7   +   9   =  

Wish You Were Here

MIXED MEDIA FICTION // 05.05.20

Wish You Were Here

Holly Tavel

Day 5

Dear M,

Greetings from Florida! Haha, just kidding. Didn’t you believe it, just for a minute though? Fat chance. When they moved us from the stadium to the old mall I found this rack of old postcards in what I guess used to be a bookstore. I know that you probably will not get this at your old address. I am not sure there is mail pickup here anymore. But there’s a mailbox, and I have exactly nine stamps on a roll of stamps I found in my pocket.

Yours, L

Day 12

Dear M,

I’m not sure how much longer they’re going to keep us in here, but I have been told it is for our own good and I have no reason to disbelieve them. However, among the group of us, there are several seditionary elements who say this is not a Quarantine but something else. What? I have no idea, just as I have no idea why I am writing you this postcard since I am almost one hundred percent certain you won’t receive it, especially at the old place…if the old place even exists anymore.

Yours, L

Day 15

Dear M,

Has it really been only ninety days since we first heard the words “foreign virus” as we drank box wine in your apartment over the general store? Anyway, I have set up pretty nicely here. We all have tents from the sporting goods store, and there’s electricity, at least for now. I am living with a group of other Level 3 carriers in something called, according to what’s left of the sign, Chess King. (I assume this was a store that sold chess supplies. Haha. Can you imagine? You would have loved this place!)

Yours, L

Day 22

Dear M,

Someone saw me writing this and laughed and said who did I expect to read this, and I said your name and town and they said the town was completely underwater last they heard. And if not underwater, toxic. Then they said it wouldn’t matter anyway since no one would touch this postcard because of contamination.

Yours, L

Day 24

Dear M,

But I don’t think that’s right, do you? I mean, surely a postcard is harmless enough, don’t you think? Besides, if you were or had been a postman (postperson?), wouldn’t you want to try and deliver it, a postcard? Just to see if you could? Just to see if there was someone on the receiving end? Waiting for it? Even if you didn’t really think there could be, wouldn’t you try?

Yours, L

Day 32

Dear M,

Speaking of chess, remember when you tried to teach me to play? It was in the early days of the foreign virus, when such things still seemed possible. Remember how bad I sucked, haha? Then you looked mysterious, and said chess was a game of strategy, and that strategy never was my strong suit. At the time I thought I understood what you meant by that, but now I’m not so sure.

Yours, L

Day 37

Dear M,

And then remember when we turned on the TV and the King of America was giving a speech about the foreign virus and I was all, “we have a king now?” And you were all, “where the hell have you been?” And then later when it switched over to the blonde newscaster I said, but it’ll be okay, right? It’s not like he’s just going to let everyone die, right?

Yours, L

Day 45

Dear M,

I feel like I want to apologize for the quality of these postcards. I wish they had been better ones, and that I could have sent you images of sunsets and palm trees and dazzling flamingos. When you think about it, though, maybe it’s not so bad to send pictures of buildings and parking lots. Because, when you think about it, weren’t these really our lives?

Yours, L

Day 52

Dear M,

I’m almost certain I’m going to be out of here any day now. Mainly because, as far as I can tell, I’m the only one here. Don’t worry, M! I’ll come and find you. I know I can do it. Nothing will stop me! Haha. Even though I am now out of stamps, I will continue to write until I run out of postcards. There are four left. I will write them, and give them to you when I see you. You might not hear from me for a while, M, but I will always be

Yours, L

Image is not available
Like what you read? Help us continue to produce a sprawling archive
of Florida literature in print and online. Here are 3 ways to support:
Liked what you read?
Here are 3 ways to support:
Slider