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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Conversations With The Dead: March 17, 1978 Address Unknown

Dear Teresa,

Hello baby. Happy St. Patrick's Day! I thought you might think I haven't been thinking about you because I haven't called, but I have. But I was in the hospital for a week (nothing serious) and then I was out of town for about two weeks. Maybe it's better if I write for a while anyway. I was kind of afraid that calling might upset Patty and your daddy, and I really don't want to do that. I just want you to know that I love you and I miss you an awful lot. And I think about you a lot too.

Also, I wanted to tell you that Buddy and I aren't together anymore. In fact, I really wish I'd never met him, to tell you the truth. It took me a while to realize it (I'm kind of stupid) but I finally did. I'm getting my checks from the VA now (because I'm Jimmie's widow) but I'll probably go to work pretty soon, so I can keep busy. But I felt like you'd like to know that I wasn't with Buddy anymore. I'm sure you were worried about it. And by the way, I am not drinking anymore either. So everything's fine. I just kind of fell apart when Jimmie got sick, because I knew he'd never come out of it. I just couldn't handle it every [sic] well. But I think I can now. I hope you can forgive me for being so weak once again. Seems like your mother has a habit of that, but I don't mean to.

Well honey, I guess this is all. Be as sweet as you always are and remember I love you very much.


*This letter had no return address so I assume you're still in the hospital and Mom, alcohol-related delirium tremens are serious. Your handwriting is shaky. The paper is thin, almost transparent. Your life must feel like tissue paper, too. Yes I was worried about Buddy because he scared me. He threatened to kill Dad. He encouraged you to drink. He'd stare into my eyes and say, "What's wrong? I can see you're uncomfortable. What's troubling you?" I didn't dare tell him he made me uncomfortable. I'm sorry Jimmie died of a stroke but I don't think it was his death that was so difficult for you to handle. You married him on the rebound from Phil, or maybe you just married him out of a desperate fear of being alone. But what you had difficulty handling was what you and Buddy did to poor Jimmie after his last stroke. I'm sure the police wondered for a long while not only how Jimmie made it to the park bench in the shape he was in, but how he ended up completely naked. And in even more alarming news, I know you're not done with Buddy yet.

1 comment:

  1. The neutral tone in which you comment on this underlines the bleak tragedy of her life and its impact on you.

    I've said it before, but your strength awes me.