Donna and George

The 9th of February 1974 – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

(found buried in a spinster’s sock drawer; amongst a collection kept in a folder which was labeled “If I Had The Courage”)

George, oh George, oh George,

They want me to stop, George, they do. I want me to stop George, really, I do.

It doesn’t make sense to me anymore. That’s the whole thing. That’s the confusion of it all. They keep saying I’m infatuated. They keep saying it’s a crush, an obsession, like I’m a little six year old.

Immature infatuation. That’s what they call it, George. But it can’t be. It just can’t.

But, see George, they make it so insignificant. But if it’s so insignificant, then why does it seem so significant to me?

Really, George, I wish it were that easy. I really just wish it were so simple. I wish it were just a little bubble in my gut, a little tumor of this infatuation, this growing, crying, throbbing mess. I wish it were there because, if it were, I’d go into my kitchen, and I’d grab a knife. I’d cut it right out of me, George, I really would. I’d cut it right out of me and go deep into the woods just to bury it. I’d bury it so that nobody else ever has to deal with it too. I would, George. I’d cut it right out of me. It’d be so much easier.

That first time you came into the room, George, just let me tell you what happened. That first time, you drained my whole world of color. You just sucked out all the light. George, when you walked into that room, everything just went straight to black and white, and the sound got all tinny and muffled like an old-time movie. George, George, there was one thing that wasn’t dull and grey left in that room. There was one thing that was bright and vibrant, George. That thing was you. That’s what it’s like, George. That’s what it was like, at least.

I’m sick, George. I’m sick for you. I’m sick, and I’m wounded, and I’ve got this knife jabbed into my belly, and I’ve got this tumor, and I’m about to vomit all the time. George, I’m just sorry, that’s all.

I’m just sorry. I’m sorry if I bothered you, or if I followed you too close or if I looked at you too much from down the supermarket aisle or anything at all. I’m just sorry. And, George, I’m just sorry that I ever had to meet you.

That’s it, George. That’s it.




The 16 of August 1974 – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

(found buried in a spinster’s sock drawer; amongst a collection kept in a folder which was labeled “If I Had The Courage”)

George, oh George, I can’t apologize enough.

George, oh, can you forgive me?

I saw another man, George. I was down at the grocery store and I saw another man. I never met him before. I never met him and I never will again. I promise, George, I do. Just please forgive me.

He knew what he was doing. I know he did. I turned into the cereal aisle with my cart and he stood there with his, empty except for a carton of instant oatmeal. And he just stood there, George, he stood right in front of the raisin bran with one hand tucked in his back pocket and the other resting right below his chin.

He had a flannel shirt on, a plaid flannel shirt. He had it tucked into his jeans, and he had left the top two buttons undone. I couldn’t help but stare, George. I couldn’t help but shudder.

I only needed a box of corn flakes, and those were all the way down at the other end of the aisle. I could have turned around, George, and I’m so sorry that I didn’t. I could have turned around and just avoided that man altogether.

But, George, I didn’t. I walked right past him. I wanted to.

I almost made it by without him noticing, but he did. He looked over at me and he smiled. He waved and he said that he didn’t think we’d met before. George, we hadn’t met before. I’m sure of it.

We chatted for a few minutes, about how he had just moved to town, his job and my job and all of those things. George, it was only a few minutes because I said I had to get going and he said that he did too. So we went off our separate ways.

But just before he went he stopped and said goodbye. He looked into my eyes, and he looked so interested. His eyes, shining, icy, blue eyes, were so interested. They were so sinister in their interest.

I would be lying, George, if I didn’t admit it. I felt so warm in that moment. I felt so relieved. It didn’t last long, though. Soon after I felt terrified and cold.

He pushed you out of my head, George. For just a second, he pushed you out. His face filled my mind and he pushed you right out of his way. I let him push you away.

I’m sorry, George. I won’t let it happen again. I really won’t.

With love,

Thinking of you,



The 26th of May 1975 – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

(found buried in a spinster’s sock drawer; amongst a collection kept in a folder which was labeled “If I Had The Courage”)

George! Oh, how could you?

Emptiness. Emptiness!

That’s it. That’s all I can say right now, George. Emptiness.

It was high school, the last time I felt this, George. This emptiness.

The last time I felt my foot trembling, the last time I felt my calf spasming, just like I do right now. Then all I felt was this emptiness. I saw her slip a love letter under his locker door, and I just felt emptiness.

George, I don’t understand how you could do this. Oh George, oh George!

Did I really start crying, George? Did you really want to make me start crying? Because I could not believe how dry my face was. But I wish I could, George. I think it would have made me feel better. I think it would have just washed everything away once and for all. But I couldn’t. I didn’t. George, I don’t know why. George, I don’t.

And do you know what you’ve done? Do you know what you’ve ruined? I can’t even begin…

Oh I wish I could tell you, George. I wish I could show you what you’ve done to me and to us. How could such a powerful seed exist and not even be planted, let alone given a chance to grow. How could I feel so much and just have to squash it back into whatever part of my soul it came from. And, of course, you know – oh George you know – that doing so would hurt. Oh it would hurt. It would just be impossible for me.

After I read the announcement in the paper, I just stood there, George, struck by lightning, in a vacuum with everything around me all charged up and burned away. Only when the thunderclap came did I wake up and realize.

How could you marry her? George! How could you?

I’m afraid I’ll have to forget all about you, George. I’m afraid I don’t think I can. Oh god, George! One day you’ll have a family and you’ll move away. Oh god, one day I’ll never see you again, George. One day you’ll just be another person.

How could you do that to me?



The 14th of October 1973 – Shenandoah, Pennsylvania

(found buried in a spinster’s sock drawer; amongst a collection kept in a folder which was labeled “If I Had The Courage”)

Oh George!

You should have seen the clouds, George. You really should have. They just danced, slid across the sky – George, they really did – and they let the sun’s light flicker through without a care in the world.

Do you think they worried about falling down? Or hitting the ground? Do you think they wondered about their shadows, George? I would, wouldn’t you?

They were so high up there, George. They really were. And they just looked down on everything: the buildings, the people, the streets. They even looked down on the forest of leaves burning bright orange and yellow. Even the church and its big steeple couldn’t reach them all the way up where they were. The clouds looked down, but I don’t think the clouds saw any of it. I don’t think they cared.

I really wish I could draw, George, just to preserve it. I’d show it to you. Well, I’d even hang it on a wall, and just stare at it myself. I’d stare at it for days and days. I really would. What a sight it was. And I saw it! I wish I could draw, but all I have are these words, and I fear that they are just inadequate.

Oh George! The clouds cut through the air like ocean liners, or like those great big, majestic whales, streaming through the air’s current, shining in the sun’s spotlight. It was just so beautiful. It was just so beautiful. It was just so…

Really, George, you should have been there. You really ought to have been there, right next to me, sitting there, looking out the window at the trees and their leaves and the people and their street. But the clouds, George! You really should have seen the clouds.

Maybe I looked in the sun too long. Nothing looks as bright since I’ve seen it. I fear that even your face might grow dull to me, George. It was just so bright. It was just so beautiful. Oh, you really should have been there.

And that’s the thing George. I don’t have to share it with you, but I want to. I really want to. And that’s what makes me happy. You really should have seen it.

With love forever,

Thinking of you,