Friday, August 28, 2009

A Letter to the Mayor of Correctionville, IA

Mayor Don Dixon
312 Driftwood Street
Correctionville, IA 51016

Dear Mayor Dixon,

Hello from Ohio. It is a pitiful day filled with the billowing emptiness of failure. Like a sheet tossed over you, the day slowly turns hot and choking until you're left to scratch helplessly at an invisible fabric, drawn taut around you by the restless turning of your body as you struggle to make even one bit of difference in an indifferent world.

What makes a man free? Is it the choices of a free country, the endless buffet of capitalism? Or, like every buffet, does that freedom only lead to gluttony and sloth, until you're so fat on free will that you cannot escape the prison of your greedy heart? Perhaps freedom is the gaping, granite maw of a fierce and angry God, whose love is watered with obedience and chastity. Perhaps freedom is merely a lie, a line in a magazine meant to sell cheap plastic flags and shiny V8 engines.

My hands, Don, they look the same to me. Will it always be this way? How long before I wake up to find the skin loose around my knuckles, the hair light and thinning? I had such beautiful hands, Don. Soon time will wear them down, the veins turning visible as blood and muscle rise up against paper-thin skin, like erosion turning a fertile mountainside into a cracked pile of rocks. Bones. Despair. How much time, Dan? Does it even really matter, when each day feels the same?

Anyway, the reason I'm writing you this letter is to ask you the story behind your town's name. It looks like a lovely place to live, do you have any festivals? I love a good fruit festival, they always have several available cobblers.

Until Then,

The Correspondent