The Melody of Silence

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Letter 13

Letter #13

14 December 2002

Al,

I’ve got this weird, shitty feeling. I don’t think I’m gonna make it out of this place. If you wanna survive in here you have to either bitch up or join a gang and I can’t make myself do either. I’m starting to think it’s not gonna turn out well for me, though.

I know that sounds dramatic, but in case I’m right I just want you to know that it’s okay and I’m not mad. I’m almost 100% certain you’ve got these stupid letters piling up somewhere and I am completely 100% certain that if I kick the bucket you’ll pull them all out and read them all at once. You’ll feel so fucking guilty, baby, and I hate that I can’t save you from that. I can sit here and tell you not to feel bad, but I know you won’t listen. You never fucking do.

I have to try, though. Please don’t feel guilty. Please don’t hate yourself. You’re doing what you gotta do. You’re living your life. In the beginning, I wished you’d visit me but now I’m so happy you haven’t. I’m actually even kind of glad you haven’t been reading these. I wish I could un-write them. You need to do what you’re doing and move on. The only reason I’m writing this is because I already fucked up by writing all the others and I need to make sure this is said so you don’t feel bad. Since it’s too late to let you think I don’t love you, I gotta at least make sure you know how much I do love you. It’s gonna be a doozy, though. I hope you’re ready for some full-on saccharine sap...

Alex, you’re not just the stars. You’re the sun and the moon. You’re the sand and the trees and the water. You are everything good to me, and I love you so much it makes everything bad go away. Even in here, you make it all go away. All I have to do is close my eyes and I’m lying there on our rock, listening to you tell me about the constellations (full disclosure: I never could see the pictures you were pointing out), eating your stupid healthy snacks, and praying the sun won’t rise.

I’m gonna die in here, Al. I feel it in my bones. I guess I just want you to know that when it happens, you’ll be there. I’m gonna close my eyes and go back to the spot and hold your fucking hand until the world finally stops. The last thing I see will be your face in the moonlight and the last thing I hear will be your pissed off voice giving me shit for something. I think I’ll imagine that you’re yelling at me for being dumb enough to land myself in here in the first place. So don’t go catastrophizing and thinking I died alone, because I didn’t. I can’t. Someone like you doesn’t step into a person’s world and then step back out. You’re here to stay. Right up to the end and hopefully after.

Please don’t be too sad and please, please don’t feel guilty. I understand why you’re not reading these, baby. I promise. I’m proud of you for being so strong and I’m so grateful that this place never touched you. You’re gonna have a great life. Hell, you probably already are having a great life. Out there at college, learning about Newton and Einstein and relativity and quarks and whatnot (I finally got my hands on a few textbooks, can you tell???)

Be happy, baby. You’ve got the stars with you everywhere you go. You’ve got me with you, too, and once you read all these I think that’ll make you happy. If not, just tell me to go away and I’ll fuck off somewhere. I’ll haunt stupid Marsha or maybe find Tim’s ghost and beat him to death a second time.

I know I’m rambling, but I don’t want to stop writing. What if this really is the last time I get to talk to you? Nothing feels right. The more I talk the more I feel like I’m fucking it up and making everything worse.

I’ve got you down as the executor of my will. Don’t be mad, it’s not that much crap, I promise. It’s not like I’ve really got assets to distribute, right?

My savings go to Matt. It’s not much, so maybe you could invest it or something if you’re good at that kind of stuff? Either way, please hang onto it until he grows up. Don’t let Deb get her hands on it. She’ll blow it on... well, she’ll blow it on blow, probably.

Have me cremated and dump me at the spot. You don’t have to do it yourself if you don’t want. Give a homeless person 50 bucks and a warm meal and have him do it, or something. But please just make sure that’s where I end up. I wanna stay there forever. And maybe if you have some free time when you visit home, you could come sit with me for a little bit? Not all the time, but every once in a while? Maybe come at night? Try pointing out the constellations again. Maybe I’ll be able to see ’em with my new perspective.

I love you, Alex. You’re my best friend. You’re the only good thing.

You’re the stars.

Nate

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