As I write
this letter, the ocean breeze feels cool on my skin. That very ocean is soon to
be my grave. They tell me I will die a hero. That the safety and honor of my
country will be the reward for my sacrifice. I pray they are right. My only
regret in life is never telling you how I feel. I wish I were back home.
I were holding your hand. I wish I were telling you that I have loved you, and
only you, since I was a boy. But I'm not. I see now that death is easy. It is
love that is hard. As my plane dives, I will not see the face of my enemies. I
will instead see your eyes, like black rocks frozen in rainwater. They tell us
that we must scream, "Banzai," as we plunge into our target. I will
instead whisper your name. And in death, as in life, I will remain forever
Within our lifetimes, we've marveled as biologists have managed to look at ever smaller and smaller things. And astronomers have looked further and further into the dark night sky, back in time and out in space. But maybe the most mysterious of all is neither the small nor the large: it's us, up close. Could we even recognize ourselves, and if we did, would we know ourselves? What would we say to ourselves? What would we learn from ourselves? What would we really like to see if we could stand outside ourselves and look at us?
You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter. And you know what? You’re right. You don’t. It's not important, okay? You're not important. Get used to it.
My dear and trusted
colleagues...I miss you deeply as I write from the confines of my regrettable and
preposterous incarceration. Until I walk amongst you again as a free man, the
Grand Budapest remains in your hands, as does its impeccable reputation. Keep
it spotless, and glorify it. Take extra-special care of every little bitty bit
of it as if I were watching over you like a hawk with a horse-whip in its
because I am.
Should I discover a lapse of any variety during my
absence, I promise swift and merciless justice will descend upon you. A great
and noble house has been placed under your protection. Tell Zero if you see any
funny business...Your devoted Monsieur Gustave.