RE: The Letters of Henry Adam Wood (Dear Z, or What's In A Name?)

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Dear Z, As much as it grieves me to tell you this, some unseen paradoxical entity has seen it fit to cut short my once virile life. Thus, I lay abed with nothing left to do but scribble these words upon parchment in hopes that you, and a good many others, find it within yourself to pardon me of the crimes I have committed against you. As my day of reckoning draws near, I cannot bear to face the maker or Lord or Reaper, whichever finds itself the juge du jour amongst the clergy and the common folk, without first repenting of mine own sins and seeking your robust forgiveness.

For all of the life left in me, I cannot manage to recall your name, a most grievous error on my part when it comes to an individual so responsible for my upmost, albeit briefest, moment of ecstasy. In lieu of your Christian name, I shall call you Z, the letter lying at the bottom rung of the alphabet, which I feel fits your social position perfectly.

No doubt you, humble son of the Almighty that you are, recall whenst we first met, as it is not every day that a creature of your station crosses paths with a man such as myself. I still remember the day clearly, in no small part due to you. Our brief, yet momentous encounter, occurred during a choking Indian summer at the beginning of the prime of my life. The untimely heat had awoken something of an unnatural sexual hunger in the women of our fair city, and I, a comely and affluent young gentleman, was taking full advantage. I was young and somewhat inexperienced in the art of knowing a woman when the natural summer began to wane; however, by the time that Indian summer gave way to a brief, yet glorious, winter, I could consider myself a gentleman grown. It was the Indian summer of mine own sexual awakening, as it were. In fact, I would not find myself with companionship of the like until much later in life when, due to a cholera outbreak, our fair city experienced a dearth of young eligible bachelors, spurring a primal Renaissance of sorts for myself and these grey whiskers.

But I must digress. Our chance meeting occurred on a lovely, swarthy day. I had just exited one of the many townhomes I knew well that year following a dalliance with a quite robust and vivacious maid of no indifferent social standing. She had ignited quite a hunger within me, so I, as was unlike a man such as me, approached the common market for sustenance. Her sweet smell and sweat still clung to my body as I marched towards the market to find a some luscious ripe fruit to assuage my growing thirst and appetite. Upon reaching the market, I approached you and your cart of melons, apples, pears and certain exotic fare I did not have the stomach to even entertain consuming.

As I felt the melons for firmness, I noticed a quite comely and well-rounded wench sitting beside you. After bowing and introducing myself as a gentleman, I inquired about her nature and found the two of you to be man and wife. I immediately took a small pouch of golden coins from the pocket of my jacket and laid it on the cart. I, disarming your base sensibilities with my own, more refined command of atmosphere, looked your bride straight in the eyes and professed that there was only one fruit worth plucking at that market. The lady looked at you, then to me and blushed. You are not an ugly man Z; however I, even now as old and withered as I am, could outshine you on your best day. No doubt you remember what happened next, so I will not waste time with the details. I will only make note that she met and exceeded my every need and was worth every bit of gold and more that I spent at that stand. And Z, you should know that for a brief afternoon your lowly wife felt more like a lady, a service for which you have never thanked me.

Thus, poor Z, in my waning moments of life, I am writing to both thank you and ask for your forgiveness. I am forever in debt to you for the coital bliss you brought to me that hot and blustery day, and I am eternally sorry that, despite my best efforts, I cannot remember your name.

Your superior in both life and death,
Henry Adam Wood


Your son is a very handsome young man.

Created: Mar 26, 2014

Tags: prose, theme, story, fiction

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