Month: March 2016

The 19th of November 2011 – Port Leon, Florida

(found between the sand of the shore and the splintered post of the pier)

Dear Mama,

I’ll try to be there if I can make it. You can count on me for that much. Trying to make it, I mean.

It’ll be close. The bosses up here aren’t nearly as used to people asking for time off as they are back home, and the way the wind is blowing, well, we’ll have plenty of work to do over the next few months picking up leaves and branches from the side of the road.

It’s a whole big organism, my boss keeps telling me. And they always say that we got to work together and keep together as a group all the time. People always asking for time off goes against the organism mentality, I guess. That’s what they keep saying.

Nah, nah, nah. That’s what I say back to them. Nah, and I shake my head like that. You know, the way I shake my head when I get all kerfuffled. Nah. See, we’re all just a bunch a guys. We’re all just doing the job we got told to do. But there’s no organism to it. Sure, we’re working together, but that doesn’t make a difference to it. Having a bunch of people in the same room doesn’t make them all family.

Remember when Gerry and Todd were over for the game that time a while ago, sitting on the couch together, even sharing the same knife to spread mustard on their sandwiches. But that didn’t make them any closer friends to each other. They still ended up fighting and Todd still ended up with his head through our back fence anyhow.

So I don’t know. About this whole deal with the organism, I mean. And about whether I can make it to the birthday party. Like I said, the bosses up here don’t seem to want to give us time off.

Let me know if you got my other letter. There should be a check from when we got paid last Tuesday. Buy Maureen a present.

Love,

Herman

The 12th of October 1984 – Sonoma, California

(found within a cracked computer screen)

Dearest Lydia,

There is a higher order. There is a larger dream, I hope – at least I hope.

I have long looked at the mountains and seen the sunset fade behind the peaks. Around those mountains – atop those mountains – I need to be, to see the sun and always seen the sun.

I wouldn’t know. I couldn’t know otherwise. But what will it take? How could I leave my sun even if the journey promised to fill my sky eternally bright?

I haven’t had a chance to breath – of course my dear, I’m sorry to say it’s true – I haven’t had a chance to get a wink of sleep since that first night. Because the fear that light would not return.

I would trade the sunset for eternity. Lydia, I’m sorry, because the beheld beauty does not compare – in my eyes – to the beauty that cannot be beheld.

Loneliness will take me soon. I haven’t a chance. Enjoy the sunset. Enjoy the starry nights. Enjoy the rises of tomorrow.

I cannot. I need now.

-Brutus

The 19th of October 2015 – Omaha, Nebraska

(found etched into the back of his brain, as if with a laser)

Yo,

I mean, I don’t know. It’s just, hey. Hey you.

Hi.

I don’t want to, I mean, I guess, well, how’s it going?

I mean, listen, it’s just that, well, I wanted to say that – and I don’t want to intrude, okay, I don’t want you to, well, just – never mind.

Okay, but are things going okay? For you, I mean.  Not me. Not for me they aren’t I mean, but never mind. I don’t want you to, well, it’s just that I guess you don’t have to anymore. 

I just keep thinking about, but you know, never mind. Don’t worry about it. Okay? It’s just that I’m still, but that’s okay so you don’t have to worry. Right. Okay.

How’s school? I heard you’re, well I mean, yeah I asked around but not like anything like a big deal or anything like that. Okay. Well. I guess I don’t know anymore.

I shouldn’t, right? Okay. I just shouldn’t. I mean it makes sense to me but when did that mean anything import- right, okay so never mind. It’s alright.

I’m just – I mean – I feel so – well, but – I keep think, okay – okay. So, that’s why I, but never mind I guess.

So I guess, but didn’t it happen? Didn’t it happen, and didn’t it mean – well, forget it I guess. 

Love,

Best,

Leroy

The 23rd of October 1968 – Springfield, Illinois

(found on a desk by the lamp that had been turned off in a dark room where the lights had been all turned out in a house without wires in a town without electricity in a world that was in the process of dying-to-be-reborn)

Oh Dear Dana,

How heavy nothing feels. What a weight the night has, when the night has come. My shoulders droop when there is nothing for them to carry.

And carry is the prize, and carry is the way to live, carry weight and do, perform.

The stone has slipped, and I have fallen. The world has come loose. I can, for once, stand straight and tall, without having to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun, cover my ears from the boom of the announcer’s voice, announcing my name.

