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The Subway Diary: 28-Mar-98

Found Correspondence

Found Correspondence

On trash days in the city I sometimes find old letters on the street, people emptying their tiny apartments. I feel guilty when I pick them up, the postcards and envelopes. Most say "hello, I'm fine, how are you," but this one was dated 1990, in with a pile of New Yorkers . I'm not sure what it says. But it says something. I changed the names, out of fairness.


August 13, 1990

Dear Ronnie, early on, Mom and Dad, they beat the forgiveness into us--the smack on the face on the seat on the train. You'll figure it out soon, trust me, and let it go. But don't punish yourself you weren't here. It's just a room. I'll tell her you still love her. I'll tell her like you would if you could, if you didn't think she'd use it against you. Believe me I know.

When mom calls I can now lift the phone. And when she dies I'll lift the coffin. They both weigh the same. It was like that for me too, though. I didn't talk to her for two years. Me and Ginny, we're about to fall asleep in this waiting room. Maine when everybody else goes to Florida. Lobsters and beer, the doctor's Boston accent. And this fucking rental car with a knock in the engine and a shitty motel room. I'm dying from boredom. The plastic room fresheners are almost empty in the hotel room. They've been drying up over the last couple days. I notice this stupid shit. The chemicals dry into husks inside the wiffle shells. All fucked up and no one to blame. That's us with both mom and dad kicked. I understand you can't be here. Sometimes you can't do something even if it's the last chance. I was there. You wouldn't believe it though. You should see it. I should tape record her, she hasn't yelled since I came, I want to have it on record. I even like her, another person. You can tell she wants to see you man, but I think somewhere she understands she can't suddenly be your mom just because she's dying.

Man, I love you. You know that, I hope. This time is going to end. We're so proud, Ginny and me. I'm proud to be your brother. Everything you do makes us so proud. The park work, working with kids, looking into graduate school. You might think we don't get why you want to go back to school. But we know. You're our hope. Ginny too, man, we talk about you every day. I don't know what's at school for you, but if you want it I want to help. I hope you get this while I'm here. I'll include the phone number in case you didn't get the message. I'm thinking you're here too, because somewhere I know you are.

Love,

Pete

Dear Ronnie, early on, Mom and Dad, they beat the forgiveness into us--the smack on the face on the seat on the train. You'll figure it out soon, trust me, and let it go. But don't punish yourself you weren't here. It's just a room. I'll tell her you still love her. I'll tell her like you would if you could, if you didn't think she'd use it against you. Believe me I know.

When mom calls I can now lift the phone. And when she dies I'll lift the coffin. They both weigh the same. It was like that for me too, though. I didn't talk to her for two years. Me and Ginny, we're about to fall asleep in this waiting room. Maine when everybody else goes to Florida. Lobsters and beer, the doctor's Boston accent. And this fucking rental car with a knock in the engine and a shitty motel room. I'm dying from boredom. The plastic room fresheners are almost empty in the hotel room. They've been drying up over the last couple days. I notice this stupid shit. The chemicals dry into husks inside the wiffle shells. All fucked up and no one to blame. That's us with both mom and dad kicked. I understand you can't be here. Sometimes you can't do something even if it's the last chance. I was there. You wouldn't believe it though. You should see it. I should tape record her, she hasn't yelled since I came, I want to have it on record. I even like her, another person. You can tell she wants to see you man, but I think somewhere she understands she can't suddenly be your mom just because she's dying.

Man, I love you. You know that, I hope. This time is going to end. We're so proud, Ginny and me. I'm proud to be your brother. Everything you do makes us so proud. The park work, working with kids, looking into graduate school. You might think we don't get why you want to go back to school. But we know. You're our hope. Ginny too, man, we talk about you every day. I don't know what's at school for you, but if you want it I want to help. I hope you get this while I'm here. I'll include the phone number in case you didn't get the message. I'm thinking you're here too, because somewhere I know you are.

Love,

Pete


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