The 27th of October 1977 – Waynesboro, Virginia

(found by the darkness on the edge of the town)

Dear Dominic,

None of that – absolutely none of that – makes any damned sense to me. I’m not even talking slightly. I’m not even talking just a little bit.

Why should I give a damn about success?

Now, hold on, because I shouldn’t say it that way.

Why should I give a damn about the type of success that you want me to give a damn about?

Now, I like suits as much as the next guy, but I’m not gonna spend the rest of my damned life living in a tie. That’ll kill me before the starvation of being a homeless dreamer ever does. That’ll crush me more than poverty or financial despair or whatever you’d like.

It’s about what you value, Dominic, and if you don’t do what you value, then why are you doing it at all?

You talk about pragmatics. You talk about practicality.

Well nothing’s practical, Dom, because nothing’s ever gonna stave off death. Nothing’s ever gonna stop me from dying. So why sacrifice living to do something that, ultimately, doesn’t make a damned bit of a difference except make me miserable with myself?

You talk about dreams like we shared them, values like we had a meeting last Tuesday and laid everything out in agreement. But I never got that message. I never agreed to it. I always woke up kicking and screaming whenever I had one of your so-called dreams.

So I just gotta cut it loose. I gotta cut it loose, or else it’s gonna drag me all the way down. I gotta find what makes the blood boil in my veins, and I gotta do it till my damned head’s about to pop off.

Or else I’m gonna end up on some lonely porch, staring off down the street and waiting for somebody who’s just had a bit of fun to come home. Or else I’m just gonna end up coming back from the factory and washing up and going off to sleep alone in bed, having the same nightmare over and over again till the work whistle gets me up at five the next morning.

I ain’t one of them. I always thought that, and I thought you thought that too. I ain’t one of them, and maybe that means I ain’t one of you either. So maybe I’m alone, but that don’t make a difference to me because at least I’ll be alone with who I really am.

If anyone – her in particular, of course – is interested in seeing me, tell them that I can be found pretty easily. There’s a spot out beneath the bridge.

  • Johnny
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