Mole writes to Ratty’s daughter, aged 10 months

Dearest Lala,

This is your Aunt Moley. You’ve only met me once and quite frankly I found you curt. Maybe I’m too sensitive. People certainly tell me that. I don’t have kids and I don’t know how to talk to them. I guess you could sense my awkwardness and that’s why you dismissed me. I’m sorry I rubbed your ears and scratched under your chin, I thought you might like that. My cat does.  But even though you two are roughly the same size,  you’re actually two different animals.

The point is, Lala, I tried to reach out to you. 

Your father would like me to be a part of your life. I guess he knows that person to person interaction isn’t really my bag, so he’s suggested that I write you letters. I like that:  an epistolary relationship. I actually have a number of penpals I correspond with. They’re all inmates, but the point is, I like expressing myself through writing and I hope you will come to appreciate this form of communication.

So I know what you’re thinking. The questions were right there all over your tiny face when I first clapped eyes on you. “Who are you?” and “What is your business with my father?” Well, let me tell you Lala, the first question especially, is  very profound. One that I could postulate on for quite some time. But let me give you a very straightforward answer and we’ll save the esoteric philosophical discussion for another time. I am a friend of your father’s and I was at your house because I was paying him a visit. I hadn’t seen him in quite some time. It seems he was busy tending to your needs and forgot about the needs of other people in his life. He calls it “paternity leave” but I call it “co-worker abandonment”.

But you know what Lala, that is okay. All is forgiven. I understand you have needs. Everybody does, especially me. 

Everybody, especially me. Do you like that? That is one of the titles I’m thinking of for my soon to be writ book — it’ll be part memoir part creative fiction, as that is the fashion these days.  Some memoirs have the best titles; I could just read the spines alone! I saw this one the other day and I had a good cackle: “Daddy went to the store to buy almond milk: abandoned by my hipster father”. Aside from a memoir, I’d also like to write a self-help book. I’ve already got the title. “Loser, loser, wimp, loser: welcome to dating in your late 40s”

I have so many stories to tell, stories I’d like to share with you, precious Lala. The story of how I met your wonderfully kind and patient father; the story of meeting my cat Max Cornelius for the first time; the story of how I met my first husband, divorced my first husband and why I decided to give up dating.

Well, I have gone on long enough.

Give my love to your father. He is incredibly nice. When you get to be my age Lala, you will see that though the word “nice” is overused in everyday speech, it is one of the rarest qualities in people.

I’m going to sign off with something I hear the young people saying now:

 Always dance like nobody’s laughing, and sing so you’ll never be heard or something like that.

With love and affection,

Aunt Moley

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