“A DEFENSIVE MAN” [Fictional Letter to the Editor]

“A DEFENSIVE MAN”

[Fictional Letter to the Editor]

By Crosby

 

Dear Editor,

As you reported in your paper, I was involved in an incident at The Angels Stop Coffee Shop. There have been some after effects of that incident which I would not have anticipated.

First, since it was not reported in your article, I want to briefly recount the incident from my point of view and how I felt at the time.

I had walked into the coffee shop and immediately observed that the situation was awry. That, in itself, was unusual for me. You may not know this, but, in general, I tend not to notice much. For example, recently I had mentioned to the proprietor of the shop that there was a new circular decal on the glass door: something to do with legal music. He answered that that decal had been there since the shop opened three years ago. Oh. Well. Okay. There are many other such examples, but I don’t want to be tedious. I just wanted to give you a sampling of my inattentive abilities. No Jason Bourne here. In addition, I like regularity, I am shy, I do not converse easily with others and I simply tend not to notice the environment around me because, when I do, it can be overwhelming.

But this time was different.

In fact, when I stepped in, I became hyperaware within two seconds and felt that a part of me which had been closed off had become reopened. I noted that there were two aggressively postured men on the first floor–one near the door I had entered, and another leaning not so casually against the counter. There was also a third man on the balcony with his hands hidden below the wooden rail. None of these men had observable weapons, but their manner of looking at me told me that they were dangerous. And I do not know why I thought that. I did not know any of them and they did nothing overtly threatening. At the same time, I noticed two people sitting at a table leaned over, forehead on hands, as if they were asleep. Each had next to them an upright person each with a hand on the leaning person’s back. For some reason, in only those brief seconds, even though there was no observable blood, I got the impression that those two leaners were dead. Others in the coffee shop did smile at me, but they looked to be forced smiles and their eyes darted nervously at the aggressively postured men. Those three also smiled at me although I could not say I felt comforted by the smiles.

Anyway, this was enough for me to decide to leave. I turned around. However, by that time, the man next to the door had stepped behind me and said, with what I suppose was his idea of a joking tone,

“Hey, you just arrived. Don’t leave so soon. Let’s get acquainted and maybe have some fun.”

He said more stuff. Your paper had reported that there was dialogue between us. What you did not report was that, while he was talking and making jokes about people who were heartless or who had achieved holiness, I was thinking about how I did not remember ever having hurt anybody before in my life. I did not want to hurt anybody now. It was not my intention to hurt anybody. I just wanted to leave. And that refrain kept going through my head, “I want to leave, I want to leave, I want to leave, I want to leave” and when I finally verbalized my thought without thinking about speaking it, the man put his hand on my shoulder and showed a gun in his pocket in the other hand, and responded, “you can’t.”

It was, at that point, that the situation overwhelmed me and, without thinking, I reacted. I cannot tell you what went through my head at that moment because my mind was blank. As you dutifully reported, I somehow did a series of actions which would have astounded me if anybody had ever told me that that is what I would do one day: I stomped on the man’s foot, grabbed his gun, slammed him back through the glass door, threw the gun at the face of the man on the balcony who fell back, kicked a chair at the man at the counter knocking him over, stomped on the upper chest of the fallen man behind me when he tried to get up (and thus embedding glass shards into him), ran over and kicked the back of the head of the counter man, jumped onto the counter, then the  top of the refrigerator and then up onto the balcony, tossed the guy up there over the balcony, and finally, jumped down onto his stomach from the balcony. At one point, one of the men, before dying, inexplicably smiled and whispered, “Finally…did it…worked.”

So far as I remembered at that moment, I had never recalled killing before. I had not intended to kill. I had just reacted.

As your readers know, I was charged with excessive force. This, even though the three men had indeed killed the two leaners and even though the police later reported that they were the three brothers who had supposedly been on an interstate murder spree. (Strangely, a news reporter at another newspaper questioned whether it was these three who had actually been the interstate killers and whether the killings were even related.) I had only defended myself. I guess that is why I was not charged with murder. Still, I was convicted of excessive force and the judge said that he was letting me off easy: his sentence was that I be declared a lethal weapon. No fine or prison, for which I am grateful.

Yeah, right, I “got off” with “only” being declared a lethal weapon.

Editor, what you and your readers do not fully realize is that, even though I defended myself and probably saved the lives of the others in that shop, I have been mocked, ridiculed, and feared since then. I have been prohibited from going to local school and college activities because they think I am dangerous and, as it was pointed out to me, “after all we do not let weapons on campus.” I am no longer allowed at the coffee shop. People have left messages on my answering machine and on my various social media accounts calling me a “murderer” and “freak. “

Sometimes guys I don’t know come up to me saying, “I’ll bet you’re getting the babes now!” and then nudging me hard. I used to say “hello” to everybody I passed by. Now, everybody ignores me or looks at me nervously as if, at any moment, I’m going to rip their head off. (It’s true that the head I kicked of the guy at the counter became partially detached from the neck.)  Women who used to greet me with a smile instead now turn their head away. I have been fired from my job because “I make employees uncomfortable.” I even tried to get a job at a fast food restaurant. They refused to hire me by stating, “You have blood on your hands. You will remind our customers of the horrible evil that happens.”

