February 23, 2014 – Letters From Al, 1966-67

Dear Alsie,

I can’t insert a photo of your letter today because the gizmo to upload pictures from my phone was inside the suitcase someone took from my car last Wednesday. Rhatz! (I’d try to explain about uploads and camera phones but my explanations would make us both crazy. I can already hear you humming, patiently waiting for me to get on with whatever I want to share today!)

Without a photo to remind you of what you wrote, I’ll describe what I found: A white envelope with Free written where a stamp was intended; no postmark on the front or back; the remains of an FPO San Francisco return address, D Co., 2nd Plt.; Mrs. Al Doiron, 4570 Orange Grove Ave., Riverside, Calif., Apt. #1, 92510.

Inside the envelope are two letters—one folded and inserted inside the folds of the other. The inserted letter is written on blue-lined white tablet paper and dated July 6 (no year). It reads as follows:

Dearest Lynn: (Dearest? No Lynnsie? A colon : to puntucate?)

         We’re finishing up our training now. Theres been talk about us being in combat by next week. Its a funny feeling knowing that two weeks from now some of us won’t be in this world. This crazy mixed up world.

I’ve had a lot of good things in life Lynn. The best being you. You’ll never know how much I worship you. I love you with all my heart and soul.

You’ll probably never read this letter. I don’t know why I’m writing it. If I get killed maybe you’ll get it. If this is the case well then, I want you to know that I’ve had everything out of life anyone could ask for. People work all their lives so that some day they can relax and enjoy themselves. Well I’ve had twenty years of excitement and good times. More than my share. And on top of everything, on top of all these good things, I received the greatest treasure the world has to offer. Your love.

Although I may never see you again, you are always near me. Your in my heart and every thought. Your image is so clear in my mind. Your beautiful eyes, soft lips, and all the cute expressions you make. I love you so much Lynn.

May God keep you safe and make you strong. Take care of yourself Honey.

                                          Love Al

Love, what touches this old heart most is this: I want you to know that I’ve had everything out of life anyone could ask for. Those words cross time and space. You might have written them in the weeks before your death in 1988 instead of a distant July in 1966. (I puzzled out the year from the Iwo Jima stationary your second letter was written on.)

I’ve never known another who wore life so well as you. Maybe that’s it: You wore life. Life never wore you. Every day was like a fresh-laundered shirt you shook free of wrinkles and pulled across your shoulders.

Now I get the formality of your opening. The old-world feel of Dearest—as if you wrote from a generation already beyond the grave. War is a business. Death is sort of like the CEO. Might be cliché for me to write; we were barely, if at all, aware of politics, much less the corporate interests at play. Even now I duck the news, whether on paper or On Air. What I mean about war as a business is simpler than money and power. You know me—I’m pretty simplistic.

AK47’s + men = Death.

Doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot who dies. Death always profits. Send men into a combat zone and Death scores.

In my twisted view, you were writing a “business” letter of sorts, a prospectus of future loss and profit. The prospect of dying deserves a colon. You didn’t know, couldn’t know what the outcome would eventually be. Most of your Marine Corps buddies—the guys I met when they passed through Riverside on weekend leaves heading for Barstow or Bakersfield—didn’t survive, didn’t return. You did, my brown-eyed boy. You did.

The second letter (the number 2 circled on every page to indicate it comes after 1) is written on stationary with a pale green ship and USS IWO JIMA LPH – 2 United We Stand on the letterhead. Dated Tuesday, 16 Aug., it reads:

             Dear Lynn:

Today we leave on our first mission. We’re leaving at 9 o’clock, its now 9 o’clock. I’ve got everything ready to go, just waiting. Waiting is the worst part, everyones getting tense.

The mission is supposed to be the biggest operation since Vietnam started. 6,000 army soldiers are supposed to drive 4,000 Viet Cong out of the hills and into our arms. Theres only 200 of us, one company. All the other companies are being held in reserve on the ships in case we get wiped out.

The way they told it to us last night, things don’t look good for my company.

[pg. 2]

                        You won’t be getting this letter unless something happens to me. I just want to tell you a few things.

Lynn, you’ve made me the happiest person on earth. Although we haven’t had a whole lot of time together, every minute with you has been a happy one.

