Rejection Letter to Your Past Self - 9/13

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Brian A. Klems
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Rejection Letter to Your Past Self - 9/13

Postby Brian A. Klems » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:42 am

Write a letter of rejection to your past self, explaining why you needed to go through the rough patches that complicated your life the past few years to grow as a writer.

Post your response (750 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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Re: Rejection Letter to Your Past Self - 9/13

Postby sns3guppy » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:34 am

Dear Robert,

Many years ago a young boy looked skyward and dreamed of flight. He did his best to steal straws in the Grovecrest Elementary lunchroom and patch them into little model hang gliders. Each one was carefully fashioned with tape and thread and metal pins, and each one flew, weighted just right, on whatever breeze might carry them along. Do you remember that boy, Robert? I do. As we both were then and I am you now, it was you, and you are me. We’re one. That boy is us.

So many years later, Robert, I am the life you don’t have, but the one you want. You-now are me-then, each of us trapped in our own time, me with the benefit of hindsight and memory, and you caught behind the safety glass of time and space. I can write to you, I can even speak to you if you’ll listen, though you can only dream of your future and wonder. You pine away, and I remember.

Should I tell you what’s to come, Robert? Should I tell you about the death of Emily or the loss of the boys? Should I tell you about the parachute accident on the greens at Pointerville? Do you want to know how you will get this scar or that, or why your hair will grey? I can tell you, I’ve been there, being you, of course. When I was you, I feared fire, but now it’s an old friend. Do you want to know why? Dare I tell you about the house? Is it too early to urge you to insure as heavily as you can, to tell you to cut out salt, and to remind you to exercise? I suppose not, but it is too early for you to listen?

Life is mystery, Robert. Today I write of things past, of things to come, of things which exist, and of things which do not. My imagination is weakened, not like the boy of our youth, the one with the straws and the pins and tape. My hair is gone, my gait is slow. Rich, fertile creativity has been replaced with jaded pragmatism, tempered by all the experiences that I endured, and that you will one day have. I wouldn’t forsake a single one, though some brought me low. You can’t avoid them. Not a single one. Live them well, take from them everything you can, for when you can no longer fly, when you travel no more, when you write and share, those times will be the well from which you dip to tell your tale.

You’ll meet Emily soon enough. Love her, Robert. Inhale her deeply; hold her tight, for she is a bird. She will soar through your life only long enough to give you hope and change you forever before the call of life sends her home. In youth you may not know or understand what you have until it’s no more. I didn’t, but you may yet. We are fixed in our times, though if I change you I change me, and what I wouldn’t give away to touch her face once more is little more than a trifle. The memories you will form will be the ones I have; make them good ones. They’re all we have.

Savor every hour in the air, Robert. I always did. Now I write about them, but you will live them; every hour I flew. You will see what I saw, through new eyes, the old refreshed and vibrant in hue and sound. One day you’ll arrive here on this bed, keyboard in hand, and you’ll write this letter to you-then. When that happens, I’ll no longer be here, perhaps gone altogether. Who is to say? From your future, know that the brightest moments have not yet passed and that you can only truly love the good by knowing the bad. You are going to come to love good, Robert. The rest you will see. Be safe, fly safe, and know that your tomorrow remembers. Give my regards to Emily.


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