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?



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