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Location: a hundred yards from gators
Thoughts about the world:
Song that really crushes you:
Things we should know:
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Dear Bright Shining Light on Distances Unknown-
Before I say anything else, I want to tell you this: I love you. Christ, do I ever love you.
It is worth noting (and that's exactly what I aim to do) that I'm in one of those modes that finds me listening to the same song over and over and over and over and you get the point. I had threatened a letter like this a few weeks back, but have yet to deliver because I wasn't sure I was up to it in a way befitting the very real and immediate situation of your life.
I'm afraid I must confess I'm still not sure 100% I am up to the task right now, but I'm feeling one of my moods coming on, and when I see the headlights approaching, well, it's all I can do to get to a computer, smear a thumbprint, hit the made up name factory, and address Dear Ol' Lola of Whirlywood, Connecticut. So here we are in a very made up and ethereal way, but I feel the blood rushing under my skin in the way only you can make happen, and I'm burning with one question.
Where are you?
Have you tied the ends of your sheets together for the expressed purpose of climbing out of your tree? Or have you thrown caution to the wind and jumped off the tallest branch, chin tucked to chest, bathing cap affixed, surrendering yourself to the mercy of the breeze?
Fuck, I really love you. More than I have any right to. You have transformed yourself from a girl in August to a statue on the tallest hill in town. Nobody inspires more emotion in me, faster, than you. If I need to laugh, I draw on our grocery store routines and back porch theater. When I need to give a face to beauty, I put my ticket down for front row seating at your fireside concert where you sang, slightly drunk, weighted down as you were with the realities of a situation still waiting for resolve. I can still hear your words. I can still see the way your lips formed the letters. These are the permanent folders in my crumbling filing cabinet, and if fire were to break out this morning, I'd lose limbs to keep them, to hold them, to know they were earned honestly.
That bit of penny opera having been written, I'm here to tell you that your evacuation plan from The Tree is the right one. I don't know the details of the future--not in any meaningful or communicative way--but I do know a few things about what happens when you open the garage door, affix a blindfold, and set your course for Anywhere But Here. I know it is sometimes scary because our bearings are lost at sea, but when we get our sea legs and we see things we never thought we'd see or had only read about in tattered old encyclopedias, a whole new world opens up to us in ways that can only be told in winks and nods from fellow travelers.
You're likely to be punched once or twice. You may be bruised. You may lose your wind. But you will--and these are orders, here--pick yourself up off the canvas, dust yourself off, and find your balance again. That first time down will be scary and nobody would blame you for feeling like this is the knockout and I shouldn't have ever gotten into the ring. When that referee is standing over you and he's counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, you let him know you don't need his counting, At that point, the only fight is between you and...you.
Old Self might say, "We can't do this. We should go back to the corner and call it off."
But New Self needs to say, "Fuck that. I'm going to get up and I'm going to punch through anything in my way including that stupid referee if he gets a stray notion!"
New Self and Old Self will tussle, but in the end, Old Self's default position is to put guards up and back away from the fight. New Self is a different kind of fighter, an Ali Shuffle forward type, who can be triumphant if you are there to support and steer her.
I hate the violence of the metaphor, but it's hard to let a good boxing analogy go to waste. So I'll leave it in, for now, with slight reservations.
You've got one person in your corner (oh, hell! will these boxing stories just go away? Such is the curse of being a retired carnival fighter, I guess.) who means more than anybody, anything, any any in the world. You're fighting for her. To protect her when she needs protecting, but more importantly to inspire her and to show her that anything can be done, all obstacles can be overcome, and that the good guys always win.
You're as good as it gets. Better than that, actually.
And I love you.
Now, I'm headed to Vegas to put money on the fight, because I believe in you. Find a way to throw a bottle my way when you can. I promise that I will ALWAYS be there for you no matter where you are.
a two bit criminal on the banks of Alligator River
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