So now I am jobless and rejected. I cannot do the community activities I did previously.

What can I do?

Somebody suggested that I leave town.

“Where?” I responded.

“Go back home.”

I have no home. I moved 20 times when I was younger. My father and stepfather are both dead. My mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t know who I am. None of my other family members live in any of the places that I have ever lived. There is no home to go back to.

“Go to New York. They take all the freaks.”

And what would I do there?

Many of you here in this rural area have lived here all of your lives. You have extended family here. You have a home. You have roots.

I do not.

I have no home.

I have no roots.

I have no other place to go.

I came here because I wanted to live in a small town so that I could eventually see familiar faces and, until now, people have been nice to me.

But now I don’t know what do. I am feeling overwhelming pressure to leave, but I like it here and I don’t know where else to go.

What do I do?

 

 

Sincerely,

Ahnold S.

 

 

Editor’s note: Shortly after we received this letter, the police informed us that neighbors reported that a bunch of vehicles had converged on the residence of Ahnold S. where there was a brief, very violent scuffle. Blood samples from at least eight different people were found. He has been reported as missing.

 

 

Originally written 1/27/2004; revised 2/2017

 

 

Cw: murder, death, amnesia, roots, coffee shop, violence, midwest

MAN CLAIMS HE WAS VISITED BY HIS FUTURE SELF [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

MAN CLAIMS HE WAS VISITED BY HIS FUTURE SELF

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

BY CROSBY

 

Note in newspaper file from the editor:

The following letter was rejected for submission to the newspaper. Instead, a copy was kept and the original forwarded to the police.

 

Dear Editor,

Recently, you reported that an elderly man had collapsed at McNaulty’s and had died en route to the hospital. You further reported that he had no I.D. and that nobody knew who he was. At the request of the police, you published a picture and a notice asking if anybody knew who he was.

I am responding to your request, although my answer may be more confusing and unbelievable than helpful.

The first time I had ever seen that man was earlier this month at the McNaulty’s drug store. I noticed that he shuffled as he walked. Since I am often friendly to strangers, I said “hello” and he gave me a shy smile and responded “hello” back. Then he looked at me again and gave a bigger smile and blurted out, “Oh good. I wasn’t sure I would get to me in time.”

I must have looked a bit confused, but he ignored that and continued, “I am you 20 years from now.” I did not know what to say to that. Accuse him of being insane? He seemed calm and looked like a nice guy and I did not want to hurt his feelings. So I just looked at him while waiting and wondering if he would give a further explanation.

He did. “Yeah, I know. You wonder if I’m insane. And, maybe I am. Still, I know who you are. You are William Crosby and you have peripheral neuropathy and Secondary Parkinson’s.” He smiled again and I could not say anything. My brain seemed to be frozen. I did not know him, but he somehow knew me and my neurological conditions.

“Well, it’s going to get worse. You will acquire other neurological problems and then you, or rather me from the past, will start shuffling just like this because your Secondary will become Primary Parkinson’s. And, in a sense, that is why I came back to talk with you.”

He stared at me and a tear trickled out of his left eye and down his cheek. He smiled.

“This is very important. I made a major mistake. Tomorrow—your tomorrow—a woman you don’t know is going to approach you and ask if you will accompany her on a world tour. Do not do what I—you—did. I argued with her that I did not know her and, besides, how did she even know me and why would she want some stranger going on tour with her? Also, I asked her what I would do about my job and my apartment and my stuff and what about health insurance. And, besides, I don’t like traveling. So, naturally I—this is you if you don’t listen to me—told her, “that’s crazy; I’m not going to do something irresponsible like that!”

“She gave me a sad smile and responded, ‘I’ll give you one more chance’ and then she walked away.

“I—you—just stood there and let her go.

“Well, the years passed: I hated my job, I became unhappy, I developed progressive Parkinson’s, and I stayed alone and to myself without any social interactions. Did you know that social contacts are important for stimulating and developing the nerves in the brain? Without interpersonal connections, portions of the brain wither and develop assorted neurological difficulties: A free neuroscience lesson for you.

“Well, today—my today of your possible future–this same woman came again to me and reminded me, ‘I told you that I was going to give you one more chance. This is it. I am giving you an opportunity to go back in time to convince yourself to go with me on the world tour. And there will be no other chances because you will stay in your past and the next day you die.’

“And so, here I am.” And he smiled.

I don’t know what your readers would think, but, to me, this struck me as a very bizarre and confusing story. Besides, how can anybody go back in time and change history? There are just too many logic and continuity problems.

Anyway, this old man continued: “Please tell me you’ll say ‘yes’ to her.”

