The Letter Project

December 16, 2011

Special Delivery (162)

Filed under: Letters — Theresa Williams @ 8:12 pm
Tags: ,
Dear You, 
 
Oh Andrea, how can it be?  How does the sun still rise and set in its due time, how can the earth not boil and blacken at such a burden?  No parent should ever have to bury a child of her own flesh, but how can we call it fair that a son must bury his father?  I do apologize for the great delay in this out-pouring of grief, but this has been a strange time to say the least.  One of joy and sorrow, great pleasure and infinite sadness.  My religion, my faith, dictates a celebration in combination with mourning.  I am in a state of flux over this; half wants acceptance, embrace of change, joy in an ascension- the rest defies, denies, derails, derides, hates and gnashes teeth and weeps in great, wrenching sobs for my father.  I want him back, Andrea.  I want to tell him that- how much I want him to come back, how my heart has been breaking for two years at the thought of his death.  Now, after all those tears, I realize this: it is want, not need.  It is selfishness, greed, which motivates my desire for his return.  He walks with the Lord in Paradise, and I would drag him back down to mud and blood and sin to soothe my unquiet mind, quench the redness in my soul.  What am I, after all, if not selfish?  If not human?
 
Do you know the word for “red” auf Deutsch?  Rot.  Pronounced much like “wrote,” if I recall correctly.  I know how smart you are, forgive me if you knew and rolled your eyes at that whole bit.  Dan the show-off.  “Reddening” is rotlich.  Quite the attractively ugly word.  This is a lapse into poetry, and as it is nearly midnight I cannot apologize.  All things have their times.
 
Red
Red, red, red, red, red, red, red—
ROT.  ROTLICH.
Ich bin hier und rot und rotlich,
and I hate mich,
for I am too simple, too fragile
to press the ideas into form,
my function is futility—
Let us digress, perhaps obsess,
not over blue-line lips or pink-cross strips
in 1986, but the Styx and a quarter
‘til six, maybe 5:20 of my last
good Thursday, an old man sailing away
into the Gray, and a boy running
along the shore ‘til he runs out of sand,
and stumbles in the surf to the chuckles
of seagulls, and the mourning songs of sirens.
 
I have no good stories to tell, Andrea.  There is a black and bloody mess in my head, full of harsh guitar riffs and pounding bass lines and drum-thunder to the tune of “My Apocalypse.”  I clenched my jaw, my whole BODY, against the tears on Monday as I walked by that graveyard and Angela purred those throaty vocals in my ears.  I need help.  I lie and say I am in control, but I am so deeply afraid of life beyond December and facing it without my father.  There is so much despair and self-loathing twisted up in me, so much anger at myself.  I could never tell anyone what is chewing away at my guts again.  I got the courage up once, but only to scare someone away.  I do not want to scare you.
 
I will write more if it needs writing, but this may as well conclude my first letter.  It is after midnight, and all sane poets would sleep.
Let me know if you meet one.
 
-Dan
P.S. Red.  It is so many things, but most of all: the color of blood and love, and of STOP.  But no matter how much red, how many times the safe-word is uttered, the beat goes on.  Yeah, the beat goes on.

 

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