I’m going to start with someone eating breakfast. I’m going think of him as male, in his early thirties with longish hair to hide his insecurity. He’s sitting eating breakfast outside. It’s a plate of pancakes doused in ample volumes of maple syrup, with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure.
He’s sitting on a wooden table with matching wooden chairs, slightly stained by the weather but in good working order. His huskies are relaxing by his feet after their morning jog down the canal. They would be called Derek and Finley, and there might also be a dog named Bob.
He is eating his breakfast left-handed with a shiny silver coloured fork freshly washed that morning because he’s terrible at packing his dishwasher. In his right hand he’s writing a letter with a shiny silver coloured fountain pen because, well, writing is just right when it’s done with a fountain paper on proper, thick writing paper. If you’re going to write what he needs to write, then it has to be done properly so that the words carry the weight with which they are intended.
With the ink barely dry, he folds the paper neatly into thirds and places it in a crisp white envelope. He stands up with great purpose, disturbing Finley from his sleep. He receives a look of disdain despite the apology.
He walks the half a mile down the road to the battered red mailbox in the hedgerow, the one that looks like it should not be used were it not for the freshly printed timetable on the front. And he pauses. What if he doesn’t get a reply? Still, he pushes the letter in, pushing down with his fingers to make sure it’s not caught on the breeze and blown away. He still worries that he won’t get a reply, that what he’s saying in the letter – the words that he can’t say face to face – will ruin everything. Still, he hopes, it will be over soon. And that reminds him of a song.
Please don’t be long. Please don’t you be very long.
Please don’t be long for I may be asleep.
Bluejay Way by The Beatles