An Open Letter To This Open Letter

open letter detour

an open letter to this open letter

dear open letter–I am writing this at the request of your poor worried sick about you mother, who fears that you have been avoiding her recent telephone calls on purpose and so has asked me in her she-knows-I-can’t-say-no-to-her pleading voice to contact you to find out if you are well–well, are you? did you receive the broccoli green oven mitts your Aunt Alice sent you last week? everyone remembers how pale you looked the last time you bothered to come home for a visit, so when your Aunt Alice was in Kohl’s the other day shopping for 1/2 price picture frames she happened across these oven mitts (the color reminded her of vegetables, which they tell me you never eat anymore) and she immediately thought of you-isn’t that sweet?

the family’s hope is that these oven mitts will inspire you to cook more–so that you will feel better–and then maybe you can get out of that lousy apartment of yours and, I don’t know, how should I put this? get a real job. please remember, these concerns have merely been relayed to me, ok? I am only a messenger–but really, you can’t honestly plan on remaining an open letter to yourself forever now, can you? be reasonable–there’s no money in it for one thing-you know that–and what if you get seriously ill or something? you can’t just sit around writing yourself without health insurance in this day and age–you’ve got to start thinking about your future.

why an open letter anyway? why not try to be something that’ll pull in a little income, like a best selling novel or maybe an interesting biography about one of those famous historical figures you’re never talking about? or if that’s not up your alley, how about a short story? people buy short stories once in a while don’t they? or a newspaper article–wouldn’t that be nice? you could be something useful for a change–and it’s important work you know, telling people what’s going on around their day–really, we’re near the point of begging here–this path that you’ve chosen is breaking your poor mother’s heart-try something new: a cigarette warning label–a woman’s magazine recipe–how about an off Broadway play? anything-hell, a poem would have more chance of harping out a living than this open letter to yourself thing that you insist on sticking too.

look, I’m not saying you’re wasting your life or anything, just promise me you’ll think it over, ok-you’re digging your own grave here, but you know that–enough said for now–don’t forget we love you honey-and tell Helen we said hello-kiss/cha.


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