Dear Sir in Alaskan Airlines Seat 14D

by | Apr 15, 2023 | Contemporary Epistolary Forms Day 2

While seated in 15C from San Diego to Fresno (reigning raisin capital of the world), I couldn’t help but snoop through the reclining view to see what you were reading. The Rational Male was not a title with which I was familiar, but I admired the Garamond font and bold provocation of its title, the promise of a logical future for men, unfettered by desire and testosterone and all their hairy parts, finally free to embrace their cerebral satisfactions. You were just dipping into a subheading entitled “Average Frustrated Chump” when the flight attendant trundled by with pretzels and boxed water (you declined), and in consequence I lost my view, not wanting to appear a peeping reader. In those tortured minutes apart from your text, I could only wonder at the premise of this lost subsection, the subdued beauty of its assonance, the grunting uh uh at the core of frustrated chump, not unlike the thrusting sound made by the rational male during intercourse, deep-throated cave songs from the long ago. Ironically it was I—separated from The Rational Male—who became the average frustrated chump, and (thank god) that nosey attendant passed with her snack wagon, leaving a crystalline vista of your book. I noticed that you had double underlined the phrase “mental schemas,” a brilliant move, I must note, as the single line never suffices, never screams “schema” in quite the same way. Yes, I thought, it’s all “mental schemas” keeping us down, the rational males, the frustrated chumps, from finally, finally, ruling the world, and I wanted to congratulate you, to gladhand such man who underlined such a book, but we were near the end of the ride. A voice spoke through the intercom, asked us to unrecline, and said that we were on our descent—you, me, and The Rational Male—and would we please strap in, soon we would be landing in a place where men rode bulls, the average chump just wanted a break, and sweet swollen fruit shriveled up in the sun.



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