The 19th of June 1985 – Los Angeles, California

(found by a puddle of something in the shadow of something bigger)

Dear Georgie,

I’m sitting on the patio of some cafe watching the sun go down, watching the shadows of cars stretch longer along the road. A woman is sipping a coffee or a latte or something a few tables away from me. Her fingernails, painted bright blue, click against the plastic lid of the cup of whatever is in her hands. Across the street, a homeless man

We don’t have any time for this. Don’t you feel the walls closing in? Don’t you hear the rumble of the thunder? Can’t you feel yourself dying?

I’ve walked away from the café. I’ve found a spot to sit in the shade of a large pine tree. A dog is barking while chasing after a ball that someone keeps throwing. A mother reads a few lines from a big book and pauses to show the pictures to her son. A young baby crawls along a

We don’t have any time for this. The walls are coming in only tighter, and I feel the tightness in my breath again. The rumble of the thunder is growing only louder, and I can feel the fear of the noise in the hollow of my lower back. I can hear the electrons that make up the atoms that make up the molecules that make up the cells of my body, and I can feel them buzz and flicker and fade away. I am dying.

Stop this smiling, Suzanne. There isn’t any time for it. Find an empty yoke and butt your shoulders against it. Work, and do the work with a grimace or a grim smile or a grim determination. Forget happiness. Forget legacy. Forget future and accomplishment. There is only the act of doing. Life is the mere process of existence.

We don’t have any time for this. Really, Georgie, can you really not feel the crunch of the walls as they squeeze your body together? Really, can you not hear the rumble of the thunder echoing in the emptiness of your skull? Really, you do not hear the buzzing of the dying electricity in your being? Really, Georgie, are you not dying as I am?

Sincerely,

Sue

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