The 7th of October 1995 – Branson, Missouri

(found by a heart-shaped locket, which had the picture ripped out of it)

Dear Charlie,

Realize that action, any and all, is selfish. Realize that it is unavoidable.

It is a fantasy, although it certainly and absolutely is a hope worth having, to think that everyone is just going to act in everyone else’s interests and feel no sense of unfairness and feel no pain. There are times, though, when any individual must act for themselves. There are times when two individuals meet, and they find that their interests are not aligned. There is no way for that kind of interaction to proceed without an instance of so-called selfishness occurring.

See, Charlie, try to understand that if you feel it to be unfair of me to say “Hello” when passing you on the street corner, I feel it to be equally unfair of you to abruptly say “Goodbye,” and I certainly do feel aggrieved when you ignore me or walk away as if nothing important were existing on the sidewalk in front of you.

It’s unavoidable, selfishness, and it is absolutely everywhere.

Pain is selfishness, a single ego arrogantly announcing that its grievance holds value in a meaningless world. So too is joy a selfish proclamation of exultation.

If you call me selfish, I can accuse you of the same. Or am I to watch you eat at the table while my plate is empty? Am I to sit there quietly, not allowed to even voice my pain for fear of being accused of selfishness?

How else are we to act? Or would you expect some of us to suffer silently while the others carry along with joyful hearts?

That, dear, is quite a selfish expectation.

I think, and I think this optimistically of course, that it is something to be forgiven when found in rather than expunged from human behavior. And, yes, there are certain types and extremes which ought to be avoided, but selfishness is oftentimes necessary to maintaining individuality.

I hope, at least, you can understand my position.


Donna Antonina


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