Thursday, February 7, 2008

Letter to a younger Major


I’m calling you Major if you don’t mind. Not that you joined the army though, it's just because that’s the nickname your new friends gave you. I’m writing to offer a few words of comfort. I remember what it’s like to be 17. I remember the interrogations and the answers that never come.

So I think you’ll be happy to know that things turned out pretty well, there’s nothing to complain about.

At the moment, you’re living in Rome, just by the Pantheon. You travel, for your job. Soon you’ll move somewhere else to check if by any chance the grass isn’t a bit greener over there.

You have friends, even though they are not the same ones. Enjoy yours because time flies by. Today, you couldn’t explain exactly why but you’d rather avoid them whan you happen to bump into them in the street.

Don’t worry too much about the girls either, all I can tell you is that they won’t let you down.

Now you speak English fluently, and you get by in a few other languages. I’m afraid, Major, that you’ve become one of these slightly annoying people, although you’re still left-wing.

So, you see, I have no advice to give you, you’re doing a fine job by yourself. What I can do though is answer a few questions that are in your mind right now:

- no, you won’t have to serve in the army for your national service. You’ll find a nice little job for yourself instead
- yes, you’re going to screw up your Maths test again. Sorry.
- no, you’ll never get to sleep with sophie Marceau. Ditto.
- yes, France will win the World cup one day. And as part of the celebration you’ll kiss a girl from the Czech Republic whose name you will immediately forget.

I’ll let you find out the rest all by yourself.

Hold on, just one last thing. One day of September 2002, you will walk into a pub to have a drink or two. Behind the counter you will see a frizzy-haired, freckled girl. Don’t go thinking that she is too beautiful for you. She would hold it against you for the rest of your life.

Best regards,



Rosie said...

sometimes you write so well that leaving a comment feels like scrawling "Rosie was here"

lauren said...

Agreed, your writing is wonderful and I love your little anecdotes about Mademoiselle Red. Very sweet :)

GI said...

me too, I like your writing and your little stories.

Jayne said...

Awww, sweet. But stop teasing us - I want either you or Red to continue The Story!

The Major said...

Thanks a lot for the very nice comments. It's going to sound corny but it means a lot to me.

Pedro said...

You're right Major, that was corny.


Caro said...


Rosemary said...

So beautiful! I'd love to do one of my own but I don't feel that I know enough now to give my younger self advice - at what age do you begin to think you are any wiser? Because I still feel like a sulking 15 year old... If only we could go back and give ourselves advice - but,then again, that might change the future and I suspect that you wouldn't want that at all.

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