Dear Dad 06/1/2020
I’m depressed. I came to New York to be a famous writer. I am still working as a barista at FourBucks. I am not writing to ask for more money (although money is always appreciated!) I like my fellow Barista’s at least. All of them are like me. I need to tell you about some of them, so you can see you might not be right about a college degree being a magical thing that makes life easy. (I am grateful for all of the tuition money for night school, and for paying the the writing coach and seminars!)
Jane graduated an Ivy League School in Social Work, but decided she found being around people who needed so much help depressing. She has changed fields of study and is currently working on her doctorate in Medieval Art History, so she can make her own fortune and not have to listen to her parents (but don’t tell them that.) She wishes you were her Dad when I tell her about you. Her parents are mean and won’t pay for her doctorate, so it is going to take her a long time going at night. Her parents do pay for her apartment and give her a large allowance, they are making her work at FourBucks to pay for fifty percent of her doctorate so she can be her own person. They took away her Lamborghini and now she has to drive a Lexus. She used to be a gymnast and still coaches for fun at the local high school. She is constantly asking me out. It’s embarrassing. My problem is she is so boring, so plain Jane. I went out on a pity date with her when her parents came to town so they would know her lesbian phase was over, and they really liked me.
Sally has multiple degrees and is interesting and I think I might ask her out. She has those pouty lips and sultry look to which I always fall prey, like Nix in “Guns Akimbo” or the actress in the old movie “Kill Bill” or even Susan in “Narnia.” You get the picture. I can’t tell you what color her eyes are, I keep looking at her lips. She tends towards hoodies and hats that keep her eyes in shadow, which I find alluring. She claims to be working at FourBucks as a cover, hiding out from her ex-employers at some secret government agency. I thought she must be nuts, but I am starting to wonder if she is telling the truth. She opens in the morning and I saw her doing parkour outside and she has mad skills. She ran up a wall and bounced around to the top of our building. Then she dove down and stopped a mugging. What was interesting was after knocking the mugger senseless she mugged the mugger, took his clothes off with a knife, shredding them to confetti without touching him—what skill with a blade. Have those reports of the vigilante they are calling “Spider-Gwen” after the imaginary comic book made the news out in the boonies where you live yet? I think its her. She doesn’t have webs, but her trademark seems to be leaving muggers and thieves naked and afraid
I am writing this at the demand of my writing coach. She says all of my ideas are dull and “pedestrian.” She wanted me to practice writing in the second person, to see if it unlocks my creativity. So I am writing to you. She also says I ramble on endlessly about nothing. I know, not very encouraging right? So I am supposed to do it like a journal. Write a little bit every day. Thanks for playing, this is the end of today. Maybe I should have joined the Navy or the union.
Today I went on the reedsy website my writing coach recommended and started a submittal for a free story contest with a 50 dollar prize. Big whoop, fifty dollars—but it is a free entry. The problem is that you are pissing in the wind. We writers are by nature a selfish breed, and not team players. No one reads my stuff. I don’t read anyone else’s. They started this writing circle thing where they try to partner 3 people to read each other’s stuff. I gave all of this thoughtful feedback and the person seemed like they were mad at me. Another person gave me some feedback “nice.” One word! “Nice”. It was a freaking horror story! Did you mean nice in the sense that you liked it or was it sarcasm in that you thought it sucked, and horror stories that are nice suck? Were you looking for a brownie point from reedsy and using me like a two dollar whore you got for free? So you know how I used to work for the NSA and have a lot of “work I took home with me?” I cyber stalked some of these folks and all I can say is “wow.” Most of these folks are certifiably insane, and writing for “therapy.” Some are in mental institutions or worse—politicians!
Sally asked me out! She took me out to the gun range and we shot all of her guns. She is also a martial arts expert and she taught me some moves, then I taught her some moves if you know what I mean. She really is the vigilante. She wants me to use my mad skills in hacking to help her bring down a government conspiracy. I told her no. I was done with that life now. I was focused on my writing. Now Jane asked me out. Jane is lower maintenance and whenever we go on dates its fancy and she pays, so I might go out with her just to stop eating ramen watered with sweat. Is that bad?
She took me to this foreign restaurant and ordered in a foreign language for us both. They brought me this soup. I pretended to eat it because I couldn’t get my spoon through the top and I didn’t want to ask and look stupid. Sally noticed and fell off her chair laughing at me. Apparently in French Onion Soup its normal to have a big piece of cheese bread covering the top of it. She laughed at me and it hurt my feelings, further damaging my self esteem and making it harder for me to write well.
I thought of you today. Remember how I learned in the NSA internship you got me about your work eradicating the vampires? I know, sore subject, you think I should have stayed there, but you don’t know how boring it is, working next to all these other government employees counting down their days until retirement. The guy next to me had a count going of 14 years, 3 months, 2 days, and 4 hours. I need to live in the now.
Well, yeah, the work you did before you retired from vampire hunting set the world right, and we just had this boring job of monitoring, but I saw one today, going after a homeless person. I used the Vulcan nerve pinch vampire knock out thing you taught me and took him down, and dragged him out into the sun to watch him turn to smoke and die. I just want you to see that I have all these distractions keeping me from writing. Maybe you could send more money and I could just stay in and focus on my writing?
I have moved in with Jane. It is mostly usually platonic, and we have a third room mate— Sally. It turns out Jane’s Dad bought our FourBucks, and made Jane the manager. Sally and I got a big raise. We each have our own rooms and live right above the store—for free. All we have to do is exchange packages with these guys in suits that show up a couple times a week. Her Dad says its like some old sitcom you probably watched, back in ancient times called “Three’s Company.” I hope they don’t distract me from my writing. We are all good friends but I have dated both of them. I guess I am helping Sally with hacking, and she recruited Jane to help her too. Jane was an actress when she was a child, did I tell you that? Yeah, I am still hot for Sally.
I haven’t told you about my gaming buddy Mike in awhile. He has been AFK, as he has been focused on a world domination project he calls “project little.” Mike is really woke, all global warming tree hugger environmentalist. He wants me to help him hack into his employers database. He thinks if he can add this treatment they developed to the food supply, it would turn turn on a certain gene that would turn all of the next generation of humans into homunculus, or perfectly formed miniature humans, radically reducing the load on the environment, except for people who are royalty like him and he said me, who would be served by mankind. He has offered me all this money to partner up with him. Although it sounds exciting, I told him what I told Sally. I am a writer now, I am staying away from distractions and focusing on my writing career and my barista skills.
This writing coach is so awesome, and what a great way to get my creative juices flowing! I have “the” idea plucked from my everyday life that is worth writing about. I am so glad you saw me through that childhood illness that almost killed me, that we survived that plane crash, that you rescued me from those vampires who were trying to get to you through me back in the day. It is all worth it now. I have had that “AHA” moment for my novel, and I owe it all to my writing coach for suggesting I do this exercise! She is right. There is plenty of material and characters from which to draw creative stories in my daily life. Let me lay my idea on you. I am going to keep it off of reedsy so no one steals it.
I saw this stink bug around the dumpster outside FourBucks and it hit me. What if I wrote a story about intelligent stinkbugs? They could live in houses made of excrement that they both live in and eat. The villains in the story could be humans, so it could have both an environmental angle and say team work, in that they need human excrement to live. I think this idea really has legs. I can’t decide whether to write it as a screenplay or a novel. I picture Tom Cruise playing Ralph, the head stink bug. I can’t wait to hear what my writing coach will think. She is so awesome!
Your soon to be famous son,
Benedict Hitler Manson