Submission (A Correspondence in Three Parts)

(1)
Greetings XXXX XXXXXXXX editors,

I wanted to thank you all for sending my return envelope back; I’m just not sure what kind of message you were trying to send. Was the empty envelope a metaphor for the howling void that we all must someday face? Or perhaps my submission just left you speechless and unable to respond? I’m sure that with time, and the proper medicine, I’ll suss it out and all will finally be revealed … or, I could just ask. So, ’erm … what’s the deal?

Yours envelopically,
Ray Larsen

(2)
Hi Mr. Larsen,

I hope you haven’t been deteriorating into madness while awaiting our reply.

I apologize for the empty envelope and the subsequent foray into the land of unanswered questions. While I would like to claim artistic genius and expressive intent, it was sadly just a mistake. As the assistant editor (i.e. graduate student) I possess a very fine skill set for stuffing, licking and sending envelopes. Your envelope, unfortunately, missed the crucial first step. And now I must re-evaluate my postal prowess, *sigh*.

Well, at the very least I can relieve your sufferings—the envelope was meant to hold a lovely blue little slip, bearing our logo and this message: “Thank you for your recent submission to XXXX XXXXXXXX XXXXXX. Though we are unable to include your work in this issue, we are glad that you gave us the opportunity to consider it. We wish you success in placing your work elsewhere. Thanks again, The Editors.”

It tries very hard to be friendly while inevitably informing you that we are crushing dreams. We don’t like that part of the job much and we know that you like it even less, so really, I’m quite sorry that you were subjected to the empty envelope.

Really it’s quite a profound little piece of paper. The color is really quite nice. And the size is wonderful. I’ve spent tens of minutes in the copy room, brushing off my math skills to figure out exactly what size will fit into a variety of envelopes.

If you would like the little blue slip that the envelope was meant to contain, I’ll happily send it along. It’s a very nice slip.

Yours apologetically,
XXXXXXX XXXXXX
Assistant Editor
XXX

PS Hopefully this little blunder doesn’t mean you will be too incapacitated by the proper envelop-related medications to submit to us in the future!

(3)
Greetings Ms. XXXXXX,

Thank you for your enlightening, entertaining, and timely response to the vacant envelope imbroglio. At no time did I mean to impugn your prowess as it applies to stuffing, licking, etc. I am sure that the sheer volume of correspondence lends itself to the occasional unintended mystery.

Please don’t let this aspect of your responsibilities weigh any heavier on your conscience than does the slip itself. I, for one, have started an art project with the myriad beautifully colored papers that have been sent my way. I am sure that the one you have been charged with discharging is lovely.

I imagine it to be a medium Persian blue, as was the binding of Bailey’s A Treatise on the Seven Rays, reflecting a possible theosophical bent on the part of XXX. Or perhaps it is a less esoteric, but no less historically relevant, Prussian blue—one of the first synthetic pigments ever developed, and interestingly, an antidote for heavy metal poisoning.

I don’t want to make more work for you, however, and I will simply wait until my next submission works its way through the editorial process. I will force myself to be content with the seasonally apropos light spring green version I still hold and cherish.

Yours in the wild blue yonder,
Ray Larsen

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