Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond
Send your nonfictional open letters to email@example.com.
An Open Letter to the Kid Scooping Raisins Out of the Bulk Bin and Dumping Them On the Floor.
Your dad is a liar.
He says dumping raisins on the floor “isn’t very nice.”
It is in fact nice—very nice. I’d go so far as to call it an “exquisite pleasure.” Making a mess, that is to say, disorganizing something that used to be organized, is lots of fun. Especially if somebody else did the organizing, like the guy who owns this grocery store who went through a lot of trouble putting the different types of raisins in separate bins (why didn’t you dump some golden ones, by the way?).
Really the whole city is organized like those bins. You go to a grocery store for food. You go to a car store for cars. You can’t just go to a car store and come across some food, unless someone dropped a popsicle. Now that these raisins are on the floor, they’re kind of like that. They don’t belong in the store. They’re trash. Rubbish. Old hat. Bad bonnet. Whatever you want to call it, nothing anybody wants.
But the popsicle would be an accident, and you did this on purpose. You couldn’t help but notice that raisins look aesthetically enchanting on a floor, like cockroaches. When a lady comes by to find something for her oatmeal, she’s going to be all “EeeEEeEeeE!” because she’s freakishly afraid of insects. Reminding her is cool, cool with ice-cube-under-shirt coldness.
Next thing you know, a store guy is going to come along to sweep up the raisins. Some people might think that when he does that, he’s re-cataloguing them as trash, and, in that way, putting things in order again. Those people are wrong!
It all goes back to the world we have to live in. It’s not orderly, organized, no. It’s chaos. Pure chaos. Even the birds don’t know which direction to fly sometimes, to give just one example. I’ll put down another big proof, on the cellular level. H. pylori bacteria spend all day drilling into the gastric mucosa, away from immune cells, and when vacuolating cytotoxin joins in (and cytotoxin-associated gene A, I might add) the epithelial cells of the stomach forget which way to grow. I bet you already knew that.
I’m sorry to say that lots of people, like your dumb dad, pretend that’s not the way the world is. He likes to think that raisins stay in bins and birds fly to nests. There you were, proving him wrong. My point being: You don’t have to grow up to be a big phony who thinks the for-real world’s not very nice. You dropped the scoop today, but you’re bound to go grocery shopping again. Next time, scoop with your hands.
SUGGESTED READSFive Under Five: Five Fiction Awards for Writers Under Five
by Todd Pruzan (12/15/1998)
Are You There God? It’s Me, Ernest
by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (9/28/2010)
Kids Say the Darnedest Things
by Dan Kennedy (10/11/2000)
RECENTLYList: Sylvia Plath’s Holiday Cooking Tips
by Arabella Anderson (11/26/2014)
Butterball Help-Line Help-Line
by Alysia Gray Painter (11/26/2014)
List: Pardoned Turkeys: Where Are They Now?
by Tom O'Donnell (11/26/2014)
POPULARWhy You Should Not Have Broken Up With Me, According to Various Critical Theories
by Tommy Wallach (11/3/2014)
It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers
by Colin Nissan (9/23/2014)
The Boy from Jurassic Park’s College Application Essay
by Julia Drake (11/12/2014)