Month: February 2016

The 19th of February 2015 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

(found underneath the blanket that kept their two hands hidden from undue scrutiny)

My Dear,

Heartbeat. Your beating heart. And mine.

I feel it through the palm of my hand. Tears in my eyes. Never felt so close.

Always felt so distant, always felt so far away, but here is your heartbeat – in the palm of my hand. The tickle of my nose as it nuzzles against the nape of your neck.

Beating hearts. Chests together. Warmth and glowing.

Smiles. Wow. Whoa. Woah.

The way you smile when I kiss along your chin, and I get to watch the dimples appear out of nowhere in the centers of your cheeks. And I place the palm of my hand on your chest, and I feel your beating heart. Right there.

Never been here. Never been in the sun. Never felt warm glows on my back. Never been able to leave the umbrella at home.

Smiling.

A sudden appearance. You next to me. Grab my hand and hold it somewhere hidden so the others don’t see and get jealous.

Hello.

Blue eyes smiling. Raven-hair smiling. Red neckerchiefs worn to cover the bottom halves of faces smiling.

Tell Chad to go out and shovel the snow for Chrissakes.

Laughter.

Listen to the adult man at the front of it all sing a song about the sunset’s beauty.

Laughter.

Leaning closer to you until our foreheads rest against each other.

Smiling.

Heartbeat. Heart beating in the palm of my hand.

So close.

-C

The 22nd of December 1944 – Bastogne, Belgium

(found by a fallen tree, blown to shards by the explosion of a murderball)

Viscera, Dolly.

Oh, Dolly, it was just about the most beautiful goddamn thing I ever saw. The most beautiful goddamn thing in the world to this point. If only it didn’t make me feel so sick

It was Haines. It was Buck Haines, sitting right across from me in the foxhole. It was late in the night, early in the morning or whatever. I was keeping watch – we both were, but Haines was starting to nod off a bit – and all of a sudden I hear this great whistling floating through the air.

Someone shouts out from a few foxholes away. Alert! Alert! Alert! Incoming! Whistles fill the air.

PSSEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww. PLOP!

It lands right in the foxhole. It lands right in Haines’ lap. I mean, right between the goddamn legs. And the poor guy, like I said, was already starting to nod off a little bit, so when the thing hit, it sort of took him by surprise.

The thing starts smoking. Maybe it was a dud, but I scramble out of the hole. I get right the heck out. Haines, I guess, well, he didn’t move quick enough.

BBBCHHOOooooooo!

It echoed, like. Among all the other sounds, the shattering trees and the screams, this one echoed, like, right in my head. While it was still echoing, I peeked over the edge of the hole.

The way it all mixed into the snow. Red was splattered around, some big pools of it were dark crimson, almost black. A few splatters here and there were paler, pink. All kind of shining silvery in the moonlight.

But, Dolly, it was the viscera.

The way his gut was ripped open and it all sort of spilled out into his lap. The sludge, the sliminess of it as it sat there. I couldn’t get a good look until the sun came up in the morning, but it sort of had a shimmer to it. It was grey, but it sort of had a shimmer to it too.

I struggled to keep it down, but I did. We were all panicked about some midnight attack, but nothing came. The Germans just sent in the mortars to give us a scare. I ended up sharing a hole with Mulligan and Francis for the night.

Hope to see you soon,

-Martin

The 142nd of Ape Gill NineteenThousand and Four – Dale Has Tea Sauce

(found Ben’s heath hurt elephant)

Oh Dreary Day,

Butter water olive hours and hours and hours rafter tree making? And water rafter her taking ready-Freddy and under eddy flours so pretty on then eye toss kites.

Holly bushes! Holly blushes! Holly lushes and the tree make habe ich for sea. Tree make and her take.

Her take. Her take it all and always. Her teas so, so, so mashed. Habe ich for sea. Habe ich an dimmer an dimmer an dimmer.

Butter Oliver tree moos toboggan bee cousin the her take habe ich for seas tuna veer fin fish.

Ents should ill dung. Ents should ill dung. Amy tampon coo. Peer, oh! Pier oh! Pair, oh! Butter water olive hours tree making and her taking two before, too bees fur. Fern othering? Fur Amy ding? Mining? Yearn ting? Wash Abba eek go gnaw? Wear these her taking fee long song mice leaves. Knot a hurting mice leaves. The hay sea, own lease sea her taking fee long song mice leaves.

Ah, moor! Ah, more, more, more. Ah! Plea sir dies and wandering eyes an dimmer her take. Know moor. New more tuna fearful ah more age gain.

Her taking leave,

My Kill

The 13th of March 2005 – New Canaan, Connecticut

(found in a muddy, halfway-dry puddle)

Nicholas-

Sometimes I wonder whether the storm is passing because – for such a long time – it felt as if it had decided to settle right above my own head. I used to wonder whether the sun would come out, but then I saw it peeking through the cloud a few miles away, far away from me.

