Excerpt: "But let’s set some things clear first Jimmy:
This is not about regrets.
Or bad luck.
Or even fear.
This is about common fucking curtiousy.
The reason you took the time to write all those letters
to everyone isn’t because you care, and most of them
probably don’t much either, it’s just nice for closure.
a bad movie. Even though you might sit through one, if you
don’t loose interest in the beginning you will finish it.
Not out of interest.
Just for closure.
A beginning, a middle, and an end.
By Andrew ?
It’s okay Jimmy you can write a little more sloppy now, I can read your handwriting fine and I know your right hand is aching after all of this writing. But seriously Jimmy, there will be no stopping until you’ve written this letter. You’ve broken away from everything but breaking away from yourself is not an option, not till you’re doing this physically anyway.
This is probably very therapeutic for yourself Jimmy, maybe if you’d thought of this sooner you’d be better off. But let’s set some things clear first Jimmy:
This is not about regrets.
Or bad luck.
Or even fear.
This is about common fucking courtesy.
The reason you took the time to write all those letters to everyone isn’t because you care, and most of them probably don’t much either, it’s just nice for closure. Like a bad movie. Even though you might sit through one, if you don’t loose interest in the beginning you will finish it.
Not out of interest.
Just for closure.
A beginning, a middle, and an end.
A story like the stories that you tried to write when you were little. You would always take your shit-hole of a dad’s expensive computer paper and your little set of Crayola crayons. You’d draw these pictures that looked like a Tim Burton movie on acid and you’d have little hard to read writing underneath. You just never finished the stories Jimmy. The end was what always ended up breaking your stories.
I still don’t why you couldn’t finish these childhood stories man. They were so original, your dad didn’t give a shit so you’d take them to that little latchkey baby-sitting group of yours. LatchKEY may have felt like a LatchLOCK when you were little but you can see now that you had a little freedom there, from your life anyway. You’d show the adults baby-sitting you your little stories and they would translate your little tales and then give them back to you. You’d get a pat on the head, they’d tell you that you were special. It made your day.
But now you’re realizing that none of the adults ever realized that you didn’t have an end to your story. They were so shitty they couldn’t even see the plot.
Jimmy this letter is your real story, starring you, and written by yourself. This may be read after you’re dead (what a great rhyme there Shakespeare) but it doesn’t matter. Your life is a lot like one of your unfinished stories Jimmy, strange, and (I hate to say it) pretty much pointless. But the ending must happen. The story is pretty much over now and this letter is really just going to be a period at the end of everything that you‘ve been through.
Just for the convenient closure.
I’m not sure how this inevitable ending happened though. Sure your life started out a little rough. You never had a mommy and when your dad was ignoring you at home he shoved you into a latchkey day carish thing despite the fact that he could of hired a baby-sitter. If your dad ever pawns his car and your/his three story-house he’ll have enough money to feed Africa for a month.
Perhaps he was trying to help you by getting you to talk to other children.
In fact he might’ve loved more then his money sometimes.
And maybe he was trying to compensate for not knowing how to be a father.
Maybe pigs can fly.
No regretting though.
Unfortunately you didn’t know how to talk to other kids. So you’d sit in the corner by the window watching squirrels and birds shit on the colorful play structures of your school. Sometimes you’d name them and put them into one of your unfinished stories.
You were actually a pretty cute kid and you were friendly, but you were just too damn awkward. You didn’t get people and they didn’t get you so you just stayed in your own little world of uncompleted stories and loneliness.
A family of two.
The child in the corner.
Eventually when you were seven you had a routine: School, unfinished story, and a pat on the head. You enjoyed the bit of praise you got from your little baby-sitters a lot. You had a routine. And then it was destroyed.
You were having an average day and you went to show one your baby-sitters your unfinished stories. The guys breath stank of black coffee. He flipped through the pages of your story, he didn’t read them.
But he gave you a huge smile and told you to follow him. When you asked where he said it was a surprise.
He sure as fuck wasn’t lying.
You were in an empty room with closed windows. He locked the door, his smile never fading.
But this isn’t about bad luck.
You weren’t scarred, you were just sort of confused. When his pants were down you knew something odd was happening. You didn’t know words like sex, rape, and pedophile. You were frozen like a deer in headlights. The man coming toward you was a truck with a smile filled with yellow teeth and coffee stained breath that got unbearable as he got closer to you. He grabbed your shoulders and told you something about all of this being a secret game.