Please don’t be sad. I married you to make you happy and that’s how I want you to be. Just kinda think of me as a funny, goofy guy. I’ve enjoyed more things and had more good times than most people have in a lifetime. You never realize how good you have it until you don’t have it anymore. Then its to late. That’s how its been with you. If I was with you right now, I’d be the happiest guy ever.

Have to go draw my grenades. Excuse me.
Okay. I’m back. I’ve got 2 grenades, I plan to get more.

[pg 3]

Plus I have about 300 rounds of ammo.

Well, I’ve gotta be going. This letters kind of goofy right now. It seems silly and dramatic.

Remember that I’ll love you always no matter where I’m at. Be happy Lynn, never sad, no matter what happens.

Love,
Alsie

You’ve drawn a heart with A.D. + L.D. at its center. An arrow pierces the heart and there are big X’s, five of them, after your name.

These letters were a shock when I read them. And a mystery. No postmark. No evidence of having been mailed. I’ve decided to interpret it this way: Once written, you tucked the first letter away inside an envelope addressed to me and let it drop into your duffle bag. While waiting (past 9 o’clock), growing tense with the passing moments, you wrote letter #2, found the first letter and tucked it inside the second one, then sealed the envelope and stored it again in your duffle bag. Nearly thirteen months later when a booby-trapped hand grenade left your right leg hanging by a bit of tissue, someone in the rear made sure your duffle bag followed your medi-vac’d exit.

(It was the right leg wasn’t it? I could never remember. After 22 years of throwing a leg over your sleeping body, I still can’t recall which leg was missing. What wasn’t missing was you. That was all that mattered.)

You and your duffle bag ended up stateside and this, I believe, is how these letters found their way into the masses of letters from you I’d saved. Voila! Mystery solved. Well, sort’a.

I should close now. And will, with thoughts of you and how lucky, how extraordinarily lucky I’ve been to have known you.

Love, Lynnsie

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February 22, 2014 – Letters From Al, 1966-67

Dear Alsie,

Shall I begin with words of love or warnings you’re not to worry?

Love first: Why? Because without the lessons I learned from you I wouldn’t be who I am and I rather like who I am, who I turned out to be. Not every minute of every day. I’m sometimes too cynical, brisk, brusque, rash, brash, plus other descriptors of a not-always-kind woman. Not-always-unkind either. Maybe somewhere in the middle? I’ll give myself that. At least for today.

I send you a big I LOVE YOU and THANKS for the way you met life and faced it head-on, shook hands with whatever days offered, made a friend of the moment or hours—often when circumstances sucked. Maybe not so much while you were in-country, but who’d expect you to quietly hum through that?

Worry warnings next: Don’t. A car window was broken, some things stolen. I wasn’t hurt. The window and some of the “things” have already been replaced. I could let the incident eat at me, make me dismal and meaner than I like to be for a few days or months, become suspicious and wary and paranoid, wonder who’s going to have a piece of me next—but that’s not how you handled life. Thankfully, you didn’t look back so much as you looked forward. What happened—happened. The important part was moving forward, moving into a good day, a well-spent life.

Ok. As to your letters and how to answer one among them today, I’ve decided to go with these notebook pages, Camp Pendleton vintage, 1966:

boot camp 1966 pg1-2The first two pages sound like war games at Camp Pendleton and a Happy Anniversary wish for me—one month as of the day before you penned this. No date on the letter and no postmarked envelope yet I know the date you took the time to sit under a tree and send love and wishes my way: June 8, 1966.

boot camp 1966 pg3-4

A helicopter ride and apologies are found on pages three and four. Believe it or not, Alsie, I’m pretty sure I recall the argument you apologize for in the above letter. One night our apartment on Orange Grove Avenue was crowded with friends—yours from Ramona HS, class of ’63, and mine from Rubidoux HS, class of ’65—none of them sober, including us.

A patio chair was thrown into the pool—your friend or mine, I couldn’t say. Then another pool-side chair made a splash and sank, followed by another—thrown by you. Music and laughter spilled from everywhere, not just from our place and our friends. The light went on in the manager’s poolside apartment.

Afraid we’d be evicted, I asked you to retrieve the chairs from the pool. You may not have heard or maybe you did; either way, the chairs remained underwater. I took off my suede flats (they were loden green and matched my skirt) and waded in, panty-hosed toes soaking up water, skirt going from medium-pale to cooked-spinach dark as I moved toward the deep end. Then my belt was underwater (the skirt was a hip-hugger A-line) and the yellow voile blouse became as transparent as thin gauze; vertical ruffles down the blouse front collapsed like boiled lettuce and I dove for the bottom, grabbed a chair by the leg or an arm and began dragging it back toward the pool steps.

