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,



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