Part 3

Subject: Re: Happy 4th of July

To: BoPeep

From: MackAttack

Date: 07/07  7:15a.m. PDT

Dear Aimee,

I have read your letter several times in order to punish myself. In the years we have been apart, you certainly have grown in your depth of understanding.

God, I feel like a bomb just went off in my brain. You never answered my questions about your family. That’s one reason I got so frustrated and left (that and you being late all the time and even forgetting our dates). I thought my curiosity about you was past history, but it’s roaring back now.

Yeah, your mom always thought she was a femme fatale in spandex. But it wasn’t my place to comment on your family or friends, not my place, not the way I was raised. Only I’m getting really sick and tired of knowing my place. Yesterday WAS the anniversary of our first time, I’ve never forgotten. It was good and clean, I mean, clean compared with this living nightmare memorandum you sent me. I should be grateful. You answered my initial letter. I probably hoped it would awaken erotic feelings in you — and so it has. But not the ones I wanted. So, “beware of what you ask the gods for … ”

Shit, I don’t want to believe you went to that place and saw that! I don’t WANT to believe it! It makes me feel crazy and furious!  But now I think, “Okay, Mack, if you hadn’t left her, all those years ago, things would have been different. She wouldn’t have gone there, would she?” But you wouldn’t have liked it if I made all your choices for you. It was good you left the trailer when you did. Get used to feeling guilty when you do something for yourself — when you save yourself. You’ll always feel it, and the only thing that makes it better is knowing others are on your side. You haven’t heard how mean I can talk to myself for things I have said and done. I read your letter again and feelings I thought were gone return. The stinking rat feelings about myself . I could be to you.

I’m turning into a monk and it’s not the priesthood. You didn’t do it, but your sure helped it along. It’s just me in my cell after work alone with the music. Drudge at the department store by day, and be alone with the kind of music you always hated by night. This is what I am called to do for the foreseeable future. I find everyone else’s trips an annoying burden as my own trips would be to others. “Trips” — I think it’s another word for “the sins of the world.”

I’m not good enough to win a seat in an orchestra. I’m really not that good. And what I do cannot be faked or won by back channel contacts. I’m no different than all the guys who wanted to be professional athletes but couldn’t cut it. But then there is this niche I fit, a little group of people who cannot give up the dream. Don’t get the wrong idea: we don’t have a club. But I have taken a personal oath to never give up the dream.

You’re the only person I know who wouldn’t say, “How very Irish of you, Mack.” You never had a clue about all that ethnic stuff. Not even your own. I just like the romance of the oath, a blood oath on a bloody altar. I’m still a sucker for slogans and snippets and bits of Thomas Paine and Winston Churchill speeches. And I like a different kind of dog story than the one you told me. I love tales of them traveling thousands of miles to be reunited with the people who lost them.

Love, Mack

 

Subject: What’s up?

To: MackAttack

From: BoPeep

Date: 07/08  3:10p.m. PDT

Mack,

Ahhh, I see you’re just as much the asshole I remember. What is it with you? See, no matter how long between our communication I’m right back there where I started, not knowing if I should slap you or dump cold water on you. Hmm, gee, both sound pretty darn good.

Monastic. Yeah….right. Moronic might be closer, no?

So, why this retreat into the isolation? I don’t get it. Did that D-girl whip your butt that badly that you’ve given up on life. I thought MY life was screwed up, but you’re just not even trying, are you?

Damn, Mack, the “dream” can be chased and you can still have a life. Why are you making it either/or? I don’t get it? You’re too young to just sit and become and old man in your room. There’s no reason for it. I don’t understand. I mean, sure, there are moments that I wish I could just stay in my room and never come out, but there’s so much out in the world.

Not all of it is ugly. Just, some of it.

Are you depressed? Maybe you should go see someone about it? Have you thought that this isn’t normal? I mean, come on, you’re still Mack, the guy who can boink for hours and then still want to keep going. What’s going on with that? How can you just cut yourself off. That’s what I’m reading here, isn’t it? Doesn’t surprise me that you cheated on D-girl. You cheated on me a bunch of times, remember? It’s just how you are. I mean, a girl shows her tits to you and you see it as an open door-mat, gold embossed invitation. Remember?

I can understand depression, Mack. Seriously. I know how it is to sit in the bottom of the pit and look at the walls…and just see a small patch of sky. I know how it is to think that no one understands, can possibly understand, and feel totally alone and lost and forgotten. I know how it feels, really I do.

I don’t think that social suicide is the answer.

Where is the Mack that I used to know? Where’s the guy who used to like to laugh and joke? I don’t see him anymore. I just see someone who’s pissed off and bitter. I don’t see the Mack I knew.

Love, and Concern from Aimee.

 

Subject Nothing could get up!

To: BoPeep

From: MackAttack

Date: 07/15 1:35a.m. PDT

Dear Aimee,

You urged me to get out and so I took your advice. Shall I thank you? My 330 lbs blind date just tried to blow me in the car but I couldn’t get it up. I tilted my head back and tried to think of other things. But it was chilled with the windows steamed and I was thinking of her six year old daughter at home with a baby-sitter who was leaving her with lifelong emotional scars, just as she was, probably, bent over me. I never felt like a piece of worthless crap before, but I did no more than half an hour ago. I met her, through a woman I work with, at Liam’s, an ex-Irish pub that has turned county. She had to come in – literally — sideways through the door. I feel like a turd for this but she was repulsive. She had cellulite on her face. When I smiled as Louise introduced her, she took an intelligent posture fixing me with a stare and said, “Yeah, right, you bastard, I know what you are looking at.” I liked her spunk.

There was nothing to talk about and I was glad the good ol’ boy music was loud. One thing funny happened, Louise’s sister Jobeth fell under the table making out with a 20 year old rodeo rider while her husband smiled.

I work in a department store. Enough said about that. Someday I will learn to keep my big mouth shut. But when? Damn it, I’m a musician, not a word-man. I can strike wrong notes but no one gets mad. Silence. Shut up, Mack. You’re just pissing everyone off, Mack. It gets bad at the store sometimes. I’m just never going to go anywhere. I’m stuck. It isn’t my real life.

It’s late right now, but you know what’s real to me? Real is your beautiful face framed by the sky one afternoon in the park, and the music that rose within me. It wasn’t popular music. And you don’t put words on paper like your music, Aimee. I don’t hear the complex history in your words as I did in your presence. I hear your depths letting your shallowness pretend floating from one relationship to another is what it’s all about.

Maybe it is and maybe I am wrong for feeling there must be more. But you have changed and you have conformed to something that makes me wanted to say, “Don’t bother her pretty little head.” You think I should write popular music. Ever heard Congo Love-Song? It was a big hit in 1903. The Maiden with the Dreamy Eyes was a bullet in 1901. And I think you should dress more than store windows that will last for no more than two weeks.

Mack

 

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