The 16th of September 1973 – New York, New York

(found in an apartment, the second one, the one she didn’t know about)

Dear Trudy,

It’s hard to explain. But I have a pen, and I have a sheet of paper, so it must be worth explaining.

Do you think we all start the same way? And then, do you think we all end up, after years of maturing and growing hard in the world, the same way too?

Do you remember childhood? Not the memories or the events, not the first days of school or the lunchboxes or the games at recess, that’s not what I’m talking about. I want to know if you remember the feeling of childhood? It was, for me and hopefully for you and everyone else, a time, a rare time, when things were mystical and wonderful and fun, when – and I swear to God about this – magic felt like it was around every corner and you always expected magic to be around every corner.

There were those things that you believed when you were a child, and you believed them precisely because you were a child, and you were enveloped in the feelings that were entirely unique to a child.

There were dragons to be slain – great, big, hulking demons. There were quests to be chased, with grails and treasures at the end as a reward. There were princes and princesses, entirely perfect, with hearts – golden and overflowing with love – to be won.

Then we all grew older, and we all matured, and we all began to see things as shades of grey. No ferocious dragons with evil, black hearts existed, just as no perfect princesses with halos of pure light could ever be possible.

At this stage, life becomes a series of compromises, and – regardless of how vigorous an action is taken – decisions are always made with some sort of hollowness ringing in the belly. There is no more belief. There is no more magic. The world becomes practical, useful and uninspiring.

But there is a third stage, maybe a regression back to foolishness, maybe something only enjoyed by a few. But there is a light glowing up a head, radiating out of that grey forest of pragmatism and cool-headed calculating. So I follow the light, and I’m drawn in by it, and I stumble into a clearing.

And there in the light is one of those princesses, with one of those golden hearts, standing right in front of me.

And if that princess is really in front of me, then that world of magic and fun might exist too.

And that, Trudy, is why I have to leave you.





    1. He’s definitely a bit of both, but I think the needle is ticking towards “complete rotter!”

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  1. I love the sentiments in this piece. I really feel the sadness of the loss of childhood, and the hope and joy of the rediscovery of that world of imagination. Poignant writing.

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