Letter to America

Birmingham, England, August 2008.

Dear America,

How do you do?

I’m not sure how well you remember me. I’ve only visited you once and that was to visit your son, Orlando. I’m not sure how close you and he are these days, I worry that you feel his behaviour is a bit outrageous, all that dressing up, cartoon characters everywhere, day dreaming instead of earning a proper wage. I imagine you get told that he’s lots of fun but not really ready for a long term relationship at the moment. I understand that. I guess for you a similar experience would be coming to visit me and only seeing Stratford (Upon Avon).

I’m not sure what prompted me to suddenly write to you, I just felt I should take some time to connect with you. I’ve been peering over the back fence to see what’s going on and it looks like you’re having fun in the neighbourhood. I guess everyone needs to get to know the neighbours.

The thing I remember about visiting you was the sense of space. Everything here seems smaller and closer together here. Your various kids don’t seem to think anything of driving miles and miles to visit one another. It seems most people go visit Vegas as he sits having fun in the desert. Orlando is doing what Orlando does. And no one seems to think much about darting from one to the other. Two of England’s sons, Brum and London don’t seem to get along at all. They don’t call, they don’t visit, they just sit glaring at one another. Do you have any advice on how to make the two get along better? I’m sure you’ve got some interesting ideas… let me know.

I was also wondering how you feel about the current political fight being played out around you. Do you take much notice of that sort of thing or do people just appear and go like the clouds in the sky?

If you ever want to borrow a cup or sugar or pop round for a cup to tea I’ll make sure I’ve got supplies in. Don’t be a stranger and if you need anything just let me know. I could always look after a spare key if you get locked out.


Ben Whitehouse.

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