I took apart a small cardboard box covered in shiny blue foil today. I made it out of scraps when I was a teenager, glued the dark foil onto the cardboard with navy nail polish, used a broken earring I found in a burned out house as a clasp. It went with the waterproof dead-drop that I put in the messy rose bush outside my bedroom window, my pre-internet solution for letters or presents to or from the people connected to my house.
The dead drop worked. Well, sort of worked. The blue box filled, but mostly with terrible things. So today I decided that it is time to let it go. I am finally loved enough to read through them and empty enough to throw them away. These bad memories are a country that I am going to burn down. By which I mean recycle.
Going through them, I discovered the letters inside the blue box are long folded and strange to read. Some of them have probably only been read once, while some are so creased and worn their paper feels like fabric. Either way, none of them are recognizable. Who were these people? My life! Such a terrible place. The majority seem from 1999, the year of the dead drop, but they range from ’95 to ’01. Most of the names are completely unfamiliar.
The first letter I read was a warning from someone I went to high-school with, “I saw your bruises. I’m worried. p.s. Don’t show him this letter.” Bruises? Him? I have no idea. Maybe it refers to the unstable teenager who sent me the barely legible poem I found next, “A thousand pardons / Won’t forgive / What I put you through / But do not worry / This shadows time has come / The crack of dawn / Unerring call / Alight upon my soul.” Yay. How tremendous. Discard pile.
“Spiritual doors just keep opening. After being locked into a three dimensional material world for so long, knowing there is more, occasionally expressing more… I felt a timelessness of spirit, I felt the point all souls meet when you spoke to me today, where a ray of light becomes part of the light itself..”. Signed, “the busker who saw you through the window”. Metaphor? Probably not. It’s the sort of thing that would happen when I had a dead-drop, so it fits the history, but I have no idea who it’s from.
The next I pulled was six pages long, describing some sort of unspecified accident that ended someone’s martial arts career. It’s signed with a scribble I cannot understand, but seems to begin with a D. Going further into the box, it turns out that this is where this task gets dark.
Whoever “D” was, they were prolific. They wrote profoundly dull letters and insisted on referring to me by pet names that border on insulting – Angelface, Sweet Stuff, Honeybear, Doll, Bombshell. (Almost all of them are written on stationary branded with the name of a collections agency. Maybe where “D” worked?) They read like an imaginary film noir relationship where I star front and center. “I apologize for getting up in that guy’s face last night, I just don’t like people who threaten my happiness, and you and I are so happy together. It was so good to kiss you after I bashed that guy’s face.” Given the content, I suspect that they wrote me without my knowledge, the letters like a journal, then delivered them in a anonymous batch. I remember we shut the mail-drop down because someone was exceptionally creepy. I can’t remember specifics, but I’m guessing “D” was the reason.
No wonder I hate this place. Special mentions to the note threatening to skin my cat, the note that accuses me of being involved in an acquaintance’s murder, the come-back-to-me letters signed in blood from the aforementioned teenager who used to leave vials of blood in my house, and the note that reads only, “I don’t care what the teacher made me say – I’m not sorry I set you on fire.”