Friday, August 12, 2011

dearest, hello.

it's hard to type whilst holding Twist. she's purring even. i feel we're in another desert of words. the same stretch before us. for example i was reading my granduncles letters to my grandmother- so boring. the same obsession with finances and how he was saving for a car, asking her to sell his old one. chatter about how hard chemistry is at ucla. she must've been complaining... so stop going out on weekends and get honors because of the pending job crunch once the war is over. and similarly he is obsessed with tanning and good food just like i am. conversely once his duties in the navy took him to an island he simiarly complained that it would be lovely to ski and was sorry he didn'get to go the chalet like his sister. but i admit i was envious of his 3 hours a day laying out, drinking coconuts and snorkling for 3/7 days for however long he was there. at least from what i can tell he didn't see any action except for maybe the confined quarters of a submarine. and rifle assembly class but whatever he was doing was classified at the time anyway. i imagine i could look it up somewhere. he made lt. i know, and there is one sentence about one of his best pals being killed in action though he wants my gmother to go pay her respects for him. there's a few letters too from my grandfather but only a few- written in the worst scrawl about how nothing much is happening and thanks for the chocolates (private,electrician 3rdclass?). and then from his rather selfimportant brother in immaculate handwriting (graduate of westpoint) about how he saw the president, and so and so gave a speech. (he made general) i waver on whether to throw the letters away because nothing much is happening- how much can be filled in by historical research and subtext? and to make them interesting we're going to need a lot. my two favorites were one from my great uncle george who relayed that he'd heard my great grandmother had chased her exhusband out of her kitchen with a knife! and that she shouldn't delay in getting a restraining order! (from 1938!) and then a newspaper clipping about my step-greatgrandfather being interviewed after a theft at their restaurant: he bemoaned the loss of a choice porterhouse steak, nevermind the $2400- the thief broke in, took the money and cooked himself dinner!

i do appreciate just a hint of drama and daily life.

so my letter would go something like,

dear pen,
i hope your day is swell and the kiddos aren't running you up the wall. i'm sure they keep you busy as all get out. i've had a rum time of it jobwise, as there's not much around what with the recession and all. not sure what's down the line for me come september. things are getting pretty tight. and i'm practically white from lack of sun, though the grubs good and i can't complain much. how's the gang? and things over there? send pics. in your next letter if you can enclose $10 that would be grand and it would guarntee you'll receive a letter from me so i can buy postage and stationary. your letter took 7 days? how long did mine take? and didn't you know i adopted a cat. couldn't help myself you see. she was callin' to me and i couldn't say no. she's mostly black with the best white whiskers. well i better get on with it. so long for now, love m. (girl without a job) endacious.


i'm damned broke and tired as hell about it. can't seem to find a way around a job. but well, things will start looking up or maybe that's the light of the oncoming b train. and i've got to weed the garden and this rationing of butter and meat is the worst! are we ever going to see the end of it! give my love to the folks, m.

in the dark hours of the night as the train moves along the tracks they know they are running out of time until they arrive at the station. only a matter of days before financial collapse and ruin. but what's worse is the interminable waiting. waiting. waiting. with dwindling supplies and no sign of relief. the waiting and the restless boredom of the day to day lull them into a sense of stupor, with only intermittent stabs of anxiety. they look heavenward. they think, God help me! but they can't manage a thought. the tension of what am i going to do next and how do i think myself out of this one to there's nothing much you can do but wait and see causes much tv watching and staring into blank walls. every project completed is a success against the mounting pressure of inactivity and the possibility of dooooom.



pen said...

well you HAVE to save the letters if they talk like that. a rum time of it! what!

there is a desert of words. it's the heat. sucking us dry.

somebody's mom said...

Fabulous dah!
write more!