I was the hero from the sky. I was the marauder in the ring. I had the pressure on my spine, butterflies in my gut, fluttering.

I played it well – the part, the costume, the mask and painted face. I made a good show of it, had a good run at it.

The trophy escaped the grasp, always just beyond fingertips.

But what are trophies? What is the purpose of an ending, let alone a good one? We are here to live and breathe, of course, to die. We are here to accumulate, but to enjoy accumulation for no purpose. Nothing comes with us beyond, after. But you can pause and think and smile. And you will go insane.

Of course the loss is bitter, of course the weight of nothing presses down. But we cannot carry always everywhere.

Let the shoulders sag. It is time to rest.

All the Best,

Francis

The 22nd of February 1977 – Lubbock, Texas

(found at the end of a flashlight’s beam)

Aurelius,

Curve, yes, the beauty it is there yes but where forever is it to be going, gone, going to

Curve, yes, a leg curved, curves, underneath a chair and wrapped around an ankle yes, curved always curved curving towards for just a moment tempting then curving far away curved and curved always back into the night and into the darkness to be lost curved but never found again until it decides the curve decides that it should be found again

Beauty

I beheld it in a face that whipped around a carousel and me only standing there in the blare of lights and circus music cotton candy sweetness choking and hanging in the air but why and nevermore curved away around the curve, cutting through the cotton candy air in and out and back and forth around around again

I do hate it in the mirror I can find the curved edge of a spoon it’s upside down and still there always always hanging but not that curving leg that pointed to that delicate reminder that there is a place kept together with more than shoestring gum and duct tape there curving that leg by the windowsill up and to the air away away and going, gone, going too

But there the curve and back again

Antonina

The 7th of March 2003 – Breckenridge, Colorado

(found floating on a breeze)

To Gaia,

I breathe in and out. I breathe in harm and suffering. I breathe out peace.

Up on the mountain I am the mountain. Eternal, reaching far back into an unknown past and being pulled forward into an unknown future. Spinning at thousands of miles an hour on a ball. Warmed deeply by the burning sun. Warmed forever by the dying sun. But forever does not last.

There is an eternal blackness in my gaze, and I can see a smiling face flickering in the distance.

I breathe in and out.

Eyes closed, I can see it all. Mountains, rivers and trees. Ants scurry from home to the office, stopping at the grocery store on the way back for dinner to buy apples and onions but forgetting to pick up the milk.

A tap on my shoulder from the man with my coat. He laughs, and I follow. Out of the sun and into the shade. We climb. To the tallest branch we climb, and the ants become smaller and the milk becomes so much more important. SEE! The Milk! If only! That’s the key.

But we climb higher, above the tree and to the clouds. There are no ants. There is no sign of the milk. There only Is.

I breathe in and out.

All there is is Is. To be is being. To know is knowing. To live is living, and living is but slow death.

I breathe in and out. My eyes are open, and a siren blares. Out the window I can see an ambulance zooming down a dirt road.

I wonder who made breakfast. Will I be able to have milk with my cereal this morning?

Palms pressed together in front of my chest. I breathe in and out.

Lovingly,

Kronos

The 18th of June 1993 – Amherst, Massachusetts

(found by the dishrack with the drying dishes)

-Oh You All Out There, Out There-

Is this all? Is this what there is? A reconsideration of events, a recollection of things. Are there no more things left to do? We can only recount.

But I do like washing dishes, see, and mowing lawns. I do like the activities of non-reproductive maintenance – in which I play a non-autonomous part, in which I become another with objects.

Yet I cannot help but wonder where the adventure has gone. Yes, I was a young boy, but there was a time when airplanes were a realm of magic, awe, discovery.

Now I file on with the queue and sit in my seat. No smile. No wide-eyes. No special glance for the girl by the window, whose hair is gleaming in the streaming sunlight, no more an angel.

But I do like vacuuming carpets, yes, and painting walls. I do like the subsumation of my self into the mechanism, the ability to no longer need any other to be responsible for the flabby paunch of my ego – which constantly gets pinched by a belt that can no longer be bothered to contain it.

I do like football on Sundays. I do like the hazy afternoons of loud incoherence after two beers. What?

Because I have to. Because the magic is lost. Because I have lost it.

Because it was lost from the start. Lost. All there was.

-Oh woebegone to me-