I was touched by his fervent plea and my eyes began to feel moist. So, primarily to make him feel better (and partly because I did not know if he would get violent if I brushed him off), I responded, “Okay, I’ll say yes to this stranger lady.” If it was a scam, it was very clever and innovative. He smiled, shook my hand, and whispered, “I know that you are a man of your word even if you don’t believe me.” He then shuffled away.

Well, the next day a woman came to me (his partner in this bizarre con job?) and asked me if I would be her companion for an around-the-world tour. I was tempted to respond negatively for all the reasons the old guy listed. But then I got to thinking that I really did not have much money, I wasn’t famous or worth kidnapping, I had no dependents, and I had nothing worth stealing (except maybe my organs). Instead of giving an immediate negative response, I asked her, “Will you be taking care of expenses and any medical problems?” When she responded in the affirmative, I surprised myself and declared, “Yes, I will go with you.”

We left immediately. A friend fortunately was available to take care of my apartment and forward my mail. I am already on my world trip. I only just now saw the article about this old man. I don’t know if that old man was me, but he, at least, got me to rethinking my status quo.

 

Sincerely,

William Crosby

 

 

Originally written 6/21/2009; revised December, 2016 and January, 2017

 

Later notation made by editor in file: rc’d note from police saying that, because of this letter, they checked the damaged (injury?) fingerprints of elderly man to match those w/william crosby (on file because he once worked for the city); no explanation for aged appearance since crosby was 36 at the time & recent photo on fb did not match old man though admitted similarities; police forwarded to FBI & suggested Interpol do search for man claiming on passport to be wm crosby; poss future article when more firm details

 

I’M A HATER [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

I’M A HATER

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

BY CROSBY

Dear Editor,

 

Yeah, I know that hate is so politically incorrect these days; not just that, but it is some sort of a crime.

Oh well, so what! I hate vampires and I still want to destroy every vampire I see; yep, gotta admit there is definitely a lot of hate in me going on. And it’s a crime that vampires even exist. So maybe I’m doing a hate crime. But what of it? They’re not normal! They’re not human! The laws surely do not apply to them.

Think about the kind of creatures we’re talking about.

Vampires don’t like the sun. I mean, what kind of soulless creature does not like the sun??

They rampage, roam around and party all night: definitely depraved.

Their have fangs. They are like snakes or something. Yech.

They don’t have a normal diet. They like their meat very rare. Well, actually they just skip the meat and lap up the blood. What kind of sick diet is that, huh?? But if they don’t actually eat meat, does that mean they’re vegetarians? Well, they don’t eat vegetables either. Actually they don’t eat anything: they suck. Yeah, vampires suck! Sucking vampires.

Vampires don’t like mirrors: obviously they have self-image issues if you are into that psych stuff.

Vampires are obsessive. All they want is your blood. They’re narrow-minded. They just want your blood and don’t care about your mind, your hopes or fears or your family. They just want what they want. And they want it from you. They want to deprive you of your lifeblood, your means of living.

When I ride by on my truck I always scream at them: “Vampires suck!” Because that’s what they do; that’s what they are: blood suckers. I even attached some flags with a drawing of a vampire with fangs inside a circle with a slash through it.

All vampires should be staked and burned and hung from a tree, maybe one shaped like a cross. That would show them.

Vampires should be totally eliminated from the face of the earth: they’re just not like the rest of us, they don’t belong. They think and act too different from us normal humans.

Or, if you are wimpy, we can build a concentration camp with a wall made of silver and garlic. Those that voluntarily give themselves up can live in peace among their own kind away from the rest of us true humans. We can give them all the rats they want for blood.

And man, think about it, would you let your sister marry a vampire? And if you would, well then maybe there is something wrong with you. Are you a vampire-lover?? Maybe you’re sick in the head with your vampire love. So, maybe you need to have your head bashed in and your brains rearranged.

Long live humans!

Down with vampires!

Sincerely,

Van H.

Originally written 3/7/07; revised November and December, 2017

A DESIRE TO WALK [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

A DESIRE TO WALK

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

By Crosby

 

Dear Editor,

This letter is to inform your readers, who may be wondering where I have gone, that I have decided to walk across the country.

For decades I have had this desire to take a long walk. I wanted the feeling of freedom, of no reliance on any vehicle, of the freedom from a schedule: Just me and my body and the ground. But I have always had some excuse or reason for not going including concerns about the dangers, where to sleep, what to do about stormy weather, extreme heat, cold, and hail, vicious dogs, what and where to eat, the lack of income, where to poop, how to urinate without being charged with indecent exposure, and what I would do about health problems.

Strangely, it is the health problems which have spurred me on. I am now in constant pain. It feels as if my body is disintegrating while I am still inside it. I can feel my body crying. So I decided that, if I am ever going to take my walk, I will have to do it now while I am still able to do so.

