1) Muse’s directive: “Write about a roll of film that has been obtained surreptitiously.”
To whom it may concern:
I am directing this correspondence to the management offices of the 21St. Dollar Movie in hopes that I may shed some light on the property stolen on the 21st of March.
I wish to identify the culprit, but more importantly, I wish to beg his pardon. Furthermore, I wonder if I may go so far as to propose your participation in the designs of the punitive measures levied.
You see, my grandson, Tucker Delaney, has bequeathed to me the story and has enlisted my assistance in his redemption. I will henceforth relate his story to you, and then describe the participation I request from you. Before I go any further, I must insist that I do not write with the intention to excuse Tucker. I merely strive to give you some understanding.
Tuck and his best friend PJ had no idea as they counted their quarters on the sidewalk at your facility, that they were mere minutes away from degenerating into thievery. Seeing the pictures on Saturday evening had been their habit for months, and they hadn’t any reason to suspect that today would be any different than the others. However, they were destined for their first glimpse of that which captivates all men: the seductive beauty of a woman exercising her influence.
They had been sauntering down the corridor towards the viewing of Captain Blood when their progress was arrested by the image of a woman’s naked shoulder, made momentarily visible to the hall by the swinging door as a patron exited the theater. Naturally, their first reaction was to change course–sneak into this theatre instead. They proceeded to mock what they couldn’t readily understand, as the human race is wont to do.
But there’s little that the boys could do to truly distract each other from the lace, sultry voice, and the postures of that powerful woman (our own Mae West, of course). However, the impending end of the film began to nag at Tuck. He managed to contrive and convey a brilliant plan to his comrade that would prolong the experience for them; namely, to take ownership of the film.
As I’m sure you know from your interview of your employee, the plan involved luring the box attendant form his perch (Tuck is especially apologetic for Lou’s broken leg, I assure you. Permanent harm was not the original intent of PJ’s strategic position on the floor in front of the door.) Only after the boys were making off with the film through the alleyway, did either of them realize that they only had the film, but lacked the equipment for viewing.
The key, paradoixcal emotions of Tuck’s story that I need you to understand are his initial lust and need to possess, followed by shame, inadequacy, and vulnerability after the theft was committed.
I ask you to consider the potential metaphor here that could be utilized to imbue a certain lesson in relating to women for these young gentlemen. A young man’s mind does begin to wonder at this age towards the physical aspect of romance. In light of the universality of parental frustration in providing guidance at this crucial stage, I request your participation with a humble suggestion.
The reality of love, respect, and lust are misunderstood, and overly romanticized in our culture today. I fervently wish to take this opportunity to illustrate to our young men the effort, and intentional nature that is required from a man in a healthful relationship.
Please grant me the opportunity to take an active role in my designs. I offer my services in Lou’s stead for the duration of his rehabilitation. I request that Tucker and PJ be gainfully employed at your establishment for the duration, and at whatever terms you deem appropriate, with respect to their crime. In addition, I would like for the boys to be granted permissions typically denied such youth: the continued viewing of movies of this nature, insofar as I am made aware in advance. I believe this will initiate a proactive curiosity, which I will strive cultivate constructively. It is my firm belief that curiosity left to itself at this stage leads to perverse shame, whereas a powerful, guided trust could do much to instill sincere respect for love, lust, and beauty.
Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter,
Yours in sincerest apology and humility,
2) My current word count for my novel is: 19,553/30,000.
3) Muse’s next directive: “Write the following in the voice of a fifty-two-year-old man: I could have avoided all that trouble if only I had remembered to…”