A letter to Alberto
This may come as a surprise to many, but I get fan mail.
Every now and then [about once every five years] I get inundated with a mail which arrives in my inbox.
I’m not talking about those Russian – or even Ukrainian – women who drop by to say they have seen my profile somewhere and would love to have sex with me. Nor am I talking about the constant invitations to enter Who’s Who. I’m not even talking about Supershadow who seems to have finally given up on me as a lost cause. No. I’m talking about people who write to say that for some reason they read my stuff and how it cheered them up at a bad time, or those who just write to say hello. That’s nice. Unlike all the others they don’t end up in the bin and if I think they’re genuine I’ll write back.
There is a problem though. People seem to develop some kind of mental image as to the type of person I am. Am I the type who will be found at a bar counter cursing the world to anyone who’ll listen? Am I the type to have everyone in stitches with my razor sharp wit? Sadly the truth is somewhat different. If I were to describe myself in one word I would say I was taciturn. Any humour that may exist is in my fingers and not my tongue.
I received a mail last night. It was a nice mail full of compliments and in fact was a follow up to a mail the same chap had sent six years ago [I told you I am inundated?]. That too was very complimentary and the author must have a very thick skin to have lasted this long. The author is of foreign extraction and apparently is visiting Ireland in a couple of months with a friend. He says [and I quote] “It would be a dream for us to share a little time with you, just to be able to meet and greet you, and maybe have a pint with you if you wish.” That is nice, and I am sincerely flattered.
I hate to shatter dreams, but I could assure the writer that the “little time” would be extremely boring for him. When I’m down in the coffee shop I tend to just sit there staring off into the distance and maybe grunting at local acquaintances. I’m useless at small-talk. Sadly my pint drinking days are now few and far between. Pubs tend to dislike me, or my pipe, or both and I just don’t feel welcome there any more. I prefer my nightly whiskey at home instead, in case Herself needs me. The fact that I’m in my seventies might also have something to do with it.
So, Alberto, I am very flattered at your suggestion but I must decline for your sake.
Your dream would be more of a nightmare.
Alberto here! Thank you so much for your reply and writing this post to me. Best wishes Grandad. Saludos desde España!
You’re welcome, Alberto. This is probably the most public private letter I have ever written.
‘Alberto’ may, of course, by Ludmilla from Moscow using a pseudonym after you’d failed to respond to the more direct approach – that pint could become interesting. . . . .
That is, of course a possibility. Though then surely it would have been ‘A letter to Alberta’?