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Why am I dying to live, if I’m just living to die

March 17, 2011

When I was in fifth grade, my language arts teacher had the class write to our favorite authors. We had just finished reading some popular author’s autobiography, of which all I remember is she kills a snake at one point and eats dog biscuits at another. Much like my teacher, I too was going through a children’s author autobiography phase and had just finished Boy: Tales of Childhood. In it Roald Dahl talks a little about being a baby boy overseas and a lot about candy. Even though he’s sort of a brat as a kid, I also empathized, so I decided to write my letter to him. We spent ages crafting perfect letters–I talked about candy in mine, thinking he would get me, we would get each other, and then I kissed the envelope before I stuck it in my teacher’s purse.

Some time passed, and we were all anxious all the time waiting with bated baby breath until finally my teacher showed up with the motherload one day and everyone freaked the eff out and peed their pants and wiggled their grubby hands in the air. Lauren got a letter. Jimmy got a letter. Shannon definitely got a letter. I sit and sit and sit and my arm gets tired and I figure maybe good ol Rolly sent me a box of books and candy and my teacher is waiting to tell me in private so as not to rub it in my classmates’ snotty faces even though I’m already planning how to show off my fancy new books and turn the pages with a pinkie out. This never happens because guess what,


Dead as a doornail. Graveyard dead. Not going to write you back, here’s a letter from his estate dead. Everyone else got better letters back, even the kid who wrote Chaim Potok (what 11 year old writes Chaim Potok?). Also, WTF man? Why wouldn’t my teacher tell me he was dead? She might as well have suggested I write Bill Shakespeare. In which case this is the letter I would have written him:

Dear William,

My name is Christie Young, and I am in the 5th grade. My favorite author is Roald Dahl but I recently found out that he’s dead so instead I am writing to you. My favorite subject is art, and I love Nerds candy. Do they have that in England? Have you read any Roald Dahl books? His autobiography is reallllllly funny!!! Do you want to hear a joke?

Write back soon,

Christie Ann Young

(ed note: not SWAK)


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