Our friends took sides—some cheering me on as I made my way up the steps with that chair. Others booed.

Then, fully dressed, you dove into the deep end and began rescuing the remaining chairs as I crawled out. My coiffure of ratted hair tediously smoothed into the shape of a helmet matted my scalp like pond moss. Worst of all, anyone who looked could see every stitch in my bra through that damned transparent yellow blouse. I was mortified.

The party broke up.

The apartment manager turned off his interior lights without ever stepping foot outside the door.

You and I found our bedroom and lay down side by side on our backs in our wet party clothes.

One of us said, “I think we should get a divorce.”

One of us answered, “You may be right.”

“Tomorrow?”

“Right.”

You left for the base the next morning before I opened my eyes.

Confession, dear heart: Sometimes when I write of events in my life I “imagine” the details like clothing and conversation. I do this “reinvention” of a time and place with the hope a reader—friend or stranger, daughter or son—will follow me into that time, that place, and witness it with me. The details above are not reinvented, not imagined. This is not one of those “times”. Your letter brought it all back. (You’ve no idea the smiles I’ve offered this page as I type, remembering my self-righteous anger, your reluctant dive in the deep end, our less-than-sweet-nothings Goodnights.

Not to worry, Love, I haven’t been angry with you for a very long time. Will try to write more tomorrow.

Kisses from your Sweetpea XXXXXXX

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February 19, 2014 – Letters From Al, 1966-67

Dear Alsie,

I know I should be answering your letters this morning, handling old envelopes, letting the tatters of rotting edges fall like confetti into my lap. The thing is, I came across some pictures taken in a photo booth at Fairmont Park, Riverside, and they made me smile. Why did I smile? Why am I smiling now as I write you? I guess because they capture “us” before you enlisted, before marriage and Nam and rehab and children, before we became the “us” we became.

Al and Lynn booth shots 1965 1The tee shirts we wore matched–white with narrow orange stripes and orange ribbing around the neck. It looks like you’re whispering sweet nothings in my ear in the above shot. Maybe you were. There were a lot of sweet nothings whispered between us in 1965. The better bet is you’re saying, “Lynnsie, how did you talk me into this silly shirt!”

Al and Lynn booth shots 1965 2

“It wasn’t difficult,” I might’ve answered.

Al and Lynn booth shots 1965 -3

“Think I can hide behind these shades?”

Al and Lynn booth shots 1965 -4

“Then I’m hiding, too.”

Of course it’s all pretend. What you said or I said is long, long gone. What isn’t pretend (and this is the reason I decided to send you these photos instead of replying to your letters) is the happiness in our faces. Maybe we’d just come off the bumper cars at Fairmont’s small amusement park … or the little nine or ten car roller coaster with rises and curves so gentle they wouldn’t frighten a five-year old but still managed to frighten me. We could’ve been wet from the waist down from a water fight while peddling one of Fairmont lake’s rental paddle boats; conversation might’ve been about getting out of our wet things, you undressing me, me undressing you. Did we talk of such things back then? Or just tease ourselves with thoughts about what shouldn’t (and wasn’t) spoken aloud?

For a quarter spent in the summer of 1965, I have a tiny album of treasure, one I wanted to share of days before the future we didn’t know arrived to swallow us up, cause us to marry (perhaps prematurely), and survive as best we could for as long as we could. There were fish to catch–and we did. A lake to sail–and we did. A family to make–and we did.

Tomorrow or next week I’ll be a good girl and get back on task with the box of your waiting letters. Promise! For today, I needed this.

Love,

Lynnsie

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February 14, 2014 – Letters From Al, 1966-67

Dear Alsie,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I looked for old Valentine’s greetings from you but didn’t find them. A few years ago Aimee asked to borrow a fistful of letters you’d written to me from Nam and I think what I handed over included the last weeks of January and the first weeks of February, 1967. The sorting I’ve done and chronological ordering of words I still own from you leaves a gap, an emptiness, between 1/8/67 and 2/27/67.

I opened 1/8/67 and found an odd bit about a trade I’d made and birthday greetings.

