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.