Your Friend, Alvin P Gustaben

Dear friend Markus,

 I hope this letter finds you well, though I am quite aware that it does not. Please do not have this letter read to you, as it mostly is of an intensely private issue. You are aware of my social awkwardness, and my lack of self-awareness when it comes to modern day communication, a knowledge which, perhaps, is confirmed by this very letter. As you are well aware, all experience or understanding I have of society has been wrought through the reading of any number of fiction novels and literary essays. I am making the strongest attempts at grasping a more realistic social life, and I must confess, and apologize for the fact that you and your affairs were a large part of my social experiments.

 This, of course, brings me to my point. I had heard of your current condition through many small rumors among various social circles, and was able to fairly quickly piece together what had happened. It was a rather simple puzzle to solve, especially when I’d heard who had caused your present state of injury. I will not concede that you were wholly undeserving of these desserts. All the same, I do sympathize. I had heard that he found you, most inopportunely, enjoying an outdoor, modern rendition of ‘The Twelfth Night’ in a park. I, myself, had considered enjoying the same festivities, but was unfortunately caught up in my own life which has recently become so wearily busy.

 When I heard that it was Ted Raymore who had come upon you that night, I knew immediately. (Though I was not the only one who knew the reason, of course.) From all accounts (you may correct it if I have my facts wrong), you were found at the beginning of the second act, an act which ended up needing its very own long intermission on your account. I have wondered since I heard, did you know why he was approaching? Did you have the gut-wrenching pangs of guilt as he came, or the flying lungs of fear? Did you attempt to smile and wave as an old friend? Did you know immediately that he knew, and so attempt to escape? Did you freeze in fear (or guilt, or both), or did you even see him coming? From all accounts, nobody knows how it had begun.

 The first anyone saw of you was a bloody sight, I hear. Your knee was already bent the wrong way and the crack on your skull resembled some African country. I was happy to hear that you managed to get a number of swings in, and, though your situation is far worse than Ted’s, he did get his, as they all say.

Nobody has spoken to Ted’s wife since the incident, perhaps you have. I confess that I put up the money for Ted’s bail, under the condition that he does not make any attempts at harming you. He assured me that he will not. He is in a motel near his house, on his own volition, I am sure. There have since been rumors that you may not have been the only other man his wife did lay with. There have been no specific names mentioned though.

I do wonder about you fingers. I have tried not bringing it up here, but I cannot hold back. Did Ted really bite two of them off? Perhaps, given the stories about what happened to your teeth during the event, I should not bring it up, for fear of bringing phantom feelings of the ability to bite. As I have already written though, I cannot hold myself back sometimes.

This last point, I already fear you know. I have heard of what you plan to do when you recover, not to Ted. It is apparent that you know how Ted had discovered those certain involved episodes of his wife’s doings. Again, I apologize and attempt to make an exemption for myself from accepted social behaviours, as you are well aware of my upbringing. My experiments to better myself socially may have to come to an end, so as to avoid more harm. If you find yourself better, I will accept my punishment with grace, and if not, I will keep in my own way once again.

I do hope, with time, we can share a closer correspondence once more, as you have been more than obliging with my fledgling attempts at social graces. You truly have been the most patient friend I could have asked for, given my own circumstances, and, if not you, I hope to find someone of the same virtues.

Your friend,

 Alvin P Gustaben

Post Script:

    I found the collection of modern musician albums you lent me, and I will return them when you are in a better mind and state of bodily being. I have one on right now, I believe the name of the group is Beastly Boys, spelled oddly. I see now, it is Beastie Boys, I understand. That is clever. I do not like the music though.

Flash fiction

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