Friday, February 23, 2007

To the person who will never read this

Dear Stranger,

Sorry I never got to know you. Who knows what could have been?

It’s funny to think that you’ll never read this –because you are who I wrote this for.

I like the idea that one day when I pass you on the street that you won’t really be a stranger anymore because I wrote this for you. I may even give you an almost imperceptible nod –a knowing look. You’ll probably wonder if we met one time and you forgot me. In a way, you kind of did.

I grew up in an area that was surrounded by fields. You could cross the street, go down a path, climb a stile and be in a field. You could keep going. Climb the hill by following the hedgerow, until you were right at the top. It feels like a million miles as a kid. As an adult it feels less. Depends on how fit you are I suppose.

Looking back from the top of the hill you could see the hills stretching away into infinity around you –with just the odd puddle of houses to break it up.

If you could stay looking at this as time zipped by before your eyes, you would see –at first- a tiny speck appear. The first of the construction workers. Then, splitting out of the land like an exposed bone, you would see the first of the big roads streak across in front of you. That road would make getting to the top of hill pretty difficult, so it’s no surprise when the first bridge appears. There’s no stopping it now. There’s a supermarket, a hardware store… it’s like the land has measles. One after another the houses appear. By nightfall it’s just a mass of twinkling lights.

…Every light a room in a house, every house at least one person. Thousands of people –grown from the ground like grass.

…Every person lives, loves and cries like you do. It’s incredibly profound if you stop to think about it. All of those people probably hope and dream like you, maybe for the same things as you. A better job? More money? Nice things?

Obviously, like the land, I have changed. I’ll never be a child again –at least not the same one in the same place at the same time. But then, neither will you. You’ll never even read this for the first time ever again. It’s always slipping away.

As an adult, I look across those blinking lights thinking about these things –and about you. I wonder about you and your own unique life, which I can only imagine. I think that as unique as you are, and as unique as I am, that we are actually very similar. Maybe if I had been in your shoes I would be exactly like you. Why wouldn’t I be?

So, thinking about you –I thought I’d drop you this letter, and I don’t mean you the person reading this. I’m talking about the person that the you reading this will never show this to. The ones whose eyes will never scan these words. Yes, you! I thought that I would tell you that I hope you will finally read this one day and I can say it was great to know you.

You the person who will never read this.



Behold!!! …at this excessive and elaborate exercise in employment of the English language for the unadulterated sake of it. The extravagant, use of prose for which the only intention is the enjoyment of simply using them. The unhindered style over content.

Wonder!!! …at the pure cheek of the over elaborate, over-cooked, ornate flamboyancy of it all.

Gasp!!! …at the undeniable squandering of your reading endeavour without any advantageous profitability to your well being or any regard to you at all.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Machine Boy

I was humming to myself (like a fridge) as the train rattled through the countryside.

A boy opposite me was humming too –not to my tune –but to the melody of the wheels on the tracks.

As one of the most sophisticated machines ever made I found this interesting.

I had mastered the English language in just 3 days –by listening to it spoken. I would say I had grasped 70% in the first day, 20% in the second and 10% in the next. I could of course be more specific, but it would only unsettle you. Think of me as a human pretending to be a machine not vice versa.

I found the boy singing to the train interesting as I had never attempted to understand the sounds the train made.

Don’t be offended by this, but it took me twice as long to figure out that language as any of the languages spoken by humans.

It took me twice as long again to understand the language of the wind blowing through the trees.

Those of you who suspected that you were being communicated to in those sounds were quite correct. They know all about you.

Listen –they will tell you everything you wanted to know the most.

But don’t take my word for it.