Letters (Fiction writing practice)

For an exercise a few months ago I began writing letters to a fictional person named Grace. They were from the point of view of a lonely person writing to another, a woman perhaps the sender loved but never heard from. Below are the letters I wrote in that exercise.

Dear Grace,
I spent all night listening to late 70s early 80s music.

There were a bunch of people outside my house just hanging about in the street and I could not stand listening to them anymore so I put the music on. I love to lay in the dark and listen to music.

I have been thinking about going overseas but I don’t know where I want to go. Maybe Italy. I would like to have a job where I am paid to travel but I suppose everyone wants that. It is funny when people say that they are sick of going overseas for work, but I suppose that happens. If you do something all the time it can become annoying. I have heard that about all jobs- people in books stores, for example, start to hate books and most of them start because they love reading. That is my idea of hell, taking something you love and being made to hate it.

I think hell would be full of demons driven mad through the destruction of their love.

Please write me back soon,

David

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Dear Grace,
I decided to paint a picture of my own. I wanted to paint a forest. I had nothing to paint with so yesterday at lunch I went to the art store down on the freeway and I bought the cheapest oil paints, canvas and brushes I could find, but they were still very expensive. The girl behind the counter assured me they were of the highest quality but I have since found out from Russell (the guy who works in the cubicle behind me) that you can buy all the art supplies you need from the two dollar shop. At any rate I’ll have good quality paints and brushes to work with. Last night I started to paint, trying to capture the image I had in my head. I used three shades of green and mixed in a lot of white and yellow but nothing came out looking right. How do you put leaves on a tree? I don’t want to try and paint each leaf individually and when I just colour the tree green they look like big green blobs.

I called work this morning and told them I’d be late and tried to do some more painting but it does not look good. I don’t think I have the knack for painting. I do not have the patience or the skill. I may take up photography. If you want all the supplies I bought you are welcome to them. I can drop them over to you if you want them. They are no good to me and I dropped magenta all over the carpet and it’s as good as ruined now.

I’ll go down to the hardware shop tonight and see if I can get some paint remover and maybe get it out before they inspect my apartment. Do you have any idea about removing paint?
My God I dread going down there. I remember the people at that hardware shop are as good as useless. They would rather chat to each other up the plumbing section than help someone. But I’ll have to go and get something, the paint has gone deep into the loop. (or is it weave?) Any way it’s gone into the carpet a good way.

Love David

Monday, 11 August 2014

Dear Grace,

Last night I was sitting at the laundromat and I saw two women on the street outside fighting over an umbrella. It had only started to rain and only lightly. The small woman with the umbrella was minding her own business and was just attacked by a larger woman who stole it from her.
Should I have done something? I was across the street and it just seemed so weird- like it wasn’t really happening.

I lost my sunglasses and my good pen. I had them both in my pocket and they must have fallen out either on the train or in the park. I went back and search for them but I couldn’t find them. It was my good pen too, the one my dad gave me before he went away.

I find myself sitting down by the harbour a lot these days, watching the ships come in and out and waiting for the sun to go down and the city lights to come on. I saw a band practicing and it made me sad.

The kittens are fine. They all say hello.

If you want to come over to dinner on Wednesday just let me know.
Love David

PS I just read a book, The Plague by Camus. I think you should read it. I love Kafka, Camus, Orwell. I hope you do too

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dear Grace,
Have you ever been to the park across from the art gallery where your work is hanging? It’s a really nice park. It’s huge and runs right from the gallery to the harbour.
I have been going to that park since I was a little kid. It is the best place to sit and think and be alone.
I used to skip school and go down there and hide out in the botanic gardens with the amazing rainforest trees. No one can find you if you crawl up into a Morton Bay Fig. They are like huge houses with many rooms.
Once I skipped school and I was down in the park and this old man came up to me. He sat down near me and we started to talk. I was very nervous and I didn’t like him.
He asked me if I had a sweetheart and I said no, he said ‘Of course you do, all boys have sweethearts, there must be someone you like.’ I did not get a chance to respond, he just kept talking, ‘A little girl with blonde hair and soft little hands. Big eyes that gleam and a little nose. A little girl who likes dresses and giggles behind her precious hands.’ Then he stood up, excused himself for a moment and then went deeper into the trees. I think he started to masturbate. I did not understand at the time but I knew something was wrong. I did not watch him, I was so afraid I froze. When he came back he was red faced and short of breath. A complete change came over him. He started to ask me what I was doing in the park at this time of the day and if I didn’t like school I should go and get a job because the world loathes a bludger. Then he said that all boys should be whipped. He said “Don’t you think all boys should be whipped? To clean the bad thoughts out of their heads?”
I agreed and then said I had to go and I ran off towards the city. I was afraid he was going to follow me, he didn’t.
It was the worse thing that had happened to me in that park.

The kittens and Mixy are going fine. Last night she almost attacked me so I do not interfere with them anymore. I will wait until they are a bit older.

Love David.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Dear Grace,

The cat I bought from your mother gave birth to kittens today.
I do not know how she became pregnant – well i know how of course-. I have been letting her out to go for a walk and a few months ago she was acting strangely and meowing a lot, so I suppose she met someone and became pregnant. She is hiding in the kitchen now with the kittens. I have no idea what to do, so if you could come over and give me a hand I would appreciate it.

I saw your painting in the local art gallery today. It is very good. A man standing beside me said the woman had strange hands, he said they were too small, but I told him he had a strange head that was too big and he walked away utterly destroyed. I am thinking about going back tomorrow to see it again and defending it if need be. (Although it is a wonderful picture not needing to be defended. I would be surprised if it did not win an award.)

I have been googling how to look after kittens all afternoon but it is hard to find out what I should do for the kittens themselves. I see it says about providing food and water for the mother but nothing for the kittens. I shall see if they need anything tomorrow and just let it flow naturally. Maybe they would like some grass from the garden or something. I don’t know.

Don’t forget that if you need an ironing board in your new apartment, I can go with you to help you get it.

Love David

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Letters to Grace: Catching the Train

Dear Grace,
The last time I caught a train in the city, a homeless man (well I assume he was a homeless man – he might have had a very nice home but just became very dirty, drunk and angry after a bad day out) came up and screamed in my ear.
It hurt and as I tried to get as far from him as I could I wondered why I even tried to go outside.
Anyhow, not having a car handy I had two back packs with me. I was going to the supermarket to pick up a weeks worth of groceries. I would fill both the pack packs with food, wear one on my back and one on my front, appearing as I imagined like a mutant turtle or a mentally deficient maniac. It was a big day out.

I remembered while I was walking up the two thousands steps in the Shopping Centre because the elevator stinks like painful onions, that you live near me and I was wondering… where do you do your shopping? BECAUSE I could totally go for borrowing a ride with you to the shops and we could do our shopping together. How much fun would that be?
I would in return put some money in for fuel.
It could be our weekly adventure.

Last shopping day I think I injured my back with my heavy load and I knocked a granny over as I came up out of the train station. Not cool at all.
Let me know what you think.

Love David.

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