But you want a topic. And it seems like a fair number of us want to jump in and write this summer, so I'm going to give you a writing prompt, and you can do whatever you like with it. Apologies to Anne, who has already, technically, fulfilled this prompt (but I am interested to see how you might choose to fill it again).
Imagine that you (or a character you create) are visiting an establishment of some sort in San Diego. And there, on a shelf or a table or stuck to the wall is a manila envelope with the words "READ ME!" written in highlighter on the front. Intrigued, you go to the envelope and pull out the following letter. How do you (or your character) respond? (Your post this week should be your response). Have fun!
Like Alice when she fell down her rabbit hole, you have decided to follow the instructions written upon a random item, and have thus launched yourself upon An Adventure!
But don’t worry, I beg you. I can almost 100% guarantee that the results of reading a letter marked ‘Read Me’ will be far less confusing and trippy than eating a cookie marked ‘Eat Me.’ Nothing can be entirely guaranteed in this life, of course, but I swear that should you start to feel as if you’ve changed several times since this morning, and if that feeling should then unsettle you, you may inform me that I am nothing more than a pack of cards, and our time together can come to an end.
My name is Zoe, dear reader, and You have been invited (from my perspective in the future)/are being invited (from your perspective in your own personal present) to participate in a social experiment.
At this moment in time, two choices lie before you. If you want nothing more to do with me and my strangeness, you may fold this letter up and return it to the location whence you found it, its remaining pages unread. However, if your curiosity has been piqued, you may continue onto page 2. Another choice will then lie before you.
Still with me? Excellent. I am thrilled to hear it.
As I said, you are a participant in a Social Experiment. Allow me to provide some details for you: I am seventeen, a junior in high school, and, most relevantly, a student in Mr. Zephran’s Sociology class, and he has instructed the 28 of us to develop and implement a Social Experiment.
Now, most of my classmates are going to stand backwards in elevators, and this kid in my class, Jimmy, will probably organize a flash mob a la Improv Everywhere, but I have this problem with making people uncomfortable. I really hate doing it. In fact, I will do almost anything in my power to help alleviate any discomfort being suffered by any person in my general vicinity. Do you see the problem? The majority of social experiments require making people uncomfortable.
So, I have developed an experiment that avoids that, or at least avoids my proximity to it.
(But seriously. If you’re uncomfortable, stop reading. I do honestly mean that.)
In seven strategic locations around the city of San Diego, I have placed these letters for strangers to find. If you’ve read this far, what happens next is up to you. You can take up the challenge and continue with the experiment, or you can not. If you accept the challenge, turn to page 3. If not, turn to page 4. In either case, thank you excessively for your time, and please. Have a fabulous day.
Taking up the challenge! I’m so excited! Or, just here to hear the challenge before you make up your mind? Fair enough. That makes a lot of sense, dear stranger. I like the way you think.
Write me a letter. My name and address are on the back of this page. Don’t get excited – it’s a PO Box I took out for this purpose. I’m trusting you, stranger, but not that much. I have family to think about. But that’s it. My social experiment is as simple as that. Write a letter to a stranger. You know my name, my age, that I live in San Diego, and who my Sociology professor is. You also know I’m a little bit nuts. But I am, to you, a stranger. Are you willing to write a letter to a stranger? If so, answer the questions below. If not, see you on Page 4.
1. What is your name?
2. What is your quest?
3. Were you expecting this question to be about the air speed velocity of pigeons?
4. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type?
5. When was the last time you read your horoscope?
6. How do you feel about unicorns?
7. Describe your best friend in ten words.
8. What is your opinion of the Oxford Comma?
9. Where did you find this letter?
10. Do you want me to reply?
I look forward most genuinely to hearing from you!
You have chosen not to participate in the challenge. I understand, honestly, I do. Please take one of the blank slips of paper in this envelope, fill in the blanks of the sentence printed below, replace the slip in the envelope, and go about your beautiful and happy life, dear stranger! And in case you are wondering, I will remove the envelope from this location in two weeks’ time, should you change your mind.
Hey, Zoe. You seem ________________________________. Your letter made me ______________________________ because _______________________________. But I’m choosing to end our correspondence here because ________________________________________. I wish you and your project nothing but ______________________________________________!