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 Waving Inflatable Snowman.
Stop it. Stop waving. It’s deficient and floppy and annoying. I can’t imagine how tired you must be. You wave to people all day, don’t you? Just watching your hand rise and fall so fast makes me want to stick my own in a tub of ice—and it’s cold outside.
Aren’t you cold? Your elf friend lies helpless and deflated, face down in the snow. Surely he is cold. Perhaps you should stop waving and use your hands to lift him up again. But you’re waving! Waving! Is this pageantry? Is this dictatorship? What is this?
It’s not even a solid wave. And I don’t know why you wave so much, anyway. Don’t you know people have learned to ignore you? How does your arm even bend like that? Don’t you have joints? Your waving arm looks as if it’s being sliced into and reconfigured every two seconds. I suppose after having waved to so many passersby, this is what waving becomes.
Actually, I would like to amend my request. Don’t just stop waving. Stop smiling, too. Don’t you know every normal snowman melts when it gets warm again? They thrive on temperature, and you thrive on moods! Spirit! Excitement! Temperature isn’t so predictable either, you say? Sure, sure… but if you want to be genuine, just don’t seem so unconditionally happy! Your appeal is lost in conditions quickly.
I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be so hard on you. What can you do? The real snowman, like you, perches awkwardly on the edge of a medium-size yard of a medium-size suburban home in a medium-size suburb, waving to medium-size SUVs full of medium-size people going to medium-size jobs, but it can change. It has its quirks, if it wants. You didn’t want to be factory made. You didn’t want to be sewn together, methodically, from fourths and eighths into a whole. You didn’t want to be exactly like the inflatable waving snowman two houses down the street, did you?
Sometimes I want to stop the car and reform you, give you some originality. If you weren’t plastic and air-filled, I would give you other things to hold: not a candy cane or a present, but maybe a toothbrush or an instrument. Also, do you ever pick your nose? I would give you the opportunity to pick your nose, or the ability to share an offensive gesture with the world that will have you stuffed in a box for eleven months out of the year. At least without a box, you would rip or collect dust with time. Anything to be different.
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