The 17th of July 2008 – Galveston, Texas

(found in a place, to which you never expected to return)

Dear Trudy,

Oh, what was I thinking? What could I ever have been thinking? Why did I choose to torture myself, both by staying in this place so long ago and by returning to it now? What did I expect to find inside this charcoal brick of my shame? A diamond? A second chance? Was it anything other than regret?

I went back to a place where I was once, where I was for a while. It’s another place where I was, probably exactly like all the other places where I was, where memories haunt the shadows and wait for me to pass them by before they jump out and shout to scare me.

It wasn’t a home, this place where I was, but it was a house. It was some sort of a shelter that gave me a place to cower and wretch while whatever storm I was suffering from continued to cause me suffering. It wasn’t where I belonged, nor was it where I ever felt belonging, but it was a place where such a feeling was possible. I have to give it credit for that, for the possibility.

I’m amazed at how quickly old habits can resurface, how familiar my feet found old steps on the treacherous, circuitous journeys I once took through the night. These are the journeys that I take now, months – or, I fear, years or decades – later.

I’m not sure what to make of it.

It hurts a little, I guess, but I’m not sure if there’s anything more to it than that.

Who am I kidding? It hurts like hell, but I’m still not sure if there’s anything more to it than that.

Trudy, I was walking away one night. I turned to look over my shoulder, and I looked back on the past, and I saw towers poking through the clouds, beacons of light in the night, and I just felt sadness. I keep looking back and I keep wondering, Trudy.

Trudy, is it ever possible to look back on the past and not revile it for its mistakes and flaws?

Trudy, is it ever possible to look back on the past and actually celebrate?

Love, please and always love,



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