A Letter to Javier Marias

fiction letters
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Short Story

Dear Your Royal Highness, The Esteemed Javier Marías,

I am writing to submit to you my candidacy for Duke of Redonda. In doing so, I shall list the qualities that here to I possess. I believe that you shall find such said qualities to be the qualities that you may have in a person for a position such as that as a Duke of Redonda. Here I shall begin to state such qualities.

I, YRH, like you, was born in Madrid Spain. In El Hospital Madrileño de la Paz. I do not know if you were born in the same hospital as I, but I bet, I bet you were. I also come from a long line of Castellanos on my father’s side. Though I must admit, I’m not sure on my mother’s. I know that she is Andalucían, although she herself was born in Vigo and has always been very vague about all that.

I do not remember Franco, but I grew up under that great curtain. And Primo de Rivera as well. My mother grew up thinking he was a saint. I know better. But lets not take out those old bones for all to see.

I, like you, YRH, love football, that is Fútbol and not that corrupt American sport with the same name where large idiot men run into each other head first. I am a supporter of Atletico de Madrid and I hope you are too and not the evil, fascist, dirty, cheating, bastards Real Madrid. Antimadridista!!!

I used to ski! Yes, that’s true, and once, I skied off a cliff…more like fell off a cliff with only one ski because the binding on the other ski was set too loose and every time I made a sharp turn the damn thing popped off. But I did it. For many years, I put in over one hundred and fifty days a year skiing in Alta Utah, no lie. In my years as a ski bum, I also chased down female hotel guests like a ravenous dog. I did not have much success. Well, some, but not much. Still, how many current or past Dukes can make such a claim? The skiing I mean, not so much the chasing down of female hotel guests. I can, on that particular note (the female guests, not to belabor a point) however, claim as conquests an heir to the great Heimlich, a German au pair and a girl who once met Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel.

Speaking of women, I too am un-married. We have that in common. I, like you, YRH, believe that a man who spends too much time trying to earn a woman’s affection and approval is a man not to be trusted. A man such as this is the type of man who, during a job, will drop the sofa on your foot to help a woman with her groceries. A man who will betray you the first chance he gets and stab you in the back and worse of all, he is the type of man who will cock-block you at a party.

I am also a writer. Yes, It’s true!!! I write!!! That means we’re like brothers! I write short fiction that is published in obscure online literary journals! I knew that you would be impressed. How many of your current Dukes or even long dead ones can make such a claim? António Lobo Antunes, el Duke de Cocodrilos? Frank Gehry, Duke of Nervion? Francis Ford Coppola, Duke of Megalópolis? Duke of Plazatoro? Duke of Miranda? Duke of Michelín? That is what I thought, mere dabblers in the dark arts of Internet blogging.

I am here! And I declare myself El Gran Duque de Bloggernia! El Gran Duque de Paseo de los Tontos. El Gran Duque de el Gran Salchichón!

I admit, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself here. And I understand that YRH is likely the chooser of the titles. I accept that. And here, I pledge my fealty to you, YRH Javier Marías.

Now, lets say that maybe, just maybe, you have grown weary of your title, you are childless and have no heirs, and you are dogged by scoundrels who claim that they are the rightful owners of your thrown. Perhaps you grow weary. I can help, I can ease this misery. Let me be the one to take this burden on. I would be a most just and righteous monarch. I would dispend wisdom and kindness to my subjects and crush our enemies with an iron fist. Let me be the one to succeed you O great and mighty YRH. In this regard, I have just a few questions I hope that you can answer.

1) What is the King’s/Duke’s Duties?

2) What is the King’s/Duke’s Rights?

3) Is the Isle of Redonda a good place to live?

4) Is it possible for the king/Duke to contact Penelope Cruz?

5) Do you think that Penelope Cruz would enjoy living with the King/Duke in the Isle of Redonda?

6) Do you think Penelope Cruz would leave that ugly man Javier Bardem to come live with the King/Duke in the Isle of Redonda?

7) I have no daughters but is it possible for girls to inherit the throne/Dukedom?

8) Can I tax the inhabitants of the Isle of Redonda?

9) Can I build a fútbol stadium on the isle of Redonda?

10) A bullring?

Lastly, I want you to know, YRH, that I happen to own all of your books, in kindle format and that although I have not read any of them, I intend to do so.

Yours truly,

The Duke/King Elect of el Gran Salchichón


photograph by Blair Connolly

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Sergio Remon Alvarez

Born in Madrid Sergio moved to New York City at a young age. He studied playwriting under Karl Friedman and theater at Purchase College. After college, Sergio moved to Alta, Utah where he was a dish washer, waiter, handyman, ski repairman, firefighter and free-skier. Upon his return to New York City, Sergio has alternately been a bookseller, boxer, painter, translator, graphic artist, jazz musician, and writer. He studied creative writing at Gotham Writer's Workshop, the Unterberg Center for Poetry, the St Marks Poetry Project, and New York University. He currently splits his time living in New York and Madrid. He runs with the bulls in Pamplona.

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