I understand that you may be upset. It’s fine. And I apologize. But please do know that by no means do I consider you of ‘my’ possession and I say this with the utmost sincerity and kindness. Let me get to the point. This letter is concerning our relationship.
I remember surveying the swarming disorganized shelves of a small English bookstore in Rawalpindi a few years ago, where I came across, in the midst of archives and collections, your brand-new rugged body of work caught between volumes of Proust. I do not know if you are aware of this, but you are quite popular. Your author saved no ink in painting your skin. Naturally, I took you into my arms. I marched onto the sweaty streets, chucking a coin in the shopkeeper’s direction, like a bashful soldier rescuing his maiden from culture-less buffoons.
Now that was long ago. Many readers have attempted to conquer you and have failed (including a confused English teacher of mine). My attempts have also been in vain. But as you sulk in your virginity, hear this. You are no walk in the park. You are a needy spiteful tantrum-filled bitch. It makes complete sense to me why you were burned by the US in the 1920’s. I do not tease you in my attempts to read you for raptures of felicity. Modernism is a concept that fills many with equal interest and fear.
Nevertheless, the idea of you is marvelous. Full of heavy character development, intelligent humor, and carefully structured prose with sprinkles of puns, parodies, drama and revelation. But take off your skin and your skeleton is a complex experimental stream-of-consciousness. However, I must admit. Your father’s semi-autobiographical account of philosophical and religious awakening did change my life. Then your birth was inevitable, I suppose. It is always only a matter of time before creative egotism creates a magnum opus of insanity.
Our future? Unsure. And I can only hope we are on better terms in the future. I shall pass by Camus, Hemingway, Twain, Faulkner, even Melville, Mann, and Dickens, but you will have to wait. You will grow old. Your pages will flake. Your words will become faded. But one day you will be read. Or else I too will become an angry English teacher. Maybe that’s how they are all born.
Anyhow, till tomorrow. Till I see you there on my shelf again, grinning at me with a glint in your eye, and a secret in your words.
Sincerely yours, frustrated reader.