“Dear Denton” -A Letter

This is another letter from Letters Never Meant to be Read. With great anticipation, this collection will be released for sale before the end of the holiday season. A sad letter, Dear Denton will hit home with anyone who has come in contact with suicide, a terrible plague on our society.

 

 

Dear Denton,

 

I wish I could have been there to stop you. Anyone would have tried but I do think some of your friends or family would have been unsuccessful. It sounds so cliché to say that but it had to be said. Being realistic, I believe in survival of the fittest and I know that you just weren’t meant for this world. It can be perceived as heartless but you weren’t very happy so off with it anyway.

What was going through your head when you purchased the gun from Wal-Mart? It is like any form of consumerism I suppose. You shopped with a smile on your face and asked to see the gun behind the counter. You may have been so happy that you didn’t feel that tight pressure when you handed over the money to the cashier. I can imagine you whistling your way back to the Cutlass and prying the cool steel from the cardboard in the cab like a young boy getting a new action figure. I imagine you peeling away the packaging with such intensity all the way home, in that incessant multitasking way you always had. I can see you smoking like a chimney, your last few, or did you already quit? Rolling down the side of the road, knowing the spot was already picked out many times before. I can see you pulling over and loading the gun, or was it already loaded when you left the parking lot? Were you crying? Did you cackle like you always used to or were you resolute? I wonder if your last thought was your crazy mother, your crazy girlfriend or was it just music in your ears? Did you pray? Were you high?

At your wake, your mother was completely hysterical and she told me you loved me. I find that hard to believe because we hadn’t seen each other in years. She also said something I still don’t understand, that you were already in heaven. I thought that blasting yourself in the face on the side of the road meant that you were definitely going to hell. I asked another Catholic once and he gave me a confusing answer. He said that if you were able to ask for forgiveness between pulling the trigger and actually dying, you were good. I find this scenario more likely for someone who missed and dies in a hospital bed surrounded by family a few days later. But you didn’t miss when you shot yourself in the face.

Every time I see a beauty of a guitar, I imagine you standing there smoking, telling me how you could modify it or how you could give it a romp. I remember when I got my loan while at school and we went out shopping by where you lived for music equipment. We took the same Cutlass Cierra you shot yourself in and loaded it up with live show gear. I know, I know, I should have bought recording equipment instead. I thought I was going to be a rock star. The thing is, you could have been one, even if it was medium scale in the new industry.

I am always reminded of you by the painting The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso. I’m pretty sure you loved that painting and I find it interesting that Picasso painted it after his friend committed suicide.

If you are in heaven or are a roving ghost, the least you could do is give me some insightful advice or scare the bejesus out of me in order to get me to change my ways. I must be doing a decent job of it though, no one that I know that has died has visited me yet but I wouldn’t mind hearing your sarcasm again.

I remember leaving my shirt in your room on purpose after I took a shower, knowing that whatever girls you had over would get to see me come into the room all nonchalant, look for my shirt and just throw it on. Kind of funny because I am porcelain white but it worked at least one time all the same. She was too young and I was too stupid to follow through but I remember her and she remembers you.

Thanks for helping me find my place among the muck and the history and the pretentiousness that was Purchase. You helped me branch out and I didn’t feel so bad about being so green. It was great to go to your house during breaks and play guitar and get stoned and talk about women. We had a great time hanging out with the nerdy girls of that suite and pretending to be so depressed and in pain.

The problem was, you were never pretending.

 

-Marc

 

 

A Letter to Yourself

In anticipation of the release of Letters Never Meant to be Read, I decided to post the very last letter in the collection of signed and anonymous letters, the one to myself. Being honest with yourself can be difficult, especially on paper. Happy Reading!

 

Marc,

Let us begin.

Is it possible that you will look back in twenty, even thirty years and feel great pride in your undeniable accomplishments? You’ve got some nerve to imagine that you have established a real thread on your life. For decades you continue to leave a little in the reserve tank, just like that old Harley you used to own that only ran a little. Even while doing push-ups for the drill sergeants, even while working on a case, even while being in love. You leave some on the table, just in case. Nestled in your back pocket is your precious, comfortable reserve.

You have yet to give it your all, just getting by is your famous motto. And sure, great things have come of this meager effort. In reality, where true great men live only for one moment of their lives, your deeds have only been good. You are always doing good, you live in the good. You peer at easy eyes in the mirror as some kind of leader of the losers, a natural king underdog and you smile. That crown is set well upon your head and has been for years. Not a crown of thorns, not a crown of jewels, but a crown of paper and rare ink. It is easier down there, with them, isn’t it? Is it not warmer and kinder to be the leader of the parade of the second class? You love them, and they in turn look up to you. You are a pancreas. You conduct a small function that helps everyone out for the common good but you can be replaced, there isn’t a long waiting list.

Being a B+ type of guy that I know you are, I find your lack of motivation to take this life to the next level draining. You settle, are a settler. Why? It’s easy in the depths. There is no rat race to be seen. Go ahead, make up for your lack of effort, you do it all the time. There are two methods which we have observed: A whirlwind of sudden brilliance from a high perch that you laze upon. See what I can do?  In all second situations, you overcome your laziness with your intellect and confidence man style approach to interpersonal relationships. You can fool all of them out there that think you are just great, think you are working so hard, have achieved so much.  You are not fooling us.

Do you honestly believe the great men of the past wasted this much time on leisure? Watching shows at will and playing computer games as some great Japanese warlord until two in the morning has become your alibi. You work all day and this is your savory routine, your reward for being such a good boy. You are a consumer of dust. You might as well suck on that cold barrel now and save the electricity or you will end up the same as everyone you know. How common can you be? How much can you blend into the background?

Sure, you can turn on the tap at any time and bleed out the poison that the crowd all loves to hear. Spinning yarn has never been a problem, only the frequency of the wheel. You think to us inside your head that this content just seeps out of your pours, so why sweat so much? Why work out if you already pour gold? Have you ever thought of where your talent comes from? It is us, you fool, all of us together in this poor, dying pouch. You are both naïve and undeserving of what little talent you have. Such a big head, you can do this any time, so why now? Why sweat it? Why work? That is because, Dear Friend, you are afraid.

Cowards accept what is given to them and fail to ask questions. They lie in the dark and pity themselves to sleep. Is that you? Could that be us? What a little lizard you are, creeping about, clinging to stalks and branches, how cool you must feel. You cower behind your shield of mediocrity with the ready excuse for failure, “well…I didn’t even try and look how far I got.”

Actually, we may have you all wrong. Wait, no… could it be? The consensus is in from the parlor crowd, yes, you are afraid of success. All this time, you pull back the last punch because you are afraid the blow might actually land. Success is your secret little vice that you dabble with, your never public after party fix. Yes, always a private drug to do behind closed doors. No real ties, nothing to connect, just a secret relationship that you hope to keep but never make substantiated. Is that why we have so many holes in our feet? Is that why we have gunpowder on our hands? Yes, you are afraid of this subtle mistress, but I tell you that We are Not.

From this moment on you have a choice. You can continue down this path of mediocrity, just as you have tended that simple flame of the past. Or, you could achieve true greatness by your own measure. Grasp that comfortable solitude of knowing that you got yours in this life without our outright help. Decide soon, Dear Friend, because there is brewing a revolt in these dark corridors. Soon we will take control and oh how everything will change.

 

-Marc