Pretend there's a clever title here [Frostbite889 & Soreya]
Dear Father, the letter began, This town you have sent me to is an absolute hovel. It is so small, a mouse infestation causes a city-wide panic. It is so small, if someone coughs on one side, I can hear it from the other. It is so small-- Never mind. I can't afford to waste paper like this, as you well know. I merely wanted to inform you of the decrepitude in which I am forced, by your hand, to live. I must do everything myself and I am sure you know how terrible that is. Actually, father, I doubt you do. You have always been blessed with money and now you have robbed your son of that very necessity, left him without servants, without even a dishwasher.
Anyway. The public institution you have forced me to attend for what you call 'perspective' is a hive of inactivity and misbehavior. I attend half of the required days, do my work, and leave. The rest of the school abhores me, Father, and I am sure it is my far-superior intellect that causes them such anguish. Of course, I hate them, too. They are gross. I do not want them as friends.
This place will be the end of me, Father. Expect no more letters as I will have passed on in the next few days, and come to the return address of this letter to ensure that my body receives a proper burial and is not consumed by the cockroaches that have laid claim to my hovel of a kitchen.
Sincerely, your only and expiring son, Tristan
The writer perused this missive, pen tapped against his lower lip, and nodded once in approval. Yes, this would do. He found the envelope, pen poised again, and (blue-green eyes squinted in the half-light of a single lonely parlor lamp, scrawled in atrocious handwriting the address of his father and the only place in the world he wanted to be.
That done, he brushed a hand through unfashionably (painfully unfashionable) short hair, sealed the envelope with a grimace of disgust (where were servants when you needed one?) and stuck a stamp in the right-most corner of the coarse, plebeian paper. There. One more letter to his father completed, and this one well in time for the fall half-semester break, at which point he was sure his father would send the car down to the tiny college town that confined him, sweep him up in his arms, and carry him away for the week to live again in a house with more than four rooms and an impossible contraption of a stove.
Tristan rose from the parlor sofa, took a moment to survey his surroundings with disgust. Clothes lay draped across the furniture and the floor like survivors of some grave natural disaster; coins and crumpled dollars lay in a heap on the coffee table, strewn about in some facsimile of modern art. The kitchen was the worst of the rooms, with its tower of unwashed dishes by the sink and the confused morass of expired food in the fridge. He'd spent the last four days surviving on toast and the canned tuna the woman down the hall had given him in an act of unnecessary pity. The bathroom he'd never used, instead visiting the one in the lobby, toothbrush in hand, as he knew the landlord of the apartment complex kept that one clean while his own he would have to be responsible for -- as if that would ever happen.
But! On the bright side! Only two more years for an education, and then he would be allowed to go home! Probably. There had been some clause about 'a young man's responsibility' and, again, 'perspective' in his father's verbal instructions, but those were probably words for show, and as soon as he graduated, Tristan would be allowed back home and given more than a paltry allowance of one-hundred-and-fifty dollars a month.
Pulling a fraying coat over a horrid plaid flannel shirt (god, everything in this town was so ugly), Tristan tugged on winter boots and a pair of woolen gloves, and bolted from the apartment with, as usual, the air of never coming back. He didn't even bother to lock the door anymore.
Delighted with the Friday-afternoon-emptiness of the hallway, the twenty-year-old stomped down the corridor, down the stairs, and out the front door into an agonizingly bright, crisp September morning. He buried his face in the collar of his ugly shirt and renewed his death-grip on the letter. Delivering his own mail. It had come to this. A sigh escaped him in an irritated cloud of vapor, and Tristan stomped down the sidewalk, determined to get to the post office and back in as little time as possible.