Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Here's Depending on You

by Daddy X

This is my lame-ass shot at a second person piece on ‘Disbelief’ in the form of a letter. Can you imagine receiving this? I was interested to try it by the POV topic we had recently here on OGG. Enjoy-

Here’s Depending on You

Dear Joe-

It was so good to run into you last week at the bar. Where was it again? :>) Just kidding. But I was surprised that you’d left. Must have taken a little nap there. I did have more than two that night, after all. ;>)

By the time you get this, I’ll be in Thailand, out in the upcountry northeast of Chiang Rai. It’s beautiful out there, no TV, no internet, no cell service, and the pussy’s just great. Just have to be careful I don’t make the wrong gesture, say the wrong thing. Give some tribal elder a reason to force me to marry his daughter. Ha! It’s easier than you might think.

But I’m really glad you and Fran are going to my place in the mountains. Y’know, like we talked about. You two will just love it up there, the views, the fishing, all the wildlife. The utter remoteness of it all, not a care in the world. No cell or internet service up there either. Or electricity for that matter.

Years ago, when you and I used to hang out, I could never afford such a huge piece of land, so out of the way. Now that I’ve won that lottery, it’s hard to do everything—go everywhere at once. I haven’t been up there for a while, and the place can always use some looking after. If you don’t mind, you can do me a favor or two while you’re enjoying the place. Won’t take much.

I’d imagine you’ve already found the keys in the package. Yes, there’s quite a few. And by the way, don’t lose ‘em! They’re the only set I have. Christ, imagine how hard it’d be to get them all replaced! Sheesh!!! Cost nearly forty bucks just for the postage to ship the damn things to you insured, signature required.

About forty miles out of Hayfork, you’ll come to the end of the dirt road. There’ll be a locked gate and a sign saying “KEEP OUT—BOOBY TRAPS”. Heheh. I like to come off gruff but it’s probably not necessary. I had the entire cyclone fence surrounding the property topped with razor wire. Use the key marked “Compound—Main” Oh! And make sure you close the gate after you. Wouldn’t want any undesirables wandering in. Some of them can’t even fucking read. Hahah.  Oh, and yeah—make sure you hit the switch that says “Defuse All”.  It’s hidden in a bush about thirty yards up on your right, attached to a post. Don’t get out of the car to do it. Pull up close (not too close) and have Fran shut it off from her window. That’s important.

I probably shouldn’t worry about that sort of thing; the real losers seldom make it out that far. Plus, the next property over is a marijuana farm with lots of security. A Mexican family runs it, but they don’t seem to have many women around. Ha! Better lock Fran away. With an ass like hers, those guys just might pounce. :>)

There is one fella who comes by—Moosey—just to look after the perimeter, but you’ll likely not even see him. If you do, he likes when you call him “Mister Caretaker”. Big guy. He’s kinda shy about his looks though; face got messed up in an accident. Probably dumped a motorcycle, landed wrong. His teeth don’t line up right and he says he stays clear of towns because people stare too much. That and the pedophile bust. Doesn’t talk much. Lots of funny characters in that area. They give all the parolees a one-way ticket to Hayfork.

Just wait till you see the view from the master bedroom! You won’t believe it.
Seems like you can see all the way to the Pacific when you’re actually hundreds of miles away. It’s an optical illusion you shouldn’t miss. The bright sun reflects varying shades of beige, greens and yellows; the layers and layers of clouds create an illusion of topography. The blue horizon completes the mirage, making it look as if the ocean’s right there. 

If you take the trail behind the house—the one heading down—take a fly rod with you. There’s a rack of equipment in the shed. The salmon won’t be running while you’re up there, but the little native trout (rainbows) will keep you in tasty fresh breakfasts.  Not a put-‘n-take fish in that stream! Take one of the lighter graphite rods; they’re more fun. Re-lock all gates behind you on the way down. That means: TAKE THE KEYS!