And then the P.A. system went on.
The man with the yellow teeth’s wife was on hold.
To your relief he put his pants on but then he came toward you again. He gripped your shoulders so tightly that your left one had a bruise. With his coffee infested breath he made you promise not to tell anyone about the secret little game. His face right in yours, you turned your face to avoid his breath. You wanted to rip your nose off and throw it away forever.
Before he left he made you promise not tell anyone about what had happened again. The fucker was still squeezing your shoulders. Now you were scarred. So you cleared your throat and you promised him that you wouldn’t tell anyone.
And you meant it because you didn’t have anyone Jimmy.
After that he finally took his grip off your shoulders. He gave you a slap on the ass and he went to kiss your lips but you turned and he only got your cheek. Then he left, your unfinished story still in his hand. It was the last story you wrote, and that sick fuck was the last adult you talked to, you didn’t like them anymore.
Now that I think about it, that was your first kiss...
When you got home that day you were flipping channels on your dad’s TV. Those five-hundred channels were the closest contact you had with the outside world when you were a kid. There was porn on that TV that usually peaked your curiosity as a kid, but after the event of that day you couldn’t bear the thought of looking at that crap. The local news that night was interesting however.
A man had run straight through a stop sign and collided head-on with a drunk driver. The drunk driver went flying through the windshield and onto a white fence into a nearby home. The first man had been reaching down at something when he had crashed. His head smashed into the bottom of the steering wheel and shattered his skull. He died instantly.
The cops reported the first man was bending over in the driver's seat to retrieve a little girls panties and a child-made story book (one that happened to be unfinished.) It was later discovered, by an insane coincidence, that the underwear belonged to the same little girl that found a dead drunk driver on top of the white fence by her swing set a few minutes after the crash.
After that you started watching an episode of Rockos Modern Life.
Looking back now Jimmy that accident seems so sick that it’s a little humorous.
By the time you finished elementary school you had no real friends, straight B’s, and you could’ve been a model for Gap Kids but you declined because you were terrified at the slightest chance that whoever took pictures of you might end up being another sick fuck.
Middle school was odd for you Jimmy. You grew but you never had acne. You didn’t need braces. Your dad’s Hispanic house-cleaner lady Maria Sanchez always bought you expensive designer clothes that made you look like a hunky fifteen-year-old when you were only an awkward twelve-year-old child. You were just drifting through the halls when you met Johnny Akerly, the closest thing you ever had to a brother.
Johnny was failing math and you were failing art. That was one of the good things about middle school. All the confused adolescents weren’t really in clicks and labeled by their six classes yet. Everyone was ugly, awkward, and discovering the whole sex thing. Johnny was no exception, but you were. You were rich and good looking.
A minority among minorities.
Johnny was just as strange as you Jimmy. Johnny was also poor and only had a mother and an older brother. You guys became pretty fast friends even though you really didn’t talk. You would just keep your dialogue short because you just understood each other perfectly.
Two miserable friends all the way to your sophmore year of high school.
By your second year of high school you two would hang out after school and walk around your little suburb, but that got old fast so then Johnny and you made a new friend. His name was alcohol.
Your dad was addicted to money but Johnny’s mom loved tequila. One November night you told your dad you were staying over at Johnny’s house, his mom was working late at K-mart.
The only things I can remember for sure are that you and Johnny had to hold each others shoulders to piss straight into a toilet, you were sobbing about something for about an hour, and you listened to Led Zepplin. You partied through the night and even got into a fist fight for fun at one point. Then eventually you passed out and went to la-la-land.
Morning was not pleasant....
You woke up on a table with a pile of People magazines underneath your head. The taste of dry saliva and alcohol was strong in your mouth. The slightest movement made your head feel like it was being hit with a metal bat. Your feet were bare and coated with a yellowish shade of vomit.
Your weekend had pretty much gone to the 7th level of hell Jimmy. When you got home your dad was working as usual so you slept until the evening. You woke up to the phone on your dresser ringing away.
Johnny was on the other line talking as if he had won the lottery saying that you, “like seriously had to get over there man” because he had something cool that you just had to see.
