The future stands still, dear Mr. Kappus, but we move in infinite space. - Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Monday, August 13, 2007

Letter 2

Dear Josephine,

Last night I dreamed about the elusive "Steven" and I woke up with an understanding that I will be seeing him again. I wonder whether or not to believe in this prediction. Do dreams really explain that hidden capsule of self that shimmers in semi-conscious states?

What does the word "happiness" mean? Can anyone truly be "happy"? I think the word is so universal that its meaning has become trampled to such an extent that now it is dangled above every head, us - the guppies, happiness - the bait that never lets go of its hook.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Letter 1

Dear Josephine,

Thank-you for your concern; however, I do not believe I will be a victim of dementia. I understand your fears are not ill-founded, but drinking lite on the weekends does not a Hemingway make. I can hear your voice as I write this letter; I respond: that was callous, you are right. I have learned to live with my mother's fears of raising an alcoholic daughter or son, understand the exclamation that followed my mention of a drunken college night (those times when one's age never mattered). Her father learned to love the brown liquor, swirled husky contents inside a glass, showed his remorse for forgotten family nights with presents of chocolate boxes. I wonder -does Valentine's Day candy trigger memories of whiskey kisses and broken porcelain?

My brother is on a boy-scout trip, learning survival techniques on a ship in the Florida Keys. Even now my brother has been up for 5 hours, abandoning his tiny cot and embracing the ocean. He does not follow their puritanical hymns, a virtue of vigilance they have not been able to instill into his marrow. His aim is to be an Eagle Scout, a badge, he feels, worth earning. He is planning his community service project, and I recommended he create an after-school music program for children at one of the local elementary schools, with highschoolers as their tutors. I admit this in a begrudged tone, as I intend to propel my future son away from that organization. If the boy-scouts of [for] ["]america["!] is on the right, he will be on the left. I sense you rolling your eyes at this juncture.

Josephine, you needn't worry about my weight. I have taken to forgoing bread in order to please the "summer body" image you expect me to have.

Love always,