Last Christmas I hatched this amazing plan with my little brother to be penpals for a year. Like, we would exchange letters once a month: real, honest-to-goodness letters filled with anecdotes, musings, observations, and profound insights on the subtler nuances of life.
So far, Jonny is the only one holding up his end of the bargain.
He pardoned me due to the fact I'm trying to write a novel, for crying out loud. Which, let me assure you, does not go down the way you see it in the movies. It's not all, attacks of inspiration followed by furious scribblings while the heroine maintains this dreamy expression and fabulous hair, even when she's too busy being brilliant to make the slightest effort regarding her appearance. With an English countryside thrown in for good measure.
No, it's more like some wild woman in the middle of the desert with hair that makes you wonder "is she being serious?" (the answer is not really), texting herself some burst of inspiration she conceives in the middle of the night, only to consult her phone the next day and wonder what on earth she meant with that garble, who sits down to write while trying to ignore the fact she has no plans for dinner nor any idea what the house looks like five feet beyond where she's sitting, all the while dealing with the nerve of characters who make themselves completely contrary to her overall vision of a masterpiece.
...wait, what was I talking about??
Oh yeah, Jonny.
At any rate, I'm off the hook letter-wise due to that little fiasco and provided I make the occasional appearance here at Tollipop.
Otherwise he mean texts me.
But his letters. They arrive monthly and nothing in Jane Austen's wildest imaginings could have conjured up such brilliantly eclectic ramblings.
What does he talk about? Oh, just stuff. Wild animals he sees on his walks to and from the metro. Books he's reading. Food he's cooking. Who knew brussel sprouts weren't disgusting?
In this last one he was mentioning a metro ride into work wherein he amused himself by imagining a SNL-type skit based on the movie Rebecca, a lampoon of the scene where that creepy Mrs. Danvers gives the new mistress a tour of Manderley (if none of this makes sense, I highly recommend this film for your next movie night...or read my brother's review). In Jonny's version it's called Becky, and Mrs. Danvers makes a point of telling the new bride how nothing has changed in Becky's bedroom since she died, so the girl looks around and it's all covered in Cheeto dust and half-eaten Twinkies.
That made me giggle, both the scene itself and the thought of my brother laughing about it while surrounded by strangers on his way to work.
Then I emailed Jonny back and said how funny would it be if the house was still pristine and Mrs. Danvers took the second Mrs. de Winters through the house, making a big deal about the original state of Rebecca's bedroom, but every time she turned around she kept catching the timid new bride using Rebecca's hairbrush, poofing clouds of her face powder into the air, lounging on Rebecca's bed and eating cookies which crumble all over the place.
You really have to know Mrs. Danvers for any of this to resonate. Shiver. She haunted me half my childhood.
Anyway, so last night I was at the bookstore with Caroline, a sort of mummy-daughter date, and this was my text conversation with Jonny...
Me: What book were you reading that was so good? Was it The Scarlet Pimpernel?
Him: Yeah, I loved it. It's a pretty quick read, as well.
Me: I'm getting it. Thanks. xo. Saw a cool snake on my run today.
Him: I hope you like it and that I haven't overhyped it.
Me: If you did, you're dead.
Him: Whatever, if you don't like it then that means it was too classy for a rotter like you.
Me: Come here and say that.
Him: You come here and then I'll say it.
What does any of this prove, dear reader? That one need never grow old or mature? That the art of letter writing is called art for a reason? That siblings, with all their crazy, shared history, are still some of the best friends to be had?
Yes, yes, and yes.