Forgotten Art: Norman – Mel 1

A reply to: A letter from Mel


Mel, you wrote me, you wrote me, you wrote me, you wrote me!


I can’t believe it. I actually joined this project because I saw your profile.

Oh, dang. I shouldn’t admit that right off, should I? You’ll think I’m a stalker. I’m not. Just a dork.

OK. Now that we’ve got the awkward introduction out of the way…


Right. So. Answers to questions first:

“Why claim to be happy with one, and yet misuse their trust by being with another?”

I have no idea. None at all. I’d just be happy to be with one, let alone another.

Were your parents faithful? Dumb thing to ask. Sorry. Mine were. Mine were faithful and in love right up to the end. I think that might have something to do with me and my sister having such a hard time finding somebody–we saw how good it can be, so nothing passes the muster.

Oh. I just realized maybe that was a rhetorical question. Sorry about that. My sister says I’m always literal.

“But why should they suffer for what their father has done?”

I know this is a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: they shouldn’t. Duh.

Their history reminds me of my niece: how she came to be is as grim and tragic as it gets. But here she is, living safe and sound and loved-to-bits with my sister.


You remind me of my sister when I hear you talk about your kids. I bet you’re full of good, just like Meadow.

You ask a lot of questions. I know you don’t mean me to answer them all. You’ve got an inquisitive mind. I like that.

“Is it because I am unable to speak to them? Does my appearance unsettle them?”

Can’t you talk to people? Are you shy? You don’t seem shy. And as for your appearance, judging from the photo of you I saw on the pen pal site, I would say absolutely, heck yeah.  Your appearance would unsettle anybody. And that’s not a bad thing.

Beauty does that to a person. Takes your breath away. Makes you feel unsettled until your eyes get used to the shine.


“Do you have anything where you live that is considered ‘unique’?”

I never thought so. This is the town where I was born. But for the next few days after I got your letter, I saw my town with new eyes, as if I were seeing it for you.


It’s really something. We’ve got mountains. We’ve got medieval architecture. We’ve got sculptures from the Renaissance.

The air, too. If you could smell it, you’d think this was where people were meant to live. It smells like home.

We’ve got streams running through green fields. We’ve got birch trees and waterfalls.


The best thing we’ve got are wind turbines.

That’s where my family comes in.


My dad founded Windenburg Wind and Sun, and now I run the company.

Sometimes, I complain about my golden chains, but truth is: I love it.

Right now, our company is spending most of our R & D efforts on further methods to protect birds. My dad was smart and lucky in that he installed the turbines in a location that’s not on any major migratory routes. But we still get birds coming through. We’re trying to keep down the casualties. We won’t be satisfied until the casualty rate is zero.

For that purpose, we’re expanding to solar. I love these turbines, but we might have a time in the not-so-distant future where we shift entirely to solar.


I just reread your letter for the fifteenth time. I’m looking at the spaces between the words. Your story is intriguing. And there’s more. I can feel it.


So, I come to your last questions:

“And of you, Norman? What is life like for you?”

My life is pretty narrow, actually.

I like to run. My sister lives in our family home, and sometimes I run all the old routes I took when I was growing up. I guess I like thinking how many of my footsteps these lanes have felt.


I don’t get out much, since work keeps me busy. When I do go out, I usually meet up with my uncle and sister at a café near my home.


I’ve got the usual hobbies: cooking, reading, video games, running.

I collect toys. I don’t usually tell people about that. I kind of have to keep up my image as CEO and “man about town,” but my interest in toys borders on an obsession. I recently bought a vintage llamacorn–the Lollicorn edition, purple and pink. It’s awesome.

But don’t tell anybody.


What’s life like for me? It’s pretty lonely, actually.


Will you tell me more about you? I never thought of myself as curious before. But now, I want to know all there is to know about you.

Like I said, my life is pretty narrow.

And I get the impression from you that your life is pretty wide. What’s that like?


Thanks for writing. I just hope I can not be too boring of a pen pal for you.



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