At least once a year, she received some correspondence that bordered between art and insanity. To her Midwestern mind, art was not all that far removed from craziness anyway so the substance of these otherwise internally elegant letters did not put her off in the least. Getting and reading through these letters was the most entertaining part of her job, actually, and she would spend considerable time combing through the many gems that landed on her desk to find the one letter that would stick in her gut all week long.
The best one recently came from a troubled young man with considerable financial and medical woes. In the thick set of papers he submitted, he wove together a somewhat poetic tale of conspiracy leading to his present circumstances. The conspirators were the artist formerly known as Prince (who it was noted now really just called himself Prince), Queen Latifah of England and the Pope of POPEye’s Chicken – and they cast a wide and very public web of moral corruption and deceit.
The author included photos of fried chicken parts that resembled religious icons and symbols to bolster his theory. There were several pages of tabloid articles documenting Queen Latifah’s love of fried foods. He laid in astutely bizarre observations about Prince, his lyrics and his vegetarian diet. Through this twisted discourse, the man explained how the conspiracy had led to the downward spiral of his own life. Destitute and ill, he was now making his plea for help from all places of last resort in the world – including her company, which had no obvious connection to fried chicken, the music industry or any religion.
Honestly, though, she was mesmerized by the logic within the young man’s lunacy. His story stayed with her well beyond the usual work week. She started to avoid fried chicken and listened to the lyrics to “Little Nikki” over and over again – because she was wise enough to know that, if the conspiracy was in fact true, no one–not even her company–could help her.