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Boy, Snow, Bird

The morning I turned twenty-two I put twenty-two dollars in cash into an envelope addressed to Mr Frank Novak and mailed it to Mia’s address in Worcester. It was the sum total of the money I stole plus interest. Mia was to mail the envelope to a friend she had in New York, who’d drop it into the rat-catcher’s letter box and make him wonder if I was around. I didn’t enclose a note, though there were a few things I’d have liked to say. Restraint is classier.

Over at the bookstore, Mrs Fletcher asked me if I thought it was shaping up to be a good year for me. It was the closest thing to ‘Happy birthday’ I was going to get from her, so I took it with a neutral smile. We were sitting in her office, dealing with her correspondence. She went through a folder of letters I’d already opened for her, scrawled responses at the top or in the margins, and I turned those responses into letters.

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