So you locked up and walked over to his house to find a black van you’d never seen before along with older people you’d never seen before either. Johnny was there to, he was grinning when you arrived. Introductions were made and you realized that you were in the presence of Johnny’s older brother Rick along with Rick’s friends: Sam, Nick, Alice and Courtney.
You were nervous at first and after the introductions when you went into Johnny’s living room and everyone started talking you went into a corner with Johnny and kept your mouth shut. Rick’s friends were all about seventeen except for Courtney who was fifteen. You immediately had a crush on Courtney, and it was cool because she “Liked you back” for lack of something deeply romantic to say.
It was kind of cute, you two started playing that little starring game that people who are terrified of flirting (like you) play. You would smile as if you were indulged in the conversation and slowly shift your eyes toward hers. You’d catch a glimpse of hers but they’d turn immediately. You would stare for a few seconds and then loose your nerve and look away as she looked back at you.
Ah the beauty of youth.
Eventually you looked at her to find that she was looking at you and smiling. Courtney with her blond hair and green eyes, to cute to be hot and to hot to be cute, she almost made you shit your pants with that smile. You just barely returned it in your excited panic and struggling for something to say you looked at Johnny and asked him what he had that he’d talked of so eagerly on the phone about. Rick pulled a plastic sandwich bag filled with weed out of his jacket.
You squinted at the sight of it. You were surprised to actually see weed, it had only been something you’d heard about, but there it was. Bit of a let down. It was just green flowery looking stuff.
Rick put the bag down and then asked who planned on driving. No one volunteered so he punched Sam’s shoulder and told him that he was driving and that he would have to smoke later. Sam muttered something that sounded like “fuck” and took Rick’s keys.
Rick rolled a joint took a long drag and began passing it. You were nervous, you had never even tried a plain cigarette. When it came to you were embarrassed. You just put it in your mouth and sucked a little. You took it out and you were left with nothing except a strange smoky kind of taste. You were thrilled that you hadn’t coughed and looked dumb in front of Courtney.
You looked up and saw that Rick was giggling at you.
Nick explained you that hadn’t even exhaled. You had no idea what the fuck he was talking about. He explained that after you sucked a little you had to breath in again while the shit was still there in your mouth. You were blushing and didn’t even bother to look at Courtney.
You sucked hard out of fear of looking like a douche again. Then you breathed in and it felt as if someone squeezing your lungs shut. You couldn’t exhale. You hacked and coughed as you passed the joint. You looked like a douche again.
Courtney coughed a little bit too but you could tell she’d smoked before. You had actually smoked for her Jimmy. You had no idea what you were doing, you just wanted to seem normal in front of her, but damn about a half hour later when you were driving in the backseat of Rick’s van sitting next to Courtney you were higher then a 747.
You were in the back of the van by Courtney contemplating the meaning of string in the peak of your high while everyone else was enjoying the radio and the road. The lights surrounding the road burned brightly and blended into each other. The music seemed to echo inside your head. Rick called the whole experience “Coastin’ n’ Smokin.”
After about an hour of coastin’ when everyone was coming down, you went bowling. You were happy, high, and horny so as I recalled it was your worst game ever but your most enjoyable too. Then the place started to close down. After the game Rick got everyone in the bar with his connections and you guys began to drink. The place was all to yourselves and you were actually content Jimmy.
At about midnight you were back in the van and coastin’ back toward Johnny’s house. The music was up again but you were drunk now, not high. You and Courtney were having a strange intoxicated heart-to-heart about how badly parents, school, and people in general suck.
Everything was so damn perfect. You were having one of those beautiful life-moments where you could just sit down and tell yourself that you were gonna be fine, and you could believe yourself.
However, you didn’t know that Sam had had a bit of beer at the bowling bar. All that shit you’d always been told about drinking and driving, those tragic stories accidents about innocent but stupid people getting mutilated or killed because they’d just wanted a bit of fun:
Basically you became the “other guy” Jimmy.
Sam slammed the brake hard. There was a squealing. Then you saw a face in front of the van. The face made eye contact with you for a second before it smacked the windshield and made a circle of cracked glass and blood.
