Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flash Fiction Friday : An Open Letter to Brad Allen of Los Angeles

This week's Flash Fiction Friday assignment is to write a letter of unrequited love. Or a Dear John letter. Feel free to read my letter below and decide for yourself in which category it falls. Oh, and Brad Allen is not his real name.

Dear Brad,

This letter will be difficult to write because at your core I believe you are a pretty nice guy and I don’t want to hurt you. But truth be told, I cannot see you anymore because you kind of make me sick.

You’re probably wondering why I’m dumping you now when it was I who asked you out in the first place. I mean, why did I even bother if this is what it comes to in the end? Well Brad, I actually thought you were kind of cute and charming when I first met you. I really had no idea you were kind of a douche with personal manners not unlike that one guy in “Dances With Wolves,” you know, the one with rotted teeth who says “Ya cain’t figger them buffalo, ya cain’t!” before spitting the remnants of a pickled egg all over his chin. Next to you, Brad, that guy looks like Cary Grant.

Let’s review a few of our dating experiences, shall we Brad? I am afraid this will only be the tip of the iceberg, but I need to keep this to under 1,500 words.

Experience #1: You had explained during our first coffee date that the only three things in life you truly cared about were baseball, opera and sex.

“Opera?” I asked. “How did you develop a taste for opera?”

You gave ma a long winded explanation that involved quitting drugs and choosing opera as your new “habit” to latch onto. Or something like that. And we’ll come back to the drugs thing in a minute Brad, trust me.

At first I thought it was really sweet of you to invite me to see “Madame Butterfly” with you, especially since I learned later that your salary was around $17,000 a year. But the warning bells should have started ringing for me when you got into a near shouting match with the woman in front of you who, you thought, was leaning a bit too far forward in her seat for you to see. I thought it was a little weird that you were so vehement with her, considering that we were in the nosebleed section and we could barely see the characters on stage even without a partially obstructed view.

Experience #2: When we woke up in the morning after our first “sleepover” date at my place, you got out of my bed, buck naked, and went to the front door to get the paper. Setting aside for a moment the fact that you felt comfortable enough to walk nude around my apartment in front of all the wide open windows, you returned to my bedroom and proceeded to squat down on your haunches as you read the newspaper headlines.

And let out a really loud fart.

Brad, you hardly even knew me. What makes you think there would be anything remotely charming about that, let alone attractive? Gross. And you didn’t even say “excuse me” or try to act like it was a total accident.

I jumped up out of bed and told you I needed to take a quick shower. The truth was, I just wanted out of that room before I had to smell anything.

And then, Brad, you actually got into the shower with me. Without asking.

You know Brad, if I can give you one piece of advice, let it be this: If you are dating someone you don’t know very well, or if you are an overnight guest in someone’s home for the first time, do not make any potentially offensive invasions into your host’s personal space at any time, let alone first thing in the morning.

So after only one sleepover I was pretty iffy about you, Brad. But I wasn’t fully committed one way or the other, so I just decided to let the chips fall where they may. Yes, it was a bad decision --- a really bad one. Because about two weeks later we had the earthquake.

Experience #3: The Northridge Earthquake of 1994. January 17. 4:00 am. I will not soon forget it, because that earthquake nearly ruined my life, and not just because I lost all my glassware.

I remember waking up in a panic at the sound of breaking glass. I thought someone was breaking into my apartment to kill me, or at least rob me and beat me to a pulp. So it’s rather amusing than when I came to my senses and realized it was an earthquake, I thought to myself “oh, thank God it’s only an earthquake!” I held onto my bedroom door frame and hoped for the best.

When the jolting stopped I stepped over all the broken glass and went downstairs to Lex’s apartment to make sure he was ok. He was, and his place was not nearly as damaged as mine --- so I just sat there in his living room with him, talking for about half an hour or so.

And then I heard footsteps coming from my apartment upstairs. That really freaked me out. So I went up the stairs, and there you were, Brad.

“Oh, thank God that you are ok, CP!” you said. “I know you’re not a native Californian, so when this happened I was really worried about how scared you would be. I just had to come over to make sure you were all right.”

Wow, I thought, that was so sweet! You actually risked your life to come see me---because every Californian knows the rules about post-earthquake safety: it is a very, very bad idea to get into your car and drive right after a quake. You don’t know what kind of damage lies ahead. You might drive into a gaping hole in the earth; a power line or building might fall on you; etc. But you were willing to take that risk for me, Brad, and I appreciate it.

Even if you are the world’s biggest dumbfuck.

Anyway, since you were already there I told you to come down to Lex’s apartment with me. We had tested Lex’s gas stove, and all seemed in order so Lex had decided to fry up some eggs for an early breakfast.

Now Lex was my best friend in L.A., and this was the first time that you got to meet him. You are a gay man, Brad, and I know that you know meeting your boyfriend’s friends is akin to meeting the family for a straight person. I know you know this. And when meeting your significant other’s family for the first time, you should know to be on your best behavior.

