Monday, December 8, 2014

Pen Pals

Dear Waldo,
Mr. Shanks has given me so many eggplants I've started putting them into the upstairs bathtub and desk drawers in my office. I remember your suggestion of choosing any which one and carving it. I tried a few. I wanted to make them funny so I carved one into the shape of a bum, another into a fire hydrant, and the other into a stoned Christmas elf, but I was terrified Edgar would find them and think they were stupid. I emailed photos of them to you. Did you get them? Maybe the stoned elf was too offensive. Please delete that photo if you got it.

I've thought about carving more eggplants but the last time you wrote you mentioned you didn't like paring knives, so I feel like if I use a paring knife it's going to irritate you and you'll stop sending me letters. You're my friend and I don't want you to stop writing to me.

I haven't been to the art studio in months, except on a Wednesday in November to pick up a mother-and-child figurine they wanted to trade me for the origami booklets I gave them in the Spring. I saw the Hildermans there. I'm worried they're mad at me for not attending their classes regularly. I'm quite certain they think I'm a bad person.

I hope you can forgive me if I don't carve anymore eggplants. It scares the hell out of me.


Dear Sharon,
Mr. Shanks continues to give me eggplants as well. If you don't carve them and give them away, you might run into some problems since there are only so many places you can store them. I liked the photos you sent. My favorite is the elf. I didn't find it the least bit offensive! In fact, I hope you carve more elves. People can't tell when I get your photos. I like to keep them to myself and pray for you. That can be our little secret.

It takes a certain kind of bravery to carve an eggplant. You did the right thing when you made those ones in the photos. It doesn't bother me if you use a paring knife. It's only that I don't like to use one myself. Different people use different knives, but you've probably already noticed that.

Don't give up. And my hope is that you'll push through your fear and take a risk—that's what bravery is, after all. Your photos are safe with me.



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