A Private Viewing

Thought I’d share this moving piece that marries friendship, illness and art together beautifully.

Fictive Dream

by Mike Fox

The envelope is small, plain and white. My name and address are hand-written in flamboyant italics, and the sender has used a fountain pen. I’ve fallen for this before—vote seeking councillors or dubious local businesses aping the personal touch.

But an envelope that someone has taken the time to address personally is like an appeal to your better nature, not to mention whatever hope you have left for the human condition. So I pick up my paper knife—lignum, a present—and carefully slit the top fold.

The letter inside consists of one pale blue sheet, creased perfectly in half. It is lined and margined, like the writing paper my grandparents used. Above the script, adjacent to the sender’s unexpected address, sits a cartoon goblin, with the words “self-portrait” printed in capitals underneath. Josie, in what could only be a retro moment, has taken the trouble to get in…

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