The Invitation

My dearest,

I’m writing to ask you to my wedding on the 15th. Her name is Roslyn. You don’t know her. 

I don’t wish for you to receive this news as a rebuff. It is possible to be two things at once. Like you. What was that name you insist your mother gave you in that bleak time before we met? “Herve”? And yet will the Lord God judge me as a liar for calling you Harvey all these years? 

Two things at once.
Your Jonah

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18 thoughts on “The Invitation

  1. It’s the sort of letter I’d spend days obsessing over as both the sender and the receiver. All the things that are said between the lines. It actually makes me feel anxious!

  2. Hmm. I’m thinking the two things at once are still being in love with Harvey and still wanting to get that passive aggressive revenge by inviting him to the wedding. I don’t believe the line about it not being a rebuff. It left me wondering if Herve/Harvey did something to deserve it! Such a short piece, but containing so many possibilities. Nicely done!

  3. This superb short piece has left me with so many questions. I assume that Harvey was transgender, but honestly I don’t know for sure. It was a beautiful and painful piece at the same time, in terms of emotion. I loved it. 🙂

  4. Ohhhh, I love the restraint in the tone of the letter. It’s like a little pressure-cooker; it would burst open at a touch. Gorgeous.

  5. I get the feeling the narrator is a little defensive and has probably had to fight for their position many, many times. The way the narrator ends the invitation feels like finality; like the period at the end of a sentence. One last-THE last- invitation to clarity and acceptance.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I realize now that the hints I gave in the letter are too vague. I maybe placed too much meaning on the greeting “my dearest,” which in the early 1900s would only be appropriate for a lover.

      1. It’s like you’re asking me to show my cards or my Freudian Slip or something. But I’ll be brave and say that I interpreted it as “two genders.” A more classical view of bisexuality and the once-conventional idea that a person couldn’t be “two things at once.”

      2. Ha! But, seriously, there was no wrong answer. What kind of high-school-Lit-teacher fascist would I be if I demanded everyone interpret my words the same exact way?

  6. You succeeded in fitting in so much both in the characters and in tone. I keep getting drawn back to “You don’t know her” and how much that tells us about these two.

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