Jan 8 1966 envelope cu Have I mentioned how these envelopes fall to pieces in my hands? Or how the photos enlarge and are readable if you click on them? (Who knows, maybe the great unknown of hereafter has wi-fi salons and you’re at one.)

Jan 8 1966 traded car for a cowI laughed out loud when I read what you’d written: You traded your car for a cow? When I first read these words I was flabbergasted. It just sounded so funny, trading a car for a cow. Don’t worry, I’m not mad at you. You did the right thing. You’re sure you don’t need a car?

Honey, it sounds more than funny. A car for a cow? The car had to be my mint green ’56 Buick. The trade had to be with my brother (although I don’t remember him owning a cow). He was four years younger, would’ve been nearly 16 and in need of a car. Maybe the cow came from Mama and Daddy in exchange for me giving the Buick to Randy?

Page 2 of your letter:

Jan 8 1966 8 mos married and b'day wishesYou wish me Happy Anniversary for 8 months of marriage. Ah, love, we made it through 22 years, eventually. Mostly good years–not always–but mostly. I’d take back all of the bad just to see you again. You also send greetings for my 20th birthday. Oh my. Twenty! I’m forty-seven years older now. You wouldn’t know me to look at. Or maybe you would. For me, of course, you haven’t aged a day–still 43–still brown-eyed and ruggedly handsome–still a perfect blend of Charles Bronson and Tom Selleck manli-man-ness.

There are four letters postmarked February 27th on ship stationary. You were on your way back from spending several days with Paul in Okinawa and headed for the place indicated on the stationary letterhead.

Feb 27 1966 map stationaryThis one’s addressed “Dear Gumdrop” … I’d forgotten how many little names you had for me. Sweetpea was the one I remembered. And Lynnsie. Sweetheart and Darling and Little Girl. Short Change. I don’t understand “Short Change” used as an endearment. But without understanding the Why of it, I know in my heart that it was.

One of the four letters included an idea you had percolating inside your homesick head, an idea about signing on for another six months overseas. The sign on would allow you thirty days leave and you wanted that leave to come home to me. Luckily, you talked yourself out of that bad idea before the letter ended by figuring out you’d be back in Nam after the 30 and not home again for another eight months. Alsie, I’m so glad you changed your mind. Who knows where that sign on would’ve taken you once you’d committed to it? You could’ve never come home at all, could’ve caught more than malaria, lost more than half a leg. Our children, those loveliest of lovely children (all parents themselves now), wouldn’t have been “ours”, wouldn’t have you living on within them, and within theirs.

I love you my old best friend. I miss you, my favorite Sweetheart ever on this earth.

xo, lynnsie

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February 2, 2014 – Letters From Al, 1966-67

February 2, 2014

Alsie,

I miss you.

I came to the bottom of the box today. This is what it looked like full:

sorting nov 2013 box1This what it looked like half-full:

sorting 7And this is a look at the bottom:

sorting box bottomLaundry labels and loose stamps. Your name over and over again. A brass buckle. The brown bit near the bottom of the picture is Tyger’s repair kit: thread, needle, tiny scissors. Did you borrow his kit to sew those labels in the collars and waistbands of your utilities and fail to return it? Sorry, Honey. That’s unfair. I know you couldn’t return it. Bad things happened.

It’s Sunday and the sun is burning off the marine layer here at Rancho Santini. I’ve been living here at the edge of the ocean for two years now. It’s a good place to be. More about that later, if I have time. I can’t help but smile, remembering your patience when any tale that I had to share became side-tracked with offshoots and details and offshoots off other offshoots until neither one of us knew where I’d started or what the hell it was I’d intended to share. Can you tell? I haven’t changed much in the past quarter century!

Finding the box came about because I’d been emptying the living areas of my belongings up in Cottonwood: Eight years of crafting supplies! Twelve-plus years of books! Forty-plus years of photos and memorabilia! (Let’s not talk about clothes.) I carried a whole lot of bin liner bags and boxes of “things” to the Salvation Army during the five weeks spent in Cottonwood. Your letters surprised me the first week—the eighth or ninth of November.

Boxes are patient. They don’t grumble about where they’ve been stashed or how long they’ve been ignored. I knitted through my evenings, working a stockinette-stitched multi-colored shawl to the size of a poncho. The box just sat there, occupying the left side of the bed, a transparent bag of various yarns weighting down the lid. Honey, it was so much easier to knit a long row, turn the bulk of the shawl in my lap, purl a row back to the other end, than handle what was waiting inside that damned box. You’d have thought it was a box of snakes.