Which is why I must ask you this, Brad. Why oh why, Brad, did you feel it was appropriate for you to take your fork, with which you had been eating runny, yolky eggs, and stick it directly into Lex’s jar of gourmet marionberry jam? Why on earth would you do this in front of anyone, let alone in front of someone you were newly dating? Or in front of anyone who is having you in his home for the first time? Were you attempting to prove to Lex that I had absolutely no filter or judgment in people?

I should have dumped your disgusting ass right then and there. You revolted me then, Brad, and you still revolt me today. What's worse is that your apartment was so devastated in the quake that I had no choice but to LET YOU MOVE IN WITH ME. FOR THREE WEEKS.

But oh, it gets even better.

Experience #4: There is so much more I could tell about you, Brad, but as I said I need to keep this to a certain length. So I’ll have to end with this coup de grace.

Remember the night I was over at your apartment and I was talking about having to go up to the courts for work? And I asked you if you had ever been to the courts? And you haltingly said “oh…yes…”? As if there were a story behind that?

So of course I had to ask you what the story was, Brad. You acted like you didn’t want to say anything, and I remained respectful but curious.

And then you decided to tell me. You blurted out the following sentence:

“Okay….I’m a child molester.”


A child molester, Brad. That is a statement that packs quite a punch, I must say. I think I remained quiet for a few minutes until I got up the urge to ask you what the fuck you were talking about.

You then told me the story about how you were messed up on drugs and alcohol for a number of years, and that you didn’t know what to do about your homosexual feelings. So you used to hang out at a park and watch these twelve year old boys playing basketball. You struck up a conversation with one of them, one thing led to another, and soon you were in the bushes letting him perform oral sex on you.

This carried on for a number of weeks until you had a sudden, brilliant revelation that maybe, just maybe something was wrong in your life and that you needed counseling.

And I do feel bad about what happened next, Brad, but I must confess to you that this is all a little hard to take. You went to see a shrink and told her everything --- about your drug use, and your sex with the twelve year old.

It is unfortunate that the counselor hadn’t warned you ahead of time that she would be required to call the police on you, Brad. I do feel bad because you were obviously trying to do the right thing by getting help, and I can understand the mortification you must have experienced when the police arrived at your parents’ house to haul you away right in front of a large family gathering.

But still Brad, how much of a dumbfuck can you be? Not to mention the fact you wanted to do what you did in the bushes with a grimy twelve year old kid.

The only thing that kept your ass out of prison is the fact that this kid testified that you did not coerce him, and that he blew you willingly. I’m glad that kid was brave enough to tell the truth. It’s unfortunate, but because of this, you now have to live out the rest of your days as a registered sex offender. I know that must be hard Brad, but I don’t like how you tried to justify it to me and other friends. You said you did it because you were confused about your sexuality.

Gee Brad, I didn’t know we needed to hand our enemies even more reasons to compare gay men to child molesters and sex predators. Just exactly what I want to be associated with as a gay man. Thanks for that.

I’m sorry Brad, but it’s just not going to work out between us. As nice as you may appear to be on first meeting, the fact is that you’re uncouth, lacking in any discernible taste or judgment, and just downright gross.



Dale said...

This is why I change my name and address every couple of years. Well played CP!

Beach Bum said...

...a douche with personal manners not unlike that one guy in “Dances With Wolves...

A far too common bred with more appearing everyday.

Great story!

Sue H said...

Well-crafted and created many an image! (and a few I could do without, too!)

You have a great descriptive talent CP!

Flannery Alden said...

I thought the "Sincerely, CP" was a nice touch.

Dear God, I hope this was fiction...

Flannery Alden said...

Fantastic, by the way. My previous comment may not have communicated how much I enjoyed this!

Coaster Punchman said...

Well...the letter itself is fiction because I never wrote this letter in real life. 'Nuff said.

Doc said...

Judas Jumpin' Priest!

Where do I start? First off, this is the second week in a row you have delivered a powerhouse story and you are to be highly commended for that. You really do have a knack for this sort of thing CP, as this story had all the punch of the earthquake you describe. Wow!

Just fuckin' wow! Keep it up brother, because this is spot on excellent!


Joyce said...

This was amazingly disturbing. I loved it! Brad really needs to get a clue. Perhaps this letter, filled with such sensitivity, might do the trick. I totally agree with WOW!

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "But oh, it gets even better."

Nah, really it doesn't. Not better than this letter.

You had me rolling with the reference to the Dances With Wolves guy and then you hit me with naked newspaper thing and I was laughing so hard I almost...well, farted.

Hilarious. Seriously. I needed a good laugh today.

Cormac Brown said...

Good gravy. You are the male Erica Jong of flash fiction, good stuff.