The 13th of August 1996 – East Hampton, New York

(found, well-worn and well-handled in a desk drawer, the only one he kept)

I just don’t know what to do anymore, Trisha.

Every once in a while, I think, a person just finds themselves on a precipice, and they can go forward, or they can go back. They can turn away, or they can leap into the horizon and hope they timed it right so that – even if they do die – at least they saw the sun one more time.

Everywhere I seem to go, her face is on my periphery, and I think that’s going to be the way it is for a while, for quite a while, or maybe forever. It’s urging me on, I think, dragging me forward, to the edge. And what am I supposed to do with that, Trisha?

There’s just this feeling. It’s just this feeling that I get, that I got, that overwhelmed me. It doesn’t make any sense to me, and it’s hard to describe, but it’s cloaked around me and it won’t let go, won’t let me breathe. And it’s the feeling of pure, triumphant failure, the kind only felt by a wise enough pilot who’s caught in a nosedive, can’t pull out and decides to just enjoy his last few moments.

So what am I supposed to do?

I can’t sleep anymore, lest I dream. Instead I pace around the house, and I trip over furniture, and I stub my toes on the coffee tables that infernal man left all over the place, and I do it all with my eyes closed, thinking, concentrating and meditating. Whenever that feeling comes near me I let myself have it because brute force alone ought to be enough to knock it out of my head, even when intellectual discipline fails me. So I hit myself, and I keep punching and punching. Dianne wants to know what’s wrong. She wants me to come to bed. I can’t tell her. Trisha, I can’t.

I just don’t know what to do anymore.

I want to forget, and I want to move away from it. But I can’t forget facts. I can’t forget the truth, especially one which dawned so brightly. That would truly be the death of me, of my spirit and my brain, and how can I subject myself to such hopeless fate?

And I know it’s wrong. It’s just wrong to do it, but I – somehow – take solace in the fact that even so, I’ll do it. At least I’ll do something. Mistakes can only be made through inaction, Trisha. Get my name on a tombstone, put tomorrow’s date on it and have that quote underneath. I’ll die stupidly, triumphantly and ruinously as a failure.

And that blessed angel Dianne wants to know what’s wrong, even though she must already know, even though she must have known for months and months. Dianne just wants me to tell her the truth, I’m sure, because even as stupid as she’s become in the past few months, she hasn’t lost all her senses. She knows, Trisha, because she must, because she simply has to. But I can’t tell her. I just can’t.

And I don’t know what to do anymore because it’s true, and that’s the worst thing it could be, and maybe that’s why I’ll wear it around my neck like a cursed pendant, a personal anchor dragging me to the bottom of the ocean. It’s special. At least, it is to me.

Love,

Ronald

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