Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond
Send your nonfictional open letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Open Letter to the Leader of the Ant Nation Residing in My Bathroom.
Dear Sir or Madam,
We’ve been warring for nearly a year now. Although my side hasn’t lost a single life, let me be the first to say it: it is time to put a stop to the fighting.
I’ve emptied bottles of anti-ant spray and tolerated the resulting offensive odor. I’ve laid out bait-style poisons, which are specifically designed to trick your populace into carrying fatal toxins to your very own door, but your people consistently evade them. Eventually they organize parades that march directly around the deadly morsels in mockery of my attempts. I admit, the hyperintelligence of your military leaders is baffling. Thus, I’ve resorted to a multi-pronged and less obvious attack strategy: I’ve maintained tidiness, I’ve swatted at your troops with newspapers, I’ve smashed them one by one with my mighty thumbs, I’ve carpet-bombed them with Windex, I’ve blown them out the window with my breath of fire as they crawled across the neighboring tiles. I’ve even left mass graves open so that you might recognize what devastating havoc I’m capable of delivering.
Still, you send recon teams out. I spot them regularly, sometimes a team of two or three, sometimes a lone wolf crawling across the floor or the shower walls.
The leader of such a tenacious tribe must be both very proud and very wise. It is my sincere hope that you can set aside your pride and exercise your wisdom to the fullest extent for the purposes of this conversation. The cycle of violence can’t continue. You must withdraw every last one of your kind from my apartment.
It’s not fair. I pay rent. Don’t give me any crap about being indigenous. It’s not about that. The comparisons you will surely draw upon are nonsensical and you know it. You are ants. Don’t make this something it’s not. Have some couth.
Do not take my suggestion of peace as a sign of weakness. If you don’t vacate the premises, I will continue to crush you and your soldiers on sight, without mercy or hesitation. My heart is remorseless at the thought of the lives I’ve destroyed and the families I’ve broken.
Annoyance is the driving force behind my hope of armistice. I grow tired of spotting your spies creeping around on the tiled shower walls as I stand in the buff. The endless removal of your dead after battle wears on my nerves. You make me late some mornings because I get lost in thought about our clash.
But my biggest frustration, the reason I am graying, lies in the question of purpose. Why do you want to be in my bathroom? What do you seek? There is no food there! Not a morsel. Were you to attack my kitchen, attempt a coup there, I would kill you with the same abandon, but I might be more understanding of your plight. Maybe I would be quicker to draft a solution to win the peace. Perhaps I would take to eating out more often, despite my ongoing fiscal crisis. As the situation is, though, there’s not much I can do. I need to habitually bathe. I’m unmovable on this matter. It’s not really even my choice.
Frankly, for several months I assumed I was dealing with madmen. But you must have some goal; your efforts surely have a purpose. When your troops tread across these countertops and tiles, they are consistently killed. Even a loony would realize that by now. Your ants are dying for something. Please, pray tell, what is it? Perhaps I will willingly surrender it to you if you help me to understand.
I’m reaching out here. Let’s put an end to this.
Joshua W. Jackson
President of the Bathroom
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