Marriage Three Sixty

Dear Martha,

I hope this correspondence finds you well. I know that is a terrible way to start a letter, but please show me a better way and I will use it. I found a letter, dear, in my closet, that read like this:

Dear Anthony,

I get weirded out when I more strongly connect with strangers who have limps than I do with family members who are dying of cancer. There is something lonely, I suspect, about rhapsody. And the untimely. And the lost and the dead, and those hovering between, and those lost in Halloween. I am not honest. I am not eternal. I am not fulsome. And I am all about what I am not, as though negativity is promulgated by the ether, a cloak that trips me up every second step. I rub my nose in the dirt. Collide. Extrude. Become famished in a crater on the spoon.

Oh, also, I found a letter in the scrapbook. Didn’t make much sense, but I thought I would share with you:

Dear Silas,

Here is a song. There are two souls. Here is a weaving, and that makes them whole. I respect the indefatigable persistence of anxiety, and wish I could chop it up, dry it, smoke it, inhale it, taste it in the pits of an emptiness that reaches for stars. I wonder if meaning is nothing more than these words, but I know that I am wrong about that, as I am wrong about you, and as you are wrong about me. We gleam meaning because we strive to be good. We scatter and reassemble. We disseminate. We make art. In the face of suffering and crimes repeated for the billionth time, we still make art, for that is the better part of us. We have good parts. We know that we do.

The last time I recorded you when you were sleeping, you talked. I transcribed it in a note that I have yet to give to you:

Dear Andrew,

This is what you talk about when you sleep. This is how you breathe. I wish that what you say in your sleep could translate into your eyes when they are open, and through your hands in my hair. I left some crisps on the table, you can have them when you wake up, but I won’t be here. I’ll be at the end of the street, in the park, on top of a building, straddling a border, somewhere. I expect that you will look for me, and after a week, you will stop. And then you will go back to sleeping, and no one will record you, no one will know what you look like in the dark, no one will know that you love most strongly when you sleep the deepest.

I wanted to let you know that Martha wrote me today. Here is her note:

Dear Jonesy,

I am your wife. I am your wife. I am your wife. I am your wife.

This is your child. Your child. Yours.

How are you so sure? How did you know this? How did you feel this coming? Where are you going to live? How are you going to survive?

I care enough to listen to your answers. But no more questions please. No more uncertainties.

This is from the first letter I ever wrote to you:

Dear Joey,

I am in Poland. There is a hill to the side of the road, and I am on it. They say it is unsafe for single girls to travel in Europe, but what is threatening about this patch of grass? I am going to camp here. At night, I am going to stand on this hill naked and make love to you. I hope you are laughing now, or gagging. It’s the same sound, you know. Maybe like a witch I will run into the forest and chase the animals, and find some relic from olden days that will allow me to fly home to you. Maybe I will bring you here. Maybe you are already bouncing on starlight as you smoke up and get drunk, thinking about your distant friend who will never mail this letter because she is inconstant, deranged, not a witch at all: just afraid, just far away. I have a song written down for you, it goes like this:

Dear Arun,

Dear Arun,

Dear Arun,

Love,

Sylvia

Love,

Janet

Love,

Me

Love

Me

Love

Me

Love

Me

Love

Me

Love

Me

Love

Me

Dream hard, rage hard.

47 thoughts on “Marriage Three Sixty

    1. Yeah that’s a problem all right. I just flew back from Vegas. I hate that place.

      Yes, wife doing all right. Stories are never about me or anyone I know; I just take a moment here and there that I observe, usually strangers, and try to guess what might be there. I am always wrong. But I am always glad.

      1. haha. you make me smile NB…I love how you think. never thought it was about you and your better half…was just joshin’ ya. but glad to hear she is well all the same. and yeah, what goes on in Vegas can stay the hell in Vegas…they can have it. xo

    1. Meant to be a little freaky. Hey what can I see, spending time at the airport after three nights in Vegas… makes one a little cooky. I was people watching. And people-imagining.

