Thursday, November 8, 2012

Arthur Schopenhauer
Frankfurter Hauptfriedhof
Eckenheimer Landstrasse 188-190
60320 Frankfurt am Main
Hesse, Germany

Dearest Father,

I am writing to inform you that I have willed myself to life be it nearly 200 years overdue. My existence, you will oblige me, is not a matter of transcendent speculation. The servant and my illegitimacy we shall put behind us. We should do well to also look beyond my premature death.

My intention in writing you pertains to those deep, blind, primary forces and the peculiar nature of chance you foretold. If, as you say, we very carefully turn over in our minds many scenes of the past, everything therein appears to be as well mapped out as a systematically planned novel. My letter, upon second glance, should merit little surprise. While death may have assailed us, the occasion for our story has yet to end.

Shall we call this note from the abyss the Afterword? Realizing you do not believe in reincarnation of individual souls at death, I know better than to think of you now as a man who loves his poodles. Who are you then? Is it possible we live as neighbors or next-of-kin? My will has recently returned to the hands of a woman. She believes herself to be jinxed, insists it is the writerly infirmity. If you hadn’t surmised, she has been helpful in preparing this transmission.

Perchance you should reply, know that whatever we go on to say about the interstices of will and where it has yet to take us, I shall vigilantly remain

Your Daughter

Postscript: She is refusing to seal the envelope, Father, unless I permit her the chance to engage you. My farewell, here again—what am I to make of this? another verbal charade? tell me sir—if life is the delicately designed story you claim, can I trust this to be a scene? a fathom of my will that corresponds to an invisible index? to a novel in rearview?

Even the present moment sighs. It holds nothing systematic save one exception, which I feign not hearing across the knotted string of our tin cans. Nothing is systematic, you whistle and since I have no page number, no chapter heading, forget the context of a title, I turn this scene over, and over, and all I’ve got, Arthur, is an understanding of dénouement and the hankering for a dust jacket.