Then, the lid was tipped. Had I pulled too hard on a tangle of yarn in the bag? Is this what set the lid on edge? I started to readjust it, but didn’t. Maybe my fingers were tired of knit-purl exercises; maybe the joints ached; maybe it seemed like an omen. Your left-slanted penmanship stared up at me from an envelope.

The first letter lifted out of the box, postmarked Nov. 13, 1966.

The first letter lifted out of the box, postmarked Nov. 13, 1966.

On November 12, 2013, I handled that envelope again. I felt a shiver. I mean, c’mon Alsie … there I was holding a gritty envelope stamped Nov 13 A.M. 1966 on the twelfth of November in 2013 … tell me that’s not bizarre! The letter inside was written November 11, 1966.  On the twelfth of November 2013, I’d opened your letter written on November 11, 1966 and posted on the thirteenth.  Did it mean something? Anything? This alignment of numbers—11, 12, 13? It was the day’s date, a date that won’t reappear for a hundred years. I think it meant something—my tiny re-purposed-energy-blink-of-universe Alsie. Call me crazy, but I think maybe you twitched out there in the where-ever and set that lid ajar.

Ok. So that was November. Now it’s February. This is what my table in the townhouse I rent on the edge of the ocean looked like yesterday:

sorting 2

The box was still half full when I took this picture.

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January 27, 2014 — Letters From Al, 1966-67

January 27, 2014

Dear Al,

Bizarre as it may seem, I’m at a loss as to how to begin other than in the old learned way of an initial inquiry as to how you are combined with the hope these few lines find you well and able to take nourishment as Uncle Con* used to say.

I wonder what “well” means in the afterlife? Not that I believe in an “afterlife”—at least not beyond the level of “energy becomes energy”—yet, for the sake of this letter addressed to you, I must believe (or imagine I believe) in something beyond life as I know it. You, Uncle Con, Mama, Daddy, so many others I’ve loved and been loved by are another sort of energy now. Un-nameable and unknowable. Yet, I genuinely believe you are all part of this universe. Specks of ash and dust. You’re also in my head, as real as memory can make you. And you, Al, you’re in the letters, in the left-handed non-slant of the words you penned to me in the sixties.

The opened box. Letters written while in-country, 1966-67.

The opened box. Letters written while in-country, 1966-67.

In “the old learned way” of my letter writing, what followed an initial health inquiry was an apology—usually for such a late response—replete with excuses as to why I hadn’t answered sooner. Those old habits die hard.

Alsie, I’m sorry for this delayed response! You knew I loved you back then, how I worried and missed you and answered your letters from ‘Nam almost as often and as rapidly as they were received. It’s a bigger, different love now. You’d think I would’ve gotten right on it, but on the day I came across the box, I’d already handled three bankers boxes and culled manuscripts—drafts of short stories, novel starts, memoir snippets, poetry, term papers, screenplays, fairytales, you-name-it—to fit into one box rather than three. Always prone to use ten words to say what could be said in three, it was mind-numbing—to say the least. By the time I pulled the fourth box from the closet (expecting more folders full of stuff written by me), I was pretty much a zombie.

Then I removed the lid.

Then I slipped the lid right back on.

Your left-slanted handwriting was just underneath. You’d long-handed Mrs., printed Lynn Doiron, and long-handed Free where an unneeded postage stamp was intended. The blue ink and the red-white-blue dash work edging the airmail envelopes pulsed an image while I stared down and thought about what to do next.

I could tuck all your words back into the dark recesses of the closet. I could haul the box over to the log house and store your letters there. I could find the duct tape and wrap it in dull silver until all the faux-woodgrain cardboard was covered completely and the whole of it took on the appearance of the Ark of the Covenant containing the powers of a god in whom I didn’t believe. I could do a Scarlett O’Hara and turn away, think about it, you, that war, those days—tomorrow.

