Friday, March 21, 2008
The Writers Circle
"I think I've landed in the script for the Vicar of Dibley..."
OK, that's perhaps an exaggeration, but there was something very Dibley Parish Council about my very first visit to the local writers circle. I guess choosing the day before Easter Good Friday means that turnout was likely to be low, but it was just me and four men. (The 'vicar' - chairman, was unable to attend this month.)
I did enjoy myself though (hey, not like that! They are all much older than me, and we were there to write, OK?).
We were set the task of writing a letter - we could choose either a letter that could have changed history, or goodbye to a loved one. We all chose the former. One guy did a letter from Philip Marlow persuading Shakespear not to come to London, one from the Military to Prince Harry saying he couldn't go on active service, one on if his parents had not been allowed to pursue their romance, and one was a witty love letter from Ron Reagan to Maggie Thatcher. It was quite hard to write a letter for 40 minutes - letter writing not being a strong point of mine (or indeed of much of society these days).
Mine? Well, here it is. I make no claims to historical accuracy whatsoever, this is fiction:
I write with great concern, once again, regarding your son's behaviour. I know we have spoken on may occasions, and you and your husband are well aware of the issues which concern me, as his teacher and your friend.
I do feel, though, that I ought to raise the subject of his behaviour once again. Last Thursday you will have noticed that he came home bruised (or perhaps not, sons are often shy in showing their mothers an injury so received). This bruising to his behind was acquired through a beating he received from the older boys. Why then, you may ask, am I reporting your son's behaviour? Well, the beating he received was earned. Not justified (no, I can never condone such violence), but earned nonetheless.
He taunted the boys about a very private matter, one which I cannot bring myself to commit to paper, but needless to say, was a matter so inflammatory as to result in your son behind held and beaten with a shoe upon his buttocks.
Yes, Klara, I do assure you that I have reprimanded the perpetrators most severely with punishment in kind from my cane, yet still it is your son who causes me the most concern.
Upon confronting him in the hall after this event I found his attitude most distressing. He was sullen and withdrawn, but also extremely rude to myself and other teachers. As you know, this is not an isolated incident. He has caused trouble many times and, quite often, expertly extricated himself from consequence.
But, hopefully, I am the harbinger of good news. I have been recommended a most excellent doctor for your son. This Swiss doctor is an expert in maladies of the mind for, as we know, the issues of your son's physical health are to be addressed separately.
May I recommend, as teacher to your son and friend to your family, that you send your son to see Dr Jung? I can send with him a letter of referral. Indeed, some of the many issues that trouble your son, and us as his spiritual and mental guardians, may in some way be assuaged. Perhaps we can offer some light to this dark anger within him, and lead him into brighter pastures.
I know the boy is young but he is clever. He is, I have to say, particularly able to manipulate the younger boys. It is his manner with those older, and of any persuasion different to his mind, that causes such touble for both him and the school. I am sure you will wish to talk to your husband about this matter but, be assured, I have already mentioned the troubles your son causes to Alois last time we met at the alehouse.
I know, perhaps, in these troubled times that sending your son away may seem like an extreme measure, but he is a talented boy and carries a great deal of potential within that dark head of his.
I appeal to you Klara, let your son visit Dr Jung and see if easing the ills of his mind may ease the troubles of his soul. For all our good, it may be the making of the boy. Should you require to know more of this doctor, I am assured that Dr Karl Jung is destined for greatness and, I would most sincerely hope that he can help young Adoplh in the pursuit of a happy life and a fulfiling role in society.
Please do advise, Klara, so that we may expedite his visit to Switzerland as soon as possible.
Be kind - this was a straight write-away exercise, no editing, or revision (and I've put it up 99% verbatim here).