2015 Writing Fling #4: A letter I have never written

A fiction piece from last year's free writing.


I am sitting. My desk is one of my favourite places in the world. I lean gently back into my leather chair. It creaks. I feel at ease. This is my place. The back of the chair is moulded to mine. 20 years of thought, contemplation and writing.

I pick up my pen. Not this very ben, but I have used pens like this one for 20 years. They have become an extension of my brain. Thoughts flow down my neck, through my shoulder and arm, into my hand and seep onto the page through the ink.

I always write on paper. Somehow the process is altered through the keyboard and screen. My feelings become diminished, harsh, rectangular. The pen and paper allow for free expression.

I am writing a letter. I have my glasses on and I have made a start.

Dear Emily

It is with some regret that I sit to write this letter to you.

I tilt my head as I ponder what to write next. Emily does not actually exist, but the feelings I need to convey certainly do. She is a part of me; a part of my internal make-up.

I have expected too much of you. Tried to make you my reason for living. My salvation. This is more than any one person can bear for another.

I am 60.

And I may just be becoming an adult, a man. Thank God we get a lifetime. Thank God for getting older.

When I was 30 I wanted to be 20. Now I am more than happy to be the age I am. I now find it bizarre that older age is shunned in our culture, although if you do look you can find nuggets of truth.

Old age is your glory. You have lived, formed woulds and scars. You have done, acted, imprinted. And all those things are good regardless of what they were or what others said about them.

They have brought you to this moment. This moment of realising. 

Indeed I am responsible for my life; me alone. I decide what is important, and sometimes this will mean disappointing others. I have become comfortable with this, and how, dear Emily, it is you I must disappoint.

I know that part of you liked being my reason to live. Part of you enjoys the control that brings. This has ended.

We will still see each other and may even be friends. But this will be different now.

I will allow you to feel this.