I have an offer I’d like to make you, one that would greatly improve the quality of your life. It’s an offer I know you’ll have trouble considering—or accepting, for that matter—but I have a feeling that once you read what’s enclosed in the following envelope, you’ll be willing to take my offer into consideration.
I haven’t received a reply from you today. That’s fine, but I’m starting to worry. I’ve seen you walking around your apartment, pacing endlessly with that letter in hand. I wonder if you are still considering, or are perhaps to afraid to reply. But don’t worry, I can wait. I can wait for as long as you need me to.
Today’s the third day. My patience is beginning to grow thin. I see you in there, Bubba, walking around the apartment in your underwear, with my letter pressed to your face. From the looks of it, it seems like you are blind, but I know better, Bubba—I know that you’re not blind. And I know that those lines across your arms aren’t from handling the barbwire fences, like you’ve been telling your family. I know the things you are thinking about, the things that you have hiding under your bed. There’s no need to deny it anymore. I see all, Bubba. I see the inside of your house, I see what’s inside the box under your bed. I even see the things you look at while you’re browsing the internet, believing that no one or no thing can see what you see. But that’s not true, Bubba. All it will take is one person—one report—for the police to come knowing at your door. They’ll find what’s under your bed, my friend, and they’ll take you to court, where you’ll soon rot in jail like men who do what you do do.
Day five, almost a week now. I’m sure you’re aware that my offer is still up in the air, waiting for you to grasp it between your outstretched hands and pull it to your heart. I’m also sure you’re aware that I’m watching you. You can’t see me—as you already know—but you know where my letters come from. The post office claims they’re from Virginia, per the postage stamps in the upper right-hand corner of the envelope, but so does my handwriting. You don’t really know where I am though. You’d like to think this is all some elaborate hoax, a prank being played on you like the jocks used to do in your high school days. You’re practically the same, they say, and it’s true. You’re still wearing the underwear your mother bought you when you were fifteen, your hair is still a mess, cut like a bowl picked from the finest, downtown restaurant. And your glass—oh, your glasses, Bubba—are still as big as ever. Many say you look like an old woman, and I agree. But it’s not the hairs on your chinny chin chin you’re looking at with those big glasses, are you, Bubba? Oh, no, it’s not. There’s only two people who know what you’re looking at, Bubba, and those two people are you, and I. Let’s say hi to the sky, my friend, because soon, you’ll have to say goodbye.
Day six. You’re still playing tricks. You’re desperately scrounging money together to buy something that you’re sure will erase your problem forever. Registry cleaning software. Pfft. Motherboard wiper. Hah. Nothing will help you, Bubba. The money is too far away, resting at the bottom of your bank account like fat whales speared on the tips of an Eskimo’s spears? I know what rests at the bottom of your bank account, Bubba—it’s five dollars, and five dollars that you won’t be able to use. The bank’s about to close your account. Remember the overdraft fee from last month, after you bought a subscription to… well, you know? It set your account under the required limit. Say goodbye to that five dollars, my friend, because tomorrow, it’s going to be gone.
One week. I said I’d give you one week, and one week only. But here you are, standing in your underwear, jerking off to the metaphorical idea of going free. You know you won’t though. You know the things that are still in your house, the things you still can’t erase. There’s not much time now, not much time at all. You could burn the things under your bed, but where would they go, if not up? There’s too many to do at once, in the privacy of your bathroom. Hundreds, maybe, if not thousands, are in that box. You know what would happen if you set off a fire alarm? Someone would come—the fire department first, then, maybe, the police. They’d find you in your bathroom, with ashes on the rim of your toilet seat, and they’d ask what you were doing. Then, like all good policemen do, they’d find the things you don’t want them to find. First, they’ll find the box, which might have been pushed behind the toilet, or maybe under your tub. And then, once they find that, they’ll take you in, and make you wait in a tiny little cellar. You’d be alone, Bubba, so, so alone. But not for long. Soon, you’d be reunited with those you have loved so much. They’ll show you the things they found on that computer, what you didn’t burn from under your bed. And they’ll make you look at them for the longest time, asking what they are, where they’ve come from and how they got there. Then you’ll ask if you have a problem, and you’ll say no, because you couldn’t possibly have a problem. You, Bubba Handyman, a middle-aged man who lives alone in his dead mother’s apartment. They’ll ask if you have a job, and, of course, you’ll say no. Then they’ll ask how you’re able to afford a nice apartment, and you’ll say that your mother left you everything, just like a good, dead mother would. Then, as you know, a psychologist would come in, asking you to read the blots and the screen. And when you’ll try to lie, claiming that you see the twin towers in place of something even more sinister, that psychologist will know, and she will tell everyone in the world what you’ve done. Oh yes, Bubba, they’ll know. Infamous, you will be—on the phone, on the TV, on the internet and at the front door. You’ll have to tell your neighbors who you are, what you did, and why you did it, and when they slam the door in your face, turning their little ones away for fear of corrupt, you’ll know what you did.
There’s one more day, Bubba. Don’t let it go to waste.
Day eight. I see, at least, you’ve said grace, finally atoning for all the bad things you’ve done. You kneeled at the foot of your bed, hands crossed and bowed in prayer, as an image of our lord, the great, Jesus Christ, stayed at you from the base of a metal candleholder. As he died for his sins, you, of course, have died from yours. You kept your head bowed until the candle burned out, just like many cultures do when they’re committed atrocious acts of sin, and you’ve repented for all the things you’ve done, all the people you’ve hurt. You know, Bubba, you won’t read this letter—someone else will, most likely the police. But you know what? That’s all right, because you’ll already be gone. I see you’ve loaded the gun, extended the trigger, replaced the bearings, and I see you’ve obtained the ammunition. Mother used to call them her little helpers when you were quite young, possibly four or five. You’d walked in on her one time, just when she’d loaded the gun. You asked what was wrong and why she was leaning over the toilet, and she said that mother’s little helpers decided not to help that night. You came to realize latter on in life that she’d been trying to commit suicide, just like you are now. But unlike her, you’re not leaning over the toilet, spilling your guts from the malicious confines of your throat. You’re lying on the bed, letting three bottles of heavy alcohol pour out from over the floor. The computer will, obviously, explode, and the things under your bed will burn with the flames. But that’s what you’ve always wanted, isn’t it, Bubba? That’s the only way you could ever repent for your sins. A counselor might not help, because their job is to report those they deem unsafe to humanity to hire sources. And just stopping wouldn’t help either, because… well, you’ve tried that once before. Your weekly emails, proclaiming your new content, spurred you onto the illegal habit that you’ve so desired.
I’m proud of you, Bubba. You’ve made a right choice, and you’ve saved so many lives because of it.