Everyone got out of the car in swearing except for Alice who was screaming. Everyone gathered around the body and starred. Your right arm was being squeezed suddenly. Courtney was hugging your arm and weeping into your shoulder. She was whispering something hysterically. You hugged her and told her to slow down. She just talked faster. You ignored Rick and his friends swearing and arguing about whether or not to get the cops and you tried to desperately hear what Courtney was raving about.
And finally you did. She was weeping at the fact that she’d seen this kind of thing before. Except last time she’d been a child.
Last time she had seen a dead body dangling from a white fence by her swing set.
Courtney’s smile, the pedophile’s smile, smokin’ ‘n costin’, and now a dead body flooded you head.
Were you really living a life or were you just the butt of a joke between god and the universe?
I’m still not sure Jimmy.
The guy ended up just being some black homeless guy. You ended up back in Rick’s car heading toward Johnny’s house. The ride back was so quite and awkward that had there not been a decomposing dead guy left for somebody else to deal with it would’ve been funny.
After what felt like a century the van was in Johnny’s driveway. The guys along Alice went in and you started following them but Courtney grabbed your arm. She had to get home and she wanted you to walk her. Her eyes were dried up and she seemed to have control over herself, or at least as much as a teenage girl can.
You kindly explained to her that you had to go do something, you were busy. Then she pouted, and you ended up walking with her. Out of all the times to get the opportunity to walk a pretty girl home underneath the moonlight sky: All your memories and issues each had a piece of your brain and they were pulling in entirely different directions.
There was a dense silence that followed. When out of no where she asked if she could see your hand. When you asked why she told you that she was going to read your fortune. She playfully grabbed your wrist and you jerked it away with a yelp of pain.
Courtney stopped walking and asked what was wrong with your wrist.
You kindly explained that your dog had gotten too playful. She knew that was bullshit. And she knew you knew that that’s what she was thinking at that moment Jimmy.
The rest of the walk was followed with that awkward silence again. Her house was on the corner of a street. She lived in a little brick house with a huge pine tree in the front. Her parents were asleep she invited you in and you said you had to get going.
But you didn’t want to leave, you wanted to stay there until the sun came up and poor of all your thoughts and pain out.
She said that she just wanted to talk to you. You told her that was cool, but it would have to wait. Then she grabbed your sore wrist again and she said that if you didn’t talk to her she would report your sliced up wrist to your school counselor. You pulled your wrist away and asked her why she was fucking with you. Your voice was trembling slightly and you couldn’t make eye contact with her.
She grabbed your hand softly and led you to a little two person swing on her front porch. After swinging for a few minutes you asked her what she wanted. She told you that she just liked you and that she wanted to help you. She asked if that was really so terrible.
You told her yes, but you meant no. And you told her everything
You told her that you didn’t know how to talk to people and how every time you tried to make a joke people just sort of smiled and nodded because your humor was strange. You told her how you had never cried in your life, not even as a child, not one tear. You explained to her that the reason there were faded slice marks on your wrist was because you were so fucking lonely that pain was the only feeling you really had and when you sliced yourself you felt human.
Even if it was pain it was feeling.
You told her that when you were a kid all you did was watch TV when you weren’t in school. You started telling her how you talked to adults when you were a kid but you stopped when a man with you yellow teeth almost raped you.
She told you that that the man with the yellow teeth’s name was Mike Bryant. She told you that when she was a kid Bryant got in a crash outside of her house with a drunk driver.
She told you about finding the dead body on her swing set.
You had a bit of deja vu.
Bryant had been reaching for her panties and your story book when he dropped them in his car.
You two crazy love birds were connected by the same child-molester.
You told her that Bryant had given you your first kiss, but she said that that wasn’t true. That a kiss had to mean something.
And then beneath the night sky you had your first (second) kiss.
It was such a Kodak moment.
After that she grabbed you and took you to her room and you lost your virginity Jimbo. The sex was awkward and crappy teenage sex of course. You were pretty embarrassed when you found out she was giggling at you and not what you were doing. You found sex to be pretty overrated.
But you did, of course, plan on telling Johnny about how you banged Courtney so great that she said you were like milk because you did her body good.
Boys will be boys eh Jimmy?
Both of you were smoking and lying side by side because that’s how they did it after doing it in the movies.
Then things started going sour.
The more you talked to her the dumber and shallower she got. By the time you were done talking to her you realized you had lost your virginity to a horny moron.