Now I am sitting on a bench in a park, looking out over a quiet pool of water. There is a fish swimming. I wonder if it sees me too. I packed up my umbrella and put it on the ground beside me. The rain stopped.

A crisp beam of sunlight just poked through the clouds, Nick, and I swear you were right beside me. It felt warm, for once. Warm and soft, drying my cheeks.

If it were a picture – and how I wish it were – I would always hold it with me, always in my hand until it became crinkled and worn, until it started to fade. Even after it faded – all things fade, Nick, we know that – but even after it did, I’d hold onto it. I prize it. I’d treasure it.

I have so much trouble letting go of the faded things. I worry that no one else will care for them. I worry that, if they’re dropped upon the ground, no one else will pick them up, and they’ll have to die alone. So I don’t drop them, and – if I see a faded thing lying in the dirt – I pick it up. Maybe it will become bright and warm again.

If only things were different! And why does the sun insist so often on hiding in its sky?

I am so sorry that I cannot see you at the moment, but it feels impossible. It is hard to explain, but I hope you are able to understand.

Today the sun is out, however. It is warm, and it is smiling.

Regards,

Cara

The 12th of April 1955 – Twin Falls, Idaho

(found covered in dust)

Dear Charlie,

There’s a speck of dust in my eye, and my eye won’t stop watering. It looks like I’m crying, and it’s been stuck in there for a few days now. People keep asking me what’s so terrible because it looks like I’m crying. People keep asking me, but all I can say is that I just can’t help it.

The rooms are filling with dust, all dust, everywhere. I think of how old that dust is, and I think of how old the room is because of the dust and because of the fact that it’s all the same.

I think of where that dust came from. Old dust. The new dust. But I guess it’s all just dust. Dust that Harriet shook out of the teddy bear we got her for her third birthday. Dust that floated through the air from the kitchen, filled with smoke after you burned those special peppers we got at the supermarket.

I should clean up, shouldn’t I? I should make it all look spic and span and shiny and new. I should give it the nice appearance. I should make it into something that looks better than it is, just plain better than it is. Because right now it’s a dirty, dingy, dusty mess.

But I cannot stand to lose it. I won’t lose it willfully.

I cannot clean it because then it will be gone. I cannot clean it because what will be wiped away?

My hands tremble when they pick up the dustrag, when they reach for the feather duster. I cannot stand to lose it, but I guess I will soon enough. Soon enough things will fade or be blown away.

How so?

Marcy

The 9th of July 1946 – Vladivostok, USSR

(found with black, black smudges overtaking the corners)

Dearest Leopold,

I do not know how it came to be, for it seems as though the world is beginning to spin faster, faster, faster. I blinked, and I was a thousand miles away. I closed my eyes for barely half a second, and suddenly we were eons apart, with a universe between us.

Who left who behind? Or both.

The sea is outside my window, and I can hear it lapping up against the sandy shore. I can feel it dragging away the solid land, the sand, and dragging it down to the darkest depths of itself. I am losing my balance. I am suffering a headache.

How can this be possible?

It was the leaving that led to the leaving, Leopold, and I cannot blame you for any of this more than I can blame myself, and nobody is to blame except for us all. Equally and without pardon.

I haven’t a clue, to be honest.

Yet still I search with desperation, and still I claw at the sand of the beach and drag my fingernails along the road in order to find a crack or crevice or place to pry and tear up the world. To find something, anything. To find and search and find.

But why?

Because when I close my eyes at night before falling asleep, I am suddenly terrified that the night will swallow me whole. I will argue for the validity of that feeling, and I will continue to believe that there is, somewhere out there, someone who feels similarly because doing so will make me feel less alone.

Of course.

So do not tell me any more stories.

I will find it.

Take care of yourself,

Lolita

The 18th of September – New York, New York

(found with an overwhelming nervousness because the apartment has a view of the Park)

Dear Paul,

I’m, well, I’m not going to make it. I’m just not. Just no. Just say no.

I’m not going to make it into the office today.

Have you seen this new business card?

It is a constant pain and sharp. The always humming of a chainsaw engine as it falls down through a stairwell. The roar of a thousand car alarms waking up a city block. The fear-filled and full-throated scream of a person as she bangs on closed doors while I walk behind her in the hallway.

But I’m terribly in touch with humanity.

I’ve perfected my appearance, see. He says to check out having a tanning bed installed in my apartment like he does. But he compliments my tan, understand? He doesn’t. Understand. Not like I do. A tanning bed in the apartment leads to overuse. Peeling skin, blotchiness, et cetera. People have no restraint. People have no understanding, not of what it takes. They talk about growth and improvement. They talk about their interests and their passions. They talk about the inside.

The inside doesn’t matter.

But these people. They shake my hand and fail to feel the cold in my palm, instead focus on the steel, the toughness. They don’t know what it takes. They don’t understand what it means to not feel, to not ever, to need what I need in order to.

The mask is slipping off. I feel it loosening around the edges, the edges where it used to feel tight. Just wait until the mask comes off. I am spineless.

And she said I’m inhuman.

Warm Regards,

Patrick