Alsie, it seems I won’t make it much further today than my lame opening inquiry as to your well-being and partial excuses for the delay in responding. Reading this, the you I once knew would offer a simple shrug about now, expecting nothing more for the moment and, more than likely, seriously doubting I’ll finish what I’ve begun. I owe you more than that. I know it and you, my dear heart, my tiny re-purposed energy blink of universe–know it, too–at least in these imagined moments of shared space and time.

xo, lynnsie

*P.S. I dreamed about Uncle Con and you the other night. He was berating me or possibly just giving me a hard time in his meant-to-be-funny-but-not-always-the-case manner about what a spoiled child I had been and what a spoiled woman I was and why on earth didn’t I give you the respect a man such as yourself deserved and how on earth could I date other men after your death and after the sorry (meaning low-down) way I ignored your iced tea glass when empty and why I hadn’t kept our car washed and waxed and spit-shine clean when you had so much to do to provide for me and our babies. In the dream I kept turning away, covering my ears and humming to blot out what Uncle had to say—but it was no use. Then Mama walked into the dream, joining her brother, agreeing with him. I slept badly (the fault of that damned dream) and woke around midnight. The stars were bright; the moon a sliver. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a shakable kind of dream and Uncle was still with me when dawn broke. Mama had departed the dream (just as she had departed from life in 1993). For several seconds after waking, I believed Uncle still lived in Colfax; if he called or vice versa I knew I’d be short-tempered; he’d caused me such a bad night.

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A Singular Dot

Valentine’s Day was spent looking for Susan. The manuscript, Susan Parker Says to Say Hello, isn’t here, isn’t stashed in a drawer or a cupboard or box under the bed or filing cabinet, didn’t make the trip down I-5 from Cottonwood, California to cross the border into Mexico. She’s vanished, Susan Parker has, and the flash drives/memory sticks I found are no longer readable by this current computer; the same is true of the CD found with “Susan Parker” inked in black on its face. In the absence of Susan, the first eleven pages of The Dalan Chronicles were attached and sent to writers I haven’t yet met–with the exception of Alice–who will surely think I’m a nutcase writer–with the exception of Alice who knows me and more than likely reached this conclusion circa 2006.

The good thing about searching for one thing is the finding of other misplaced and/or forgotten scraps of imagination put to the page. Yesterday I posted such a piece (African Daisies), written in response to the writing prompt “If only I hadn’t”. Today I include a piece from 2011, the result of a visual prompt offered by Marsh Cassidy at our Baja Writers Workshop in January of that year. The visual was a black dot outside an empty square drawn in black on a white sheet of paper. I failed in my search for Susan but found:

A Singular Dot (bww prompt 1-26-11)

What is drawn to the sheet of white paper is drawn in black: a dot, slightly more than a simple clean dot, outside an empty square.  There’s the immediate sense of one entity set outside of another.  The square could represent a community.  Or a garden.  But the garden is empty, without even so much as a seed; the community without family, neighbors, friends, strangers passing through.  It would be a lonely place to enter.  And how the dot, legless and wingless as it is, could get inside the garden/community – does have its own set of problems.

There is, of course, the idea of momentum, of rolling across the fractional distance separating the dot from the field (for I have now seen that the square might be a field).  One would only need lift the upper left corner of the paper and give a slight shake to loosen the drawn dot from where it is grounded, then tilt the paper incrementally to guide the dot’s roll toward the nearest line of the square.

This is, of course, assuming the dot would be happier inside the square than it is on the outside.  How can an observer know, I mean, know for certain, a singular dot’s desire?  Isn’t it possible, within the realm of imaginative possibilities, that the dot drawn to this page has spent a good deal of its life considering where it would most like to be?  And, having made a decision, has willed itself beyond the enclosure?  Isn’t it possible that this dot with its slightly rumpled appearance is only pausing at its current location, briefly acknowledging a place where it has been, before moving further away from the place it used to call home.

Then again, anyone reading this, or listening, would, more than likely, begin to try to process a whole series of questions like:  What on God’s green earth is she talking about?  Ink doesn’t think.  Ink doesn’t consider.  Ink doesn’t have a ‘life.’  How long is she going to take up my time with this?  How long am I going to waste my time with this?

“Well,” I would say if I were there to read your expressions as you read this, or, as I may, in fact, be reading this aloud in this given moment to you, “Well, she is talking about life; she is talking about choices; she is talking about not having control of just who might hold the paper, tilt it up from one corner to allow movement into or out of a given situation; she is talking about fate; about how Where you are, or where a dot is, may be exactly and precisely where a singular dot needs to be.”  I would also say, “Ink does think, if my imagination allows that it can.  Ink does consider.  And ink has a life.”

Finally, I would say – I’m finished now, quite finished.

***