.Which way will I go? There is an American Discovery Trail to the north. This is my preferred path since many others before me have walked various parts of this trail so that I would not be such a complete oddity in this land where walking across the country is no longer common and, in fact, is now discouraged (because of lack of amenities, and various trespassing, vagrancy, and indecent exposure laws, and the lack of culture which supports this activity).

Yet, I had a dream that I was walking in a southwest state, maybe New Mexico or Arizona and an elderly leather-faced man, possibly what some call American Indian, came to me on my walking trek and said “It’s about time.” I don’t know what he meant.

Anyway, I don’t understand that mystical stuff. It was just a dream. Still, I am open to suggestions. So, although I’d prefer to take the northern route, I will consider a southern way. After I mail this letter I will flip a coin: heads is north and tails is south. That way I can take into account the possibility of the meeting in the dream and, if there is any mystical stuff going on, maybe the coin will be a way to interact. Didn’t various ancient people use lots and dice-like objects to make decisions?

Regardless of my path, my eventual destination is to visit my sister in California. It is my intention to return here to you since this is a nice town and I have met many nice people here.

Wish me Happy Walking.

 

Sincerely,

James Walker

 

Editor’s note: This letter was date four days ago. Since that time, Mr. Walker’s body was found 80 miles to the south, an apparent victim of a hit and run by a vehicle. His body has returned to our town and is buried in Mapleforest cemetery.

 

 

Originally written 1/11/07; revised October & November, 2016

Little Girl Thinks She is a Superhero [Fictional letter to the editor]

Little Girl Thinks She is a Superhero

[Fictional letter to the editor]

By Crosby

 

Editor’s note: We debated hard about whether to print this letter. However, in view of today’s page one story, we decided that it was relevant to that story and important for understanding better what happened. See the Special Plea by the Chief of Police at the end of this letter.

 

—–

 

Hello to everybody!

 

My name is Suepraimee and I wanted all of you to know that I am three years old, a girl, very, very smart, and very, very strong, and a Superhero! I wanted all of you to know that you have a real life Superhero in town and you can rely on me to protect you, especially if you are a girl.

 

You read in last week’s newspaper that I protected a 6 year old girl from being kidnapped. A man was trying to force her into his car and I heard her scream even though I was five blocks away because I have Superhearing! I ran very, very fast, faster than anybody because I am a Superhero! I ran up to him and punched the man. I am small, but I can jump very, very high because I am a Superhero! I hit him in the face so that it broke and then I took the girl from him. She is now my friend and she loves me for saving her.

 

My momi did not want me to write this letter. She said that people will tease me because I say I am a Superhero. I told her that I can take care of myself thank you very, very much because I am a Superhero. She finally agreed that “maybe the town needs to know about you.” Those are her words. So she agrees with me that all of you must know that I am your very own Superhero!

 

Thank you very, very much for reading my letter to you! I will protect you!

 

Very sincerely,

 

Suepraimee

 

—–

 

SPECIAL PLEA from the CHIEF OF POLICE:

 

Recently Suepraimee, a 3 year old girl, pushed a 17 year old male knocking him against a farm gate and breaking his back. He said that she had come up to him and yelled at him, “You sex hurt one of my friends!” That incident is also being investigated. He also admitted to teasing her about her supposed superpowers. Apparently she is exceptionally strong for a little girl. Her parents verified that she has shown extraordinary strength and speed and is highly intelligent.

 

Because of her action, despite her very young age, she was ordered to the new special section of the Juvenile Detention facility for a mental evaluation. However she insisted that she did not want to go to this “prison for little people” as she called it and, during transport, she forced herself out of the supposedly locked police vehicle and then ran away from the pursuing officers.

 

This child has now been missing for two days. Please, it is very important for you to remember that this is just a 3 year old girl and, despite her intelligence, may be confused about what she is doing. If you see her, do not approach her or try to take her yourself. It is possible that she could hurt you. And, if you try to hurt her, I guarantee that you will be arrested. If you see her, call the police immediately. Although she escaped from us before, we now have a better idea of her abilities and will be better prepared next time. Please call us immediately. DO NOT APPROACH this little girl.

 

Suepraimee is a Caribbean ancestry dark-skinned girl, 3 feet 1 inch, with curly brown hair with red streaks. She has brown eyes. She was last seen wearing red tights and blue t-shirt with a red cape and red shoes.

 

 

Initially written 1/9/07; revised October, 2016

 

 

 

LAST KISS [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

LAST KISS

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

By Crosby

 

Dear Editor,

 

Lately, I have been receiving many calls from the families of those who are dying asking me to kiss their beloved goodbye. This may sound like a sweet request to some, but it is particularly disturbing to me when I do not even know the person I am to kiss.

I am asking your readers not to make that request any more.

Of course, many of you may wonder what this is about, why strangers are asking me to kiss their loved one goodbye, and how it started. In my life, it started 15 years ago when a co-employee got cancer and she left the job. We had been friendly with each other and joked around at the workplace. After about 9 months, I asked around about how Tulip was doing and was informed that she had been under a 24 hour watch for the past two months. It was wearing the family down and, considering that Tulip had become blind, could not speak, and was just skin and bones, they were astounded that she was still alive. It was as if she was waiting for something.