    1. Funny you should say that… my daughter was playing with one at home last week, kept wondering what it would be like to write it out. Good call Weebles. Just don’t let it go to your head.

  1. that is so like when I sit and watch people. my x and i used to sit and laugh our asses off imagining what they were talking about when they’d walk by us and all we would here is “I told you she’s fucking insane” or “these diapers are pinching my ass”, etc. we could go on for days trying to figure out the rest of their lives. good shit! as always, dark and wet and…when did I have corn?? lol

  2. Was down at the beach today and I found a bottle inside was a note I popped open the cork with my corkscrew (that I always carry on my belt) and slid the twisted paper out. It had remained dry, which is the beauty of corkage. Luckily we are friends on wordpress so I could deliver it to you post haste!

    Dear Trent,
    I do hope this bottle makes it across the seven seas to land on your sandy step. I paid gold to have the turtle deliver but she had a shifty look in her eye and I fear she will abandon her duty before long so if you do receive this it will be a miracle.

    I have been told by the king to dispatch 13 thousand such bottles all addressed to you, (but only this one carried by turtle). You have been summoned to the court of imagining to be knighted. You have the maidens writhing in wordy ecstasy, the crones are delivering your stories as though wise and true. the squires have painted your letters on their bedroom ceilings.

    The king needs you in his army.

    A large bird will arrive at midnight of the 31st morning song to carry you here, be ready.

    signed
    The Dutiful Queen

    1. Dear Dutiful Queen,

      I want to inform you that your message has been received. It was in fact carried on the back of a weary-looking turtle who tried to yammer a few words before collapsing from exhaustion. I have been nursing the turtle back to health on a steady diet of grass and wine; he seems to have gained quite an appreciation for the latter. It seems to make him almost, well, fast.

      Please give my kindest regards to the king. I bow before the honour to serve, and am strangely intrigued by the thought of many maidens writhing. I am prepared to do battle such as is required, but request the privilege of bringing the turtle along to the war. We have grown very close, and he has many writerly ideas that I may spin and chop through the fray as again and again we traverse the breach, seeking for flight and the ability to go higher.

      I am well prepared and starkly humbled by the honour.

      Yours,

      the loyal servant

      1. Very pleased to hear this kind sir.

        Of course you may bring the turtle as your steed if you wish. Once they remember they are fast they are usually unstoppable and DO make for the most poetic companions.
        The maidens are clapping and giggling to hear you have accepted our offer, and quite likely are eagerly awaiting their alphabetic deflowering, so to speak (queen is far too confident to blush here).
        For your information there is a party at court on the third day of the fourth month at the seventh hour on the left of the purple clouded moon bird.
        If you can make it we would be most appreciative.
        please bring your lute.
        The King returns your regards.

        Your benevolent Queen

      1. We do…I keep waiting for my rage to erupt; I have visions of having a meltdown in Tesco’s, taking off my clothes and covering myself in baked beans; parodying the charity practice; and screaming at people WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY SOCKS?! It’s the main reason I steer clear of supermarkets.

        1. Sounds like the supermarkets are dodging a hell of a bullet there. Tesco… christ, it’s been a while since I been there. Pretty sure I wet myself in an aisle there once upon a time.

        1. They are the bastards of the punctuation world. I once wrote a story about the history of the period (.), I even posted it here. The period is much more noble and straight-up. I was drunk at the time. I don’t remember much.

            1. I think you have the flavour of it. It was quite some time ago and fairly ridiculous, and likely not worth your time, especially as my more recent pieces are sooo sooo sooo good. I jest. Hang on, have to look that up… how droll.

              1. With that, you have answered my unexpressed question. “What is the big deal about Burst?” I will read the compelling history of the period… soooon.

              2. I had a reason for that word… hardly remember it anymore. Something was there, and slithered away into the fairly modern Canadian sewers that run around hereabouts.

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