Letter to Mrs. J (aka Frau Bode)

carloseduardogoncalves

06 Julho 2015 | 16h38

Dear Mrs. J,

Hope this letter finds you well. You may be wondering how I managed to find out your address, correct? Well, a common friend was kind enough to let me know you have been living in this cozy part of Europe. He also said you changed your surname to Bode some 30 years ago (which made my quest so hard). That suggests me you married a German cavalier, am I right? I hope he is nice and kind, Mrs J, I really do. Because even if we haven’t met at all in these last three decades, I have fond recollections of you that go back a long way in time, a giant heap of remembrances of things past that as you may well know, I have always been unable to shed…including that unfortunate dark afternoon when I tried to stab you in the chest with a pencil. Can you forgive me for that childish act of sheer irrationality?

Oh, how funny it seems that we were once quite young, isn’t that so very true, Mrs. J? And most astonishingly of all, lived under the same roof, as friends and foes, for that many years, both adopted children of the same foster parents (do you miss them as I do, Mrs. J?). When one grows too old the past can look so radiant, Mrs. J, even as poor children in that obscure corner of Europe…

The only thing regrettable about life is that it ends so quickly, vanishes in a blink of an eye. And we can never truly go back in time to sense its smell and texture. I tried it a lot, believe me, but could never really get there. And I hate Monsieur Proust for that, my friend, I absolutely hate him.

Tomorrow, guess what my old companion, tomorrow I turn 78 (you must be around 80 yourself by now, I reckon). Obviously, there is not much time left…but what am I writing? Oh, pardon me for such horrid thoughts, my sister, it is only that…

About the future: my illness allowing, my dear, I plan to board on a ship and head to Europe again, after so much time abroad. And I would very much appreciate seeing you again. At this age, sister, it is a prerogative for me to finally find out why you fled so unexpectedly without leaving a trace. I need to know if I am to blame — there it is. The question has been haunting me for too long now, and I cannot struggle with its burden anymore.

With my warmest regards,

C.