At that point I got a strong urge to visit Tulip. I borrowed a car (I do not own one because I believe our society is over-dominated by cars), drove the 89 miles in the rain into the coastal mountains, got lost, finally found her house, knocked on the door, and then asked the woman opening the door whether I could see Tulip. I was readily admitted which surprised me since I had not called ahead and Tulip’s daughter did not know me. I mean, think about it, a lone male asking to be let in a house where one woman was watching a dying bed-ridden woman?

I went to Tulip and was initially shocked at her appearance: I could see her veins beating through the paper-thin skin; the whiteness of her bones also showed clearly. But I just sat next to her and started talking with her and telling her stories of our times at the office. Then, on another impulse, I asked the daughter (whose name I had forgotten to ask), if I could kiss Tulip on the cheek. With a slight tremble, she graciously assented. So I kissed Tulip on her cheek, and told her goodbye, and then left.

That was a Friday. I found out the following Monday that she had died on Saturday. I don’t know if I just happened to be there at the right time to say goodbye or if my visit had somehow released her.

A few years later, my stepfather was also succumbing to cancer. He was in the hospital in a coma. When I went to the nurse’s station to ask where he was located (there was a very long wall of nothing but recesses with bodies in them), she responded by saying, “he is in a coma, it won’t do you any good, he won’t respond. You will just be wasting your time.” I thanked her for her comment and repeated my request as to where he was. She told me that the recesses had name tags on them but, after looking at a chart, pointed out which section of the wall he was in. So I walked over to the long wall, looking at the various names temporarily placed near the bodies waiting for death, and finally found the one I wanted.

I stood in front of him, chatted a bit with him, thanked him for being the provider in our family, kissed him on the forehead, and walked away. But when I heard a noise, I turned around and saw that he had sat up and was smiling. He saluted me, went back down, and lay there as he did before.

I mentioned this to the same nurse (whose station was around the corner where she could not have seen anything happen unless she walked into the aisle) and she responded, “Don’t be silly; you just imagined it.” I did not want to argue with her, so I simply left. Two days later my stepfather died.

More recently and locally, for some reason I had mentioned these stories to a high school girl, Cara, who worked at a local grocery store and she had responded, “That was very sweet of you.” Unfortunately, within the year, she was in a car accident. I received a call from Cara’s mom asking if I could come to the hospital. I wondered about this since we really did not know each other. Still, I went as requested.

When I arrived, I was informed that Cara had injuries so extensive that she was not supposed to be alive. But, before she had gone into her coma, she had made a request, “Please ask Willie to kiss me goodbye.” She had apparently previously told her parents my stories and they had thought it was very touching. So I kissed Cara on the cheek. Cara, whom everybody thought was in a coma, opened her eyes, mouthed “thank you,” smiled, and then the heart monitor gave its long relentless beep.

This story and the others were shared by the parents to those they knew and the word spread. So far, in the past month, I have received 11 requests for a last kiss. Initially I acceded to the requests because I was acquainted with the people in some way, but now the requests are coming from people I do not know. Also it is wearing on me. I’m beginning to feel like some sort of Angel of Death with my Kiss of Death. So, that is enough. You can kiss your own loved ones goodbye.

 

 

Sincerely,

Willie

 

 

 

P.S. Portions of this “fictional letter” are true, including the encounters with the nurse in the large metropolitan hospital.

 

 

Originally written 12/21/06; revised September, 2016.

 

Tags: coma, death, precognition, anxiety, long-term caretakers

“CRUIXBIE STILL DOES NOT KNOW” [Fictional Letter to the Editor]

“CRUIXBIE STILL DOES NOT KNOW”

[Fictional Letter to the Editor]

 

Dear Editor,

I am truly confused. Last week, I woke up and looked out the window at the bank sign to see that the temperature was -2 F. So, when I went out, I was huddled up in multiple layers of clothes, including a face protector. I was barely out the door when a police officer stopped and arrested me. The charge? Walking in a disguise. That is absurd. What kind of police state are we living in??

But the situation became more ridiculous. I was not in jail very long, but was almost immediately taken to a court room to see a judge. As soon as I approached the bench, I stated my defense even before I sat.

“Your honor, I was arrested for wearing a guard to protect my face from the cold. I have a right to protect myself from the cold, don’t I? Also, I was not trying to rob any place.”

The judge looked baffled, and then glanced at the officer, who said, “This is Cruixbie.”

“Ah, that explains it; I’m in neglect for forgetting his face” the judge responded, without explaining anything to me. Instead, the judge asked what, to me, seemed a non-sequitur question: “What year is it, Mr. Cruixbie?”

I was nonplused. “Huh? What?! Why—don’t you—well, it’s 2026.” I was trying to be civil. I was not yelling in my bewilderment.

