While in London I’ve been reading the local Big Issue. Lots of ads.
I decided to respond to one, headed Human Writes.
The ad invites the reader to write to someone on Death Row in USA. To become penfriend to a condemned person.
I don’t know any murderers, not knowingly anyway.
I wouldn’t begin to know whether my future penfriend is guilty.
The little I know of criminal justice suggests the possibility that my penfriend would have been represented differently- ie better – in Australia. And the strong likelihood that he would be male and black.
I make the guess he is in fact guilty.
I don’t imagine I’ll ever know or want to know.
Should I enter upon this relationship?
I who have nothing to lose, much to gain?
I – a writer, who trawls his life for his materials – who might well become my penfriend’s exploiter?
I seek the reader’s reaction.
I will write to firstname.lastname@example.org
So can you.