One grain of sand to another, 1982

Thought you’d appreciate a picture of home.

Hi Harvey,

How’s it going? We miss you over here in this part of the beach. Mom and Dad are fine (fine enough to go through a sieve, am I right?) and Hailey asks after you all the time. Nana is keeping active; she’s part of a castle wall right now.

I’ve been working on polishing up that one rough edge that’s always bugging me and doing a lot of thinking. It’s kind of weird—life is good and all, but sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that I’m just another star in an endless sky. Like there are just millions and millions of other stars exactly like me going on forever.

But I know that’s not true and that I’m unique and special in my own way. Mom thinks I need to get tossed around by a wave a bit. I should probably just count my blessings that I’m not stuck up some idiot’s butt crack.

Alright, I’d better go. I’m late to meet Jeff and Judy. We’re having a contest to see who can fly into someone’s eye first.

Love,

Alan

Analysis:

We’ve analyzed a number of letters from the animal kingdom, but it’s exceedingly rare to find a pristine copy of a letter from an inanimate object. Luckily for science, Dr. Jean Bellphon of the University of March Madness has devoted his life to studying the social patterns of grains of sand. Through diligent research, he was able to determine that only do grains of sand have their own social structure, but also that they produce wonderful musicals. And though scientific journals have yet to publish his findings on account of being “completely ridiculous,” the way we look at the beach has been forever altered.

It took Dr. Bellphon many years of analysis to decipher just one sand language (like humans, sand apparently has countless languages and dialects. On one beach, as many as 10 or even 12 languages may be spoken).  Sand paper has not advanced to the degree human paper has, and most sand uses standard yellow legal paper for all correspondence. Despite having a highly stratified society with a literacy rate of only about 15-20%, most sand communication discovered so far shows a startling degree of sophistication. For example, King Rodney III, ruler over about one billion subjects on roughly three square feet of a beach in New Seabury, Massachusetts, wrote “Letters to the Sea,” a moving collection of poetry that rivals or even surpasses the Psalms of King David.

Sadly, Alan never did fulfill his dream of being tossed by a wave. After first getting stuck to the outside of a juice box, he was wiped off, stepped on, and transported several miles to a terrifying place known only as “The Complex.” There, he was rinsed off a foot and washed beneath some grating, never to be heard from again.

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