The judge nodded. “Yes, I see. 2026; you truly do not know do you?”

“Know what??”

Then the judge further perplexed me, “I’m sorry, but I cannot tell you that. I cannot even recommend that you seek a psychological professional because that person would also not be allowed to answer your questions. In fact, except for basic business transactions, nobody is allowed to converse with you under penalty of arrest.”

“What?!”

“I understand your outrage. It is definitely a peculiar situation you are in, although given what happened I am not sympathetic to you. I realize that you do not understand. I also realize that you must protect yourself from the elements and I do not know why this was not thought of before. Anyway, there will be no trial for you. You are guilty of “being Cruixbie in disguise.” My sentence is that you be required to wear your name prominently on your back and front. Case closed. Please remove him from my presence.”

“I don’t understand!” I yelled along with other statements not suitable for your newspaper.

After the officer released me (but not before placing large name tags on me), I remembered that the judge had made a point of asking me the year, so I found one of your newspapers and noted that it is the year 2076. Again, I don’t understand, but I thought I would find the answers by looking at back issues of your paper. I did not see anything unusual until 2026 when I found numerous issues with articles removed from them. So, naturally, I went onto the internet, which has something about everything, and used a search engine with only this keyword: “Cruixbie.”

The response astounded me: “Forbidden topic. Your IP address has been sent to the Cruixbie Interdiction Authority.”

And that’s it. I cannot find anything about myself. And, when I approach anybody, they always respond, “Stay away from me!” As I walked around that day, I noticed that I did not recognize anybody and that there were numerous changes in businesses plus several new buildings so I could see that, yes, a period of time had passed. But where did my 50 years go? And why am I a pariah? And, if I am somehow a hazard, why not jail me or execute me?”

Perhaps you or your readers could help me.

Sincerely,

Cruixbie

 

Editor’s response:

After consulting with our lawyer, we are printing your letter to underline to our readers, who may not have known or may have forgotten the initial legislation, which is that nobody is allowed to talk with you or to explain your situation. That is the Cruixbie Law. And, actually, we are glad that you still do not understand. We cannot explain to you what happened and you will find that every publication and information medium worldwide has excised all references to you. You can understand how difficult that was; particularly amongst those who had sympathy with you or felt that your civil rights were being violated. Be advised that, if anybody does approach you or if you have any interaction with anybody, if you do have any consideration for them, you will not let them explain anything to you.  It is these reasons for which we have been given permission to print your letter and this response: partly for our readers’ reminder and partly so that you will now have accessible your letter and this response which, hopefully, you will keep by your side so that, when you are again in a situation of forgetfulness, you may readily find it. Do not send any more letters to us. It was very painful for us to handle this one.

 

 

Originally written: 2/18/2006; revised August and September, 2016

 

 

 

“LIGHTNING MAN NOT AGING” [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

 

“LIGHTNING MAN NOT AGING”

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

By Crosby

 

 

Dear Editor,

People, including your readers, have been expressing increasing concern about my age. Or rather, that I do not appear to be aging. One would think that it is wonderful that there is a human who is not aging. After all, isn’t that what people have been searching for: the “fountain of youth”? Isn’t that what the life extension movement is all about?

Of course, it would help if I could share my youthfulness with others: then I would not be such an abnormality; I would not be envied and then hated.

However, I ask your patience. Among other activities, I am looking into how I could do that. Meanwhile, it appears that I might have some other purpose for staying youthful and alive. And it has taken me far too long to discover my purpose.

As a few of your readers may remember, about 50 years ago I was walking across a field and was hit by lightning continuously for an extended period of time.

This event had made the front page of several newspapers, including yours, along with the subsequent consequences of the lightning strike: specifically my disruption of any electrical systems near me.

For some time I had to stay in a field on the outskirts of town. I was unable to use any of the ubiquitous electrical devices. I could not be in a car; nor could I even help farmers with their field work since their equipment, fences, and structures almost always had electrical components.

Anyway, as your readers also know, I was able to gain some control over that electrical disruption initially by wearing heavy insulating clothing. This meant that I had to cover every part of my body, including my face. But, even then, this did not always work so I dared not risk going into town or coming into contact with electrical apparatus or power lines.  (Several people had suggested I go to South America where there were large areas with no electrical systems. That would have been a very long walk or bike ride. Still, I was tempted to do so. But then I figured that I would be disrupting electrical systems all along the way. Who knows? Maybe some outfit like the military could have found a way to get me somewhere; I don’t know why they never came to my door, but I am glad that they have never sought me out. They probably would have wanted me for some other purpose.)

Later, I finally, through extensive trial and error and tedious practice of biofeedback techniques, was able to control my body’s interactions with electrical systems near me.

That certainly made my life easier and I was able to return to the hoped-for normalcy of our electrically dominated society.

