woensdag 29 juni 2011
Dearest mister Fry,
We will meet today. In Den Haag (a town you call Den Haag, I’m sure, with a long and deep ggg. You are not going to say The Hague, or anything easy like that). You are gonna talk, and I will listen. With the utmost please. Then you will sign your book and I will talk to you. If I dare. If I did not dare, please read on.
Okay, so by now you know that English is not my native tongue, nor are my ten fingers (I type blindly) from birth familiar with your first language. I know you bother, you should. One excuse will suffice, I decide here and now. Every mistake is involuntarily, any lack of improvement laziness.
End of intermezzo.
I adore you.
In a non-stalking way, from a distance, I hasten to say.
From my early twenties I enjoy your work. I love it all. I saw you, and I read you. I became an omnivore. Whether you read the books by J.K. Rowling, slap Cpt. Darling, present QI, teach me how to be a poet: you’re my bread and butter. (Blablabla, enormous praise, utterly embarrassing for the both of us, you’ve heard it a thousand times, may be even believed it once or twice … etcetera ad infinitum.)
I even like you better than Hugh Laurie.
(Stop. No more.)
Through you I became acquainted with the works of Oscar Wilde. Through you I kept my sons at ease during long car travelling in Norway. Through you I feel all right being a snob every now and then.
I was in London last March, for fun. I’m sorry we didn’t meet on the streets or in a cab. I read the Fry Chronicles. May I ask about the title, pray? (Re-reading Sense & Sensibility at the moment, hence the pray.) I would have placed a bet on ‘Over Edom I will cast out my shoe’ being the title. Anyway. I think it was the thought of shoes, and the picture of you on the front, that made me decide to knit you a pair of socks.
Tonight I will present you your book, presuming you will sign your book today, and are willing to sign a copy of the not-translation. In this book I will hide the socks (insofar one can hide a size 12 pair of socks in a book). You will grab hold of the book, see the socks, look up to me and say:
”You made me a free Elf.”
Please don’t you mind me asking for your hand in marriage, right there and right then.
Let’s assume for a moment that you are embarrassed by me, by the words I stutter, by the gift, by the gift being socks. Please don’t show it. Please pretty please play the role of the grateful, slightly surprised Stephen. My oh my, who would have thought I was ever to get a pair of socks. That will do. Or something of the kind.
(Christina without the Christ-part. That will be my joke tonight. I once met an American who laughed at it. She signed a knitting book.)
Tell me something I don’t know, Peter!
My geography teacher’s middle name was Louis.
If for anything, let me thank you for those two lines.