Dear John

I’ve been experimenting with replacing you with a cuddly toy!

Do you remember Snowy?  The big white cuddly gibbon you gave me a long, long time ago, back in the early days.  He’s not that snowy now because he’s been sitting in the top room for, well, at least seventeen years in this house.  And he’s a bit dusty!

But having been forgotten and neglected, he’s been promoted now.  His hour has come.  He’s sitting downstairs on the sofa with me.  We watch telly together, and I talk to him about what I’ve been doing, and how I feel.  And I hug him and kiss him.

I animate him the way we used to animate our cuddly toys to amuse each other.  We wave at your empty chair.  We discuss whether or not you would like the programme we are watching, and what you might have commented about it.

He’s your proxy.  I thought maybe I could still do my half of the interaction, still speak and comment about things the way I used to, instead of sitting silently alone.

But I don’t think the experiment is going to last long.  He’s too poor a substitute for you, darling.

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