However, as the years passed, I noticed that my body had become linked with Earth and that, whereas previously I was clueless, I developed knowledge of my purpose. Note that I was not the only one selected by Earth. Numerous others had been contacted via the extended lightning episodes also, but almost all of them died, some went into a coma, and a couple went insane. (I am somewhat concerned about the latter: I can feel them and their experiments.) I now know what Earth is about to do, including earthquakes and volcanic activity. (Sorry, but I cannot predict the weather; there are so many constantly changing variables that not even Earth knows what its weather, in a specific place, will be at a specific future point of time.) But, more than that, I feel the mind of Earth. It is as if the plethora of species on the planet has imbued the planet with a hive-mind consciousness.

People nowadays are concerned about the extinction of species, the decreasing diversity of life, and the unraveling of the fabric of nature because of various human-made activities, including climate change. Well, as with much of nature, the situation is more complicated than that.

For example, in Earth’s history, there have been several mass extinctions of life. No humans caused these. Earth did; sometimes it did so by using and exacerbating the effects of external intrusions (such as asteroids and very large sunspot activity).

After each of these annihilations, the diversity of life returned and flourished and, in fact, arguments have been made that the human species began and developed exactly because of those extinctions.

What does all this have to do with my ties to Earth and my lack of aging?

I now know that Earth was deliberately experimenting in order to develop a life-form with greater intelligence and adaptability. Earth knew what was coming. You and I are one of those results. So are dolphins and other highly intelligent species: but they are neither as adaptable nor as technologically proficient as we are.

Although I know and feel the destruction of multiple species and the degradation of the biosphere, I also know that Earth is compensating. New life, much of it microscopic, is being created constantly. New adaptations are being developed which accommodate the decreasing level of oxygen and higher radiation, temperatures, and ozone levels. Eventually those adaptations will make their way into larger organisms, although it may take the near extinction of multiple species to give those adaptations a better advantage for propagation. The near extinction of much of life (including human) will, of course, be lamented by the survivors; but, ultimately, after several generations, this will result in several more adaptive species. This will hopefully include ours (although currently the chimpanzees are adapting to pollution and other environmental hazards quicker then we are).

Earth needs no help with the life in its biosphere. She is endlessly creative and prolific. So, in addition to Earth having prepared the development of humans, it has “appointed” me, in particular, to assist in its survival as a planet: Earth has known that several extra-solar system invaders such as rogue planets and the effects of supernovas are on their way. We humans have been designed to develop technology and energy forces to assist Earth in its survival in ways that Earth itself cannot do.

I am now planet bound. Of course, this is not new to anybody: very few of us have had the privilege of going out to space. But my life is now intimately interlinked with Earth. I will not be able to go traveling to the stars when that finally becomes the norm. It is my job to help the humans in particular to survive because it is probably only humans who will be able to deal with the coming intrusions into our solar system.

I do have some concern that I am developing the same attitude of ruthlessness as Earth, which does not really care about individuals.

Meanwhile, as for my aging and death, I will die when Earth dies.

Sincerely,

Aggie Les

 

 

 

 

Note from editor:

After this letter was published, several attempts on Aggie’s life were made. They each seemed to be successful: he died or appeared to die. In one attempt, he was blown apart. But his body reconstituted itself. He eventually left the area and sent this note to us:

 

It appears that I have very much underestimated how concerned people are about me being a “freak.”  I had hoped to allay your fears by attempting to explain what is happening so far as I understood it. Instead, some of you have said that I must “have a pact with the devil.” Is this Earth that provides you with sustenance a devil? Regardless, I now realize the extent of your outrage. Since I do not want anybody to hurt themselves when they are attacking me, I feel I must now leave to an undisclosed location within my partner. I will continue to attempt to understand what I must do and how I can help my fellow life forms on this planet.

 

 

Originally written: 7/2/05; revised: July and August, 2016

 

 

Apocalypse, electricity, lightning, evolution, hive-mind, extinction, climate change, death, adaptation, asteroid, solar activity, superhuman, rogue planets, life extension, biofeedback, military, weather, Earth, chimpanzees, pollution, diversity, hate

 

“WHY CHOCOLATIER DOES NOT MAIL CHOCOLATES” [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

“WHY CHOCOLATIER DOES NOT MAIL CHOCOLATES”

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

BY CROSBY

 

Dear Editor

 

As your readers know, I am the proprietor and creator at the shop, “Willie’s Chocolate Unfactory.” I enjoy people coming into my delicious environment, smelling my combination of cocoa, chocolates, and assorted spices. Lately, though, I have been getting requests from customers who wish me to mail them my chocolates. Initially, these were former residents and college students who have moved on to other locales, but had developed a taste for my particular creations while they were here. Lately, these requests have been arriving from those who have passed through town or who have heard about my store. The requests have become quite persistent and demanding. Many of you might think, “All of these requests are good for you; good for your business.”

I disagree. I won’t do it. I won’t mail my chocolates to anybody at all.