You asked her if that had been her first time and she laughed so hard that she got a little hot ash from her cigarette onto her bed sheets. When she finished her satanic giggling you asked her if it had meant anything to her.
She gave you a weird look and asked you what you meant. You asked her if the two of you making love had meant anything. She gave you an even more puzzled look and said that it was just fucking. She got offended and said that it didn’t mean much to her because you sucked in bed but that you should’ve been grateful. Then she rolled over and was snoring five minutes later.
You sat in her bed and you began to think. That’s when you realized that the whole “making love” thing was a big joke Jimmy. There was nothing but mindless fucking. The only difference between teenagers fucking and animals was that teenagers could use cell phones and do drugs also.
After another one of your lovely sessions of thinking, you opened the drawer that she had got the rubber you used from. The drawer was packed full of them. Some were used. You had lost your virginity to a dumb blond that was getting around like a record.
You were so pissed that you got your used rubber and went to rub your pre abortions and miscarriages onto the black shirt she’d been wearing.
There was all ready a stain on the sleeve.
In disgust you gathered your clothes and your dignity you walked home alone in the dark. Each corner of the dark streets seemed to be concealing a certain victim of a car crash you’d tried to forget a few hours ago. You could just imagine him jumping out a bush, his face mostly gone, attacking you.
That walk home almost drove you mad Jimmy.
When you were finally home you opened your drawer. You got out your black box. You opened it up and unsheathed a switchblade you bought at a pawnshop. The knife had seemed bad ass and cool at the time. But when you were looking at then it looked like similar to food, that’s the best way I can describe it.
You needed it. You just needed to feel something, even if it was just more pain.
You turned off the lights, lit a candle, and took off your shirt.
Your mind was beaten to a bloody pulp by old memories as you sawed back and forth into your arm. The pain was like a never ending bee sting. When you were done there was deep “X” engraved into your left arm.
Blood started to slowly creep out of it. As it bled you held it closely to your face and started to cry like some kind of child. The tears mixed into the blood and started running down your arm.
Afterwards you looked at the mirror with the blood and tears still running down your arm like a waterfall. You looked into yourself and you found nothing. Just some fucked up and unlucky guy. Once you looked past the pain there was just a hole of nothing.
And then you decided that you were going to kill yourself that morning.
Which is in about five minutes. Maybe you’ll staple this letter to your back.
So you decided to go on one more walk, your last walk.
You dressed and went back into the cold. The X on your arm was being stung even more by the evening wind. Everything was dark and nobody was out except you until you saw someone walking toward you in the distance.
As you got closer you saw that he was walking a small dog. When you finally walked up to him you said, “Hey.”
“Hi,” the guy with the dog said.
Then you noticed that the dog was walking with a giant hump in his back.
You asked, “What’s wrong with your dog dude?”
“Oh his back is sort fucked up,” he said, “It’s a common dachshund problem. He’s gonna be put to sleep tomorrow.”
“Well why are you walking him if he’s fucked up, isn’t that just gonna hurt him more?”
“Yeah a little bit.”
“Umm, that’s sort of sick dude.”
“No it isn’t, he’ll feel pain no matter what. Even if he does feel more he’s a dog, he’s like supposed to walk.”
“Because that’s what dogs do and just because he’s fucked up doesn’t mean he should stop walking.”
“Wow that’s kind of like a beautiful metaphor of my life.”
“I wouldn’t analyze these things to closely, I just walk him because that’s what he should do.”
“Well what am I supposed to walk for?”
“To find some sort of meaningful path and stay on it? I don’t know...”
“Well how do you find one?”
“You don’t. I think it probably ends up finding you when you stop being such a whiney asshole.”
“Huh. Well what’s your metaphorical path in life?”
“I’ll get back to you on that.”
“No. I’m pretty sure you never actually see it.”
And then he walked away with his crippled dachshund whining beside him.
Then you walked home and started writing.
The sun is rising.
Maybe when you look in the mirror and all you see is a whole bunch of shit you can try fixing it somehow.
That emptiness might just be something to fill instead of complaining and cutting yourself over.
Maybe life is like a pond. Just because you’ve had all these boulders of shit falling in and creating ripples doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Maybe, just maybe, if you take a second you’ll find that things can get better if you hold on.
Maybe I’ll give this living thing another chance...