For some time now, I’ve been concerned with matters of communication.
One likes to be prepared.
“The ransom letter, for example,” I say to the imaginary man in my head. “When forced to write, against my will, to prove that I am well and not being harmed, I will misspell my middle name.”
My imaginary man, a short, sturdy sort, taps his chin, thoughtfully. “So it will be “Ann”, not “Anne”?”
“Exactly,” I say, pleased.
“And this is to communicate that, yes, it’s you, and yes, you’re being held against your will?”
“But why,” he murmurs, “would you be kidnapped?”
Whereupon I stare at him until he realizes that a.) I am a precious and rare flower, kidnap-worthy and b.) he should buy me a treat.
The problem is that I was not raised to be demonstrative. My bloodlines are chock full of staunch, hearty folk, people for whom expressions of love include pats on the back and offers of dinner, for whom a state of upset is revealed through vigorous room-rearrangement and floor-mopping.
“How ‘bout this?” I say. “How ‘bout I will try to communicate where I’m being held through the use of the first letter of each word in a sentence?”
“Hmm,” he says.
“For example, if the sentence “Barry Levinson Ate Indian Nutriment Earnestly” should show up in the letter, you’ll know they’ve hidden me away in
“Interesting,” he says. “What happens if you’re being detained in
I stare at him, blink slowly. He pulls a Snickers bar from his pocket.
“No one’s going to kidnap you,” he says, dangling the candy from his fingertips.
Mollified, I tear open the wrapper.
“Anyway,” I say. “That contingency is taken care of, isn’t it?”