I hadn’t seen him for a year. Out of nowhere, he sent me a manuscript of his book in the mail. The inscription read “The first. Maybe not the last. P.S. Do you think we could find time to commune over a meal before the next millennium?”.
He always made me smile. I flicked through the pages of his work, worried to delve in without appropriate care. The world viewed through the prism of his mind. Such a privilege to be given a visa like that, in a rudimentary wrapping. The quickly handwritten address belying the long tortured journey taken by the adjectives inside. Why do writers make such heavy-handed pretence of modesty?
I was still smiling as I fingered through the bookshelf, looking for the right one, before my hand alighted on The Heart of Darkness. On the title page I wrote, “Some time in the next 92 years should be fine to commune. But there is a lot to be said for a gift of literature through the mail.”
As the sun glowed red behind the wall of suburbia, I wished Mr Conrad safe travels and slid his slim volume, wrapped and stamped, into the post box.
A little scratching I thought could go somewhere, but was let down by my lack of vision and Australia Post.