 Before I bought the place, I made sure there weren’t any gold claims upstream, so the water never gets muddy from sluice pumps. The water stays as clear as Stoly. BTW, while you’re down there? you may hear a motor downstream. That means they’re working it. Don’t go too far that way; those guys can get pretty territorial. “Claim Crazy” they call it. All of ‘em carry guns.

You’ll find a freezer full of meat in the basement: Elk, venison, pheasant, coon, rabbits, squirrels. Eat whatever you like ‘cause it’s forty-five miles back to town. Plus I don’t want the stuff to get freezer burn. Best stock up whatever luxuries you’d like on your way in. Make sure you fill up with gas and get toilet paper before leaving Hayfork. There’s nothing beyond that little market to get anything. Carry in lots of water. The river’s way, way down below the house, and the well could be dry. Be careful of leaving any food on the picnic table out back.  Draws bears.

Speaking of the well- make sure the main shut-off is “OFF” before you leave, so the pipes don’t freeze this winter. Christ, can you imagine? You’re last one up there this season. I can’t depend on my so-called “Caretaker” to take any initiative.  Don’t worry about him; you and Fran are probably too old. :>)

Anyway, have a great time up there. I’m depending on you!


  1. Daddy:
    I'm not sure where disbelief or suspension there of enters this story. The way you set it up it's all too easy to imagine receiving this from a neighbor/friend who has inhaled a lot of smoke from forbidden weed or just spent too much time away from civilization.
    "Don't bogart that joint my friend...." Far out" and other 60's salutations. Is that Canned Heat I hear playing in the background?

    1. If you received this letter, how many times would you say: "I can't believe this!" :>)

    2. I agree with Spencer. This guy's a fascinating character, but I can believe him. He's weird, but lots of people are. :)

      I think it's fun that you took on a 2nd person challenge!

  2. I'd question the narrator/letter writer's belief that his friend will do everything in his instructions. A belief apparently based on a chance encounter at a bar when they hadn't seen each other for a while. So the belief part works for me that way. I'm not so sure about it being second person, though--the narrator/writer is writing in first person. Maybe if it started out something like, "You get this letter out of the blue, and you don't low what to think." Followed by what "you" do think, and do or don't do. But second person is in the eye of the beholder, so there may not be any real definition.

  3. Hey, Daddy,

    I agree with Sacchi - I wouldn't call this second person. But who cares? It's a vivid piece, all the more delightful because you've created a fully fleshed character without telling the reader anything about him, directly.

    As for disbelief - sorry, but the details in this vignette had me believing!

  4. Huh! I thought the narrator is speaking directly to the reader. Lots of 'you's'. I'm not arguing with you guys; you have much more knowledge than I on this stuff. Perhaps I have the wrong idea about what constitutes second person. How embarrassing.

    And as I said re: Spencer's comment- If I got this letter, my reaction would be "I can't believe this!" That was the connection with 'disbelief'.

  5. I think the fact the the narrator talks about "I" quite a bit, as in "I'll be in Thailand," keeps it from being second person. Second person requires a narrative where "you" are performing all the action and thought processes. "Choose your own adventure" stories come closest, with things like, "You come to a river and see a bridge, but there are big gaps in it. If you take a chance on crossing the bridge, go to page such and such." But even then some entity is presenting the alternatives. Still, your story would work if it went along the lines of, "You can't believe you're getting this crazy letter from somebody you can scarcely remember. (Letter inserted here." What the heck are you supposed to do? You crumple the damned thing, but cant bring yourself to toss it in the fire." etc. etc.

    Just my very semi-informed take on it.

  6. Hmmm... I understand the first person elements of this, but my thinking was that the very nature of a letter puts the reader into the position of being spoken 'to'. Wouldn't that make a lot of this second person future tense? You'll do this... see out for... Will you please...

    Again, this is just how I thought about it. I appreciate the input.

  7. This was a fun read, although the thing about thailand confused me a bit. Is he escaping to Thailand? is he on the run? Anyway, the property thing is fun, it reminds me of something Chuck Palahniuk would have written. It has that sound. Have you read any of his stuff?



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