Image © Jane Flett 2020

by Jane Flett April 15, 2020

Strange ways to pass the time. I write a letter to all the television characters
who haven’t got the memo yet. Listen up! I scrawl to a girl hollering pints in a pub
so packed there are other humans there, but that’s as far as I get. I want to remind
her the future will make this moment seem like such crazed & delinquent abandon
but the impulse makes me feel like a snitch. I write a letter to God instead.
Dear God have you considered investing in video conferencing
& do you think this season will be your most critically acclaimed?
God doesn’t answer (God’s been busy) so I burn the headed notepaper I bought
especially for our correspondence. I flush his envelopes down the bog.
I write a letter to myself of three weeks ago instead although “letter”
is a strong word it’s just the words TOILET PAPER written in block caps
with four underlines & an exclamation mark because three weeks ago
I got excited by exclamation marks. & butt plugs, for that matter.
Hemp ropes snagged tight around my chest. I write a letter to the government.
Dear Government, do you think it’s strange we call the chancellor Mutti & what is it
about this apocalypse that makes me want to be bound? I’ll take whatever you’ve got:
a curfew / a ball gag / an edict to make my choice calm down. The government writes back.
Ha ha. Good one. Have you tried alternative nostril breathing? I write a letter
to my lungs. Lungs, I’m sorry for cigarettes & smog living & my weak spot
for sniffing petrol stations. It’s just they smelled so good. My lungs don’t respond.
My lungs are googling the difference between a panic attack & a symptom
in the chest. They say there’s no excuse for misinformation when the stakes are so
high. I get high. I eat fish fingers in my pink silk underwear. I spend three hundred
euros on sex toys & call it a stimulus for the economy. I write a letter
& when it’s down I press return in random places
& make all the end words rhyme
& I call it a poem.
The clock pretends an hour’s gone by. The Post Office sends a memo: don’t lick
your envelopes. Don’t lick your stamps. Consider not licking anything. I consider
myself lucky I gave up on the habit of doorknobs already. What’s next? I give up
cheek kisses & eye rubbing & scarfing other people’s chips. The next day I wake
early, my mailbox empty. My ballpoint pens all out of ink. Thin dawn & I
stand on the balcony with tea while the world wakes. No airplanes. No school bells.
Just the birds & my heart cheeping softly. A call. A call. & a response.
Jane Flett is a Scottish writer based in Berlin. She won a huge stipend from the Berlin Senate and then the world ended, so now she mainly stays indoors.

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