The 24th of April 2002 – Berkeley, California

(found fluttering through some graveyard somewhere or something)

Hello Karen,

I’m writing quickly, and I don’t mean to disturb you, but I was hoping to pick up our conversation. It’s been so long – too long, of course – but I remember that we used to write with such regularity. I was hoping that maybe things could go back to the way they used to be for a second.

I don’t know how I feel. Of course, Karen, you must remember that – me saying that, I mean. I have that tickle right between my shoulder blades, and no matter how hard or how much I shrug and grimace, it stays just right there.

I keep moving on from things. Things – people, places with smiles and memories – keep slipping away from me, back into my mind where I might forget them.

It’s a weird feeling, to have moved on from something, but to still feel it, to still feel it around you, and to still feel like you’re there. It’s a weird feeling, to still have those thoughts, those fantasies from past lives, those dreams of idyllic futures and to want them to come true, still. It’s a weird feeling to have to remind yourself that all of that is just long gone.

It’s a weird feeling to realize that no matter what, the greatest change in life is just a change in tense. The things we do, we now did. The people we see, we now saw. The love we feel, we now felt. And it’s all just a change in tense. It’s something so simple, so seemingly superficial, but devastatingly permanent. That change in tense just can’t be changed back again.

Everything piles up and builds up on the ground around us, those changed tenses. We look down and see some shadowy mound in the grass, by our legs, threatening. We wonder if it breathes, if it ever did, or if it ever could.

It’s not a corpse, the body lying at my feet, but it is dead to me. It has to be – dead, I mean. It’s dead whether I like it or not, and maybe I do – like it, I mean. That’s disturbing, isn’t it? Or maybe it just is.

The views, Karen. I miss the views the most. I always have.

With heartfelt love,

Tracy

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