So I have written up the following standard form letter for such people and I am sharing it with your readers to hopefully stave off future requests:

 

Dear Chocolate Unfactory lover,

 

I am very glad that you enjoy my chocolates and wish me to send you chocolates. Certainly, if I did that, I would significantly increase my business. However, I am quite satisfied with the walk-in business I have now and I have no desire to expand.

 

I enjoy chocolates. So, in my retirement years, I opened up this shop for the pleasure of the eating, the smelling, and the creation of chocolates. I have no desire to grow rich from this enterprise. I do not want to start a franchise or a factory of chocolates. I want to experiment and create combinations of flavors. I want people to come into my store and enjoy the aroma and the atmosphere.

 

So, if you wish to enjoy my chocolates, you will simply have to arrive here personally, come inside, say “Hello,” and pick up your favor chocolate creation. They also change constantly so that, each time you enter my chocolate domain, you would experience a different array of smells and sensations. Plus, I want my store to be a draw to get visitors here to this wonderful town of Bushnell and visit other stores and places downtown while they are here.

 

And, finally, because of the nature of chocolate, particularly mine, most of them simply would not fare well in the mail. You would be disappointed at what finally arrived at your destination. This also means that I would not advise any of you mailing my chocolates to your family and friends.

 

And, if you now live too far away, but hanker longingly for Willie’s Special of the Day, well then you will simply have to visit more often or move back here. This state needs more residents.

 

That’s all.

 

Sincerely,

Willie

 

Originally written 6/27/05; revised July, 2016.

 

WORLD’S LARGEST LIBRARY [FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

WORLD’S LARGEST LIBRARY

[FICTIONAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR]

BY CROSBY

 

 

Dear Editor,

Thank you to the community of Jamal for encouraging our private library to be in its town. I believe that this library has been a good one for the community. As an example, prior to the library, the city’s population was declining. When we started building our library in the style of the original library in Alexandria, Jamal only had 600 citizens. Now, three years later, there are 950. In addition, several businesses were on the verge of closing. Those businesses have since recovered and will continue to operate. In addition, there are two more restaurants and a general store. Of course it helps that, currently, approximately 1800 people visit the library every day and, although we do have an attached food court and convenience store, employees (of which we currently have 810, but our projection is to eventually have 2900) and customers of the library often go into town. Note that I said “customers” and not “patrons.”

Initially there was concern and even some outrage that our Peripatetic Alexandrian Library would not be free. It is a private library. Only members can go inside. However, anybody can be a member. Some customers choose to be a member for a day at $5.00. These are often tourists and researchers from elsewhere. For that $5.00, a member can wander around the library for a 24 hour period (yes we are always open 24-7, including holidays) and read, look at, listen to, and watch whatever we have on the shelves. We collect books, magazines, scholarly papers, videos, music, and artifacts from around the world. Those one-day passes do not allow material to be checked out; however, if the material is not copyrighted, it may be copied for a fee or downloaded and sent to their internet account.

For those who live in the area or who are doing more extensive research, we have other pricing structures with various options on what and how much can be rented. Yes, we do not loan material; it is all rented. The rent will depend upon your choice of membership so that the per-piece and time period charges vary.

Many people had wondered how a large private library could succeed in rural Iowa. For one, we do advertise worldwide. We make sure that researchers and various institutions of higher learning know that, if they are studying any subject, that we either have the material on hand or we will obtain it (sometimes a loan from another library, but usually by investigating the world’s books stores and private collections). We are also near a major interstate highway. Eventually, the Pedestrian Transit System, which is currently in construction with its high-speed (400 mph) cross-country mass transit trains, will enable many more people to get here conveniently. In addition, as we approach our 10 year goal of having 500 million items, even more people will see our library as the place to visit.

Although we are a successful for-profit operation, we use that profit to expand our collection or fund various anthropological projects if it looks like they might yield ancient written materials.

Unlike that original library in Alexandria, we have taken several steps to preserve our collection in perpetuity. For one, our building can withstand a 10 point Richter scale earthquake. The foundation of the library is encased within a series of nested massive shock absorbers. In addition, with the use of our proprietary nanotechnology to make incredibly resilient matter, we can also bear the impact of a direct hit by a tornado and by a nuclear weapon (and maybe both simultaneously). In addition, we try to have several copies of items so that we may keep one set that does not leave the library, but is kept in a vault with optimal atmospheric conditions. There are many other features which cannot be explained because of security reasons, but they are sufficient so that, if there is a major cataclysmic event (even the total destruction of the earth: our library is capable of space flight and generating gravity), the survivors who had already been within or eventually find our library will be able to relearn history, science, and other subjects. Of course they would have to pay the membership fee (and, in the case of a total destruction of civilization and the monetary systems, we could arrange for that fee to be paid in labor). We also have an extensive permaculture, hydroponics, and other agricultural systems both within and just outside our library. Currently those go to generate local food for our food court.

 

Sincerely,

Libby R Ari

 

 

Originally written August 1, 2004; revised June, 2016

 

Tags: libertarian, library, cataclysm, rural Iowa, small towns