part 1, the story begins

Aimee and Mack were boyfriend/girlfriend 4 years (two years in high school, and two years after). Five years passed, and Mack ventured an email to Aimee. These emails chronicle the next several years.

Subject: Thinking of you, again

To: BoPeep

From: MackAttack

Date: 06/23        2:24 a.m

Dear Aimee,

May I try to repair some damage to the years? It may not be easy. Daphne and I have broken-up and I’m still in knots, so I must calm down. (Deep breaths. I don’t want to believe in a conspiracy to drive me crazy. I don’t want to believe that.)  I know I was the one who broke up with you, and that you hurt (although you forgot so many of our dates and left me standing around like a moron and I always hated that . )

I’m afraid you will laugh at what I am trying to do with my life. I still have a very unrealistic ambition. And it is stymied right now. Blocked. (Just as I am in knowing what to say to you.) I haven’t given up composing music for piano, chamber and orchestra, okay? There it is. I keep it hidden because that’s what sounds truly nuts about me. The kind of music I write is a big snoring yawn for people of our age and place.

My fear is you will say, “My God, Mack, you’re still stuck back in high school! Haven’t you given up on that? It was only cute when you were 18.”

So it is “Mack’s little hobby” for people who know. That’s what Daphne came to call it when she grew ashamed of people knowing she was with some going-nowhere dreamer. At first, I thought she was my muse (another “quaint” idea of mine). But her interest dwindled and so I would try harder to impress her and hear my “great love’s” words about how good I was and how she really believed in me.

When I overheard her call it my hobby, I was hurt and yes, I did go off on her. I was addicted to her faith in me. But I am cold turkey and know that will last. I didn’t hit her but got very loud and verbally abusive. I threw a bottle of prune juice down and it bounced up off the carpet spinning and spraying juice all over the room. Then I started laughing because I thought that was very funny, and I wanted to let the fight go. But she didn’t laugh.

Twice in seven years I cheated on her with other women only because she cut me off from sex for months at a time. We stayed together for another three-plus months after the juice incident, and that’s when she really started screwing around. I lost my appetite, dropped weight. One night about a week before she left, she came home with a gift for me. It was a thin gold chain for my wrist. I don’t normally read meaning into gifts, but this one smacked of a castration, a little slave chain for a woman’s wrist. I put it on.

I want to get through this period. Yes, I am angry and bitter.

Now I’m trying to extend the olive branch to you. I never expected to contact you again, Aimee. And haven’t wanted to remember the time we were together. That was when everything seemed so certain and confident for me, but also disturbing for things happening to you. I never did mention them because I thought they would embarrass you.

Yours,  Mack

 

Subject: RE: Thinking of you, again

To: MackAttack

From: BoPeep

Date: 06/23        12:04p.m.

Dear Mack,

It’s been so long since I’ve heard from you! It was so weird. I had a dream about you the other night. You were bouncing on a big box of styrofoam peanuts and stuff was flying all over. (I don’t know what that was about.)

I heard that you and Daphne broke up.

I’m not married. I’m really wild about this guy named Joel. We work together at this bar. He’s the bartender. I’m the waitress. It’s really nice. We have a lot in common. We do things like to the gym and ride bikes. It’s so much fun. We spend almost every night together. He’s really deep. I mean, he says that “life is for the living”. That’s not the best example, but he likes to read quote these people, I can’t remember who. He even gave me a refrigerator magnet that has his favorite one. He’s a real sweetie. We’ve been going out for about 6 weeks now.

I’m working as a cocktail waitress while I’m in between jobs. Have you ever been to Diablo’s? It’s really rocking on Thursday nights and weekends. Totally packed. They have live bands, which is okay, but sometimes the music is a little loud. I’m hoping to find work in my career — designing store display windows. I mean, I don’t want all those years at art school to go to waste. I don’t think I could stand being a graphic designer, it seems so dull.

Oh my god! Do you remember your friend, Bobby? He came into the bar a few months ago. What a freak! He’s working as a male model (he says) although I doubt it. But he WAS rolling in cash. I think he might be dealing drugs. He still sucks his thumb. It’s like he does it all the time. What’s the deal with that? He’s a weirdo, if you don’t mind me saying. I mean, I know he’s a friend of yours. Are you guys still close?

Well…I’d better go. I hope you’ll keep writing. I’ve missed you. We had a really good friendship, even if we did let the romance stuff get tangled up in it. I think we should have just been friends, that way we’d still be friends. You know? Okay, hope you write back.

Aimee

p.s. you should come by Diablo’s some time. I work on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sunday nights. I’m the one with the really short hair (I cut it a while ago….got sick of it long) so I kind of look like a boy. Just kidding!

 

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