: a letter that speaks ill of the writer.
I found this letter, produced by a typewriter and typed on Park Square Bond Erasable, 25% Cotton Fiber, in a book purchased at Half-Price Books several years ago. The nasty tone made me certain that the girl who received this letter probably stashed it in a book and forgot about it because she didn't want to stay in touch with the guy.
Since the scan couldn't be clearly read, I transcribed it exactly as written. All the grammatical errors and misspelled words are the author's.
Before you ask why I keep things like this, I'll tell you. These things ignite the imagination. They're great for playing What If.
What if the jerk who wrote this didn't get a reply. In fact, what if she told him not to bother her again? The tone of the letter is so superior and arrogant. How would a guy like that respond to rejection?
Or, what if he's truly unhinged. What if someone found this letter and matched up the names to a murder of a drama prof in that time period? What if the letter writer discovered this? (I better be sure my door's locked tonight, huh?)
Man's Name Withheld
March 6, 1990
The day is overcast right now, and I've really nothing to do as of the moment, so I guess I'll return a letter that hasn't been sent yet. What's up there in Misery? I hate this lousy class now more than ever. If I don't survive, and kill the teacher, promise to visit me in prison, okay? On the track team up there yet? We only have six people on the ladie's track team down here. I bet they hate the fact you moved. Girl's-Name seems to be doing alright though. I have Girl's Name in my Drama class this Semester. She can't act at all. Really lame, her trying to do Shakespeare with her stupid redneck accent. Some people just can't be useful in classical work. She could probably be pretty good in Crimes of The Heart, but definitely NOT in any non–kikker roles. We're doing Taming of the Shrew next (?) year as a play. I hope I won't be here to see it. I doubt I could take it as they wish it to be portrayed–as kikker is some small Texas town. Ick. Why can"t he just do things the way they were written? Oh well, Fate will see he gets what he deserves, or I will...
Not much new this election year either, Mattox is running, Williams, and a few others. The big thing these days is how many people as Governor they will kill in the gas chamber. Hell, if that's all, I'll run. A lottery is second, and some old hag's drug addiction is third. Just what is going on? I don't trust any of 'em.
Well, the Freshmen are getting restless, I guess I need to beat 'em with a bungy cord. See ya...
Your loving slave,
Me, of course!
Instant Character and Motivation
Do you see how something like this might inspire one to write anything from a blog post to a nonfiction article about any of these subjects: letter-writing etiquette, basic grammar, lost correspondence skills, some aspect of psychology, pathology of the superior ego, etc.
Perhaps it might motivate you to write a book. Wow! The sky's the limit for scenarios. I can easily see half a dozen nefarious angles from blackmail to murder.
Start your own file of Imagination Igniters. You never can tell where playing What If may lead.