part 33

Subject: crazy here, too

To: Mackattack

From: bopeep

Date: 12/01        8:07 a.m.

Dear Mack,

I just read all your emails.   Yeah, whatever. I don’t believe you, sometimes. What you write seems so weird. It’s like you’re describing a dream, not a real life.

(I’m going to ignore it for now, we’ll talk about your letters later.)

I really wasn’t going to email you, but this morning V and I had a huge fight. I think you’d like to hear about it. I mean, I think I sort of handled it okay. (Tad’s office says he’s out sick, and I really need someone to talk to.) I don’t know. I wish you could tell me what you think. I can’t really write too long, I’m using a computer in the “business center” of the hotel. (It’s a fax machine, a copy machine and a computer in a room that must have been a small telephone booth once. Some guy came in a few minutes ago and said that he really needs to use the machine, and he’ll be back in 10 minutes. What an asshole! )

Mack, I am upset. We were at breakfast alone, his friends didn’t show up today. We were at the little coffee shop around the corner from the hotel and we had a booth. We were sitting across from each other and suddenly V said, “You ARE really stupid, aren’t you Aimee?”

It was out of the blue. It was in public. I didn’t know what to say? I said, “What? What do you mean?” And, V said that I didn’t “get it”. That I never get anything. That I live my life like things are fine and dandy and should just skip down the street. (Funny, in one of your emails you told talked about skipping and going naked. It came to mind when he said it.)

I got mad. I told him that he was a phony. That around his friends he was totally the fruit of the loom, a buzzing little fruit fly. He was the gayest boy I’d ever seen. But around other people, like even in this coffee shop he dropped his limp wrist thing, and he sounded like a regular joe. Was he that insecure with being homosexual. I asked him. Actually, I think I screamed at him. I remember, faintly, people staring up over their newspapers, then pretending not to listen, while totally paying attention.

I jumped on him for always making these statements that made him sound like he knew it all. How could he possibly know everything like he acts like he does? I told him that it made me sick. I started crying. I made a scene.

I couldn’t eat my eggs, but they looked really ugly and runny anyway, like I’d have wanted to eat them. I hate it when there’s that snot stuff on them. Anyway, my mascara was running, so I just left and walked back to the hotel. Honestly, I didn’t just leave, I threw the eggs at him, and dumped my coffee on the table. I know I must have acted like a psycho. (I guess, I was probably acting a lot like my Mom, now that I think back on it. I’m very ashamed of myself.)

Well, I thought I was walking back to the hotel. I don’t know. I got really lost. I got all freaked out. Then, I remembered the hotel’s name. So, I went to a pay telephone and called the hotel. I felt really stupid asking the clerk for directions. The clerk was really nice and didn’t laugh too hard. By the time I got to the hotel V was already there.

I just went right to my bed and laid down and refused to talk to him. He tried to talk to me, but I just ignored him for a long time. I put my fingers in my ears and kept saying “I’m too stupid to know what you are talking about.” He finally left.

They have a spa in the hotel. I called and made an appointment for a massage and a facial and a manicure and a pedicure. In a few minutes I’m going to go to the spa. If V thinks I’m a mindless bimbo then I might as well do it right. I don’t know, it made me feel better. Then, I’m going to go out shopping.

I don’t know if I should be upset or what. I don’t know why I never get mad, but then when I do I just freak out like that. I don’t want to say I’m sorry, though. I don’t feel sorry. I feel really…betrayed.

Then, I read your letters and it’s like the universe is trying to tell me something.   I don’t know Mack, seems like you don’t belong where you are, and you are just fooling yourself. I’m worried about you, but you won’t listen, anyway. You never have.

Anyway, I’m probably too stupid to understand. Do you agree with V? Am I really that stupid? I mean, you always say that, but I know you don’t mean it. I think he was serious. I’m not really stupid, am I?




Subject: um, got a strong stomach?

From: MackAttack

To: BoPeep

Date: 12/02        9:15 p.m.

Dear Aimee,

No, you aren’t stupid in the way that V meant. Just realize it’s your boring asswipe of a brother saying that. He was trying to upset you. Relax. I keep waking up to a different life than the one I had, too, just like you. Or so it seems. And it often does seem like a dream sequence.

Last night was a nightmare.

Everyone onboard was in stark terror on the last night of the trip. Mr. Jerger was in a rage. Remember that girl Kat I told you about, the one who turned into a ravenous nympho? Morgan-Hughes didn’t bring her onboard. A friend of a friend found her. She reminded me of you so much for the way she looked, talked, dressed. (I don’t know if I ever told you how much the way you dress pleased me. I thought you might be somehow insulted if I said that.) Diana could see my interest and it made her feel playful. Of course she knows I write to you and think about you. The word on Kat was this: she was engaged to be married to a guy who is not a good guy. He pulled her down. I mean, look at her up-taste in fashion and grooming, and yet her most typical dates with the man she would marry were to porn movies where all he did was watch the movie while she gave him oral sex. Aimee, this guy would drive many miles to find porn in one of the few last drive-in theaters so she could blow him in a car. He had to because he still lives with his parents. It’s disgusting she should be in that gutter, but at least now she was trying something more up-scale. After a few days and nights at sea, partying and adventuring, she would receive a cashier’s check for $10,000. I know not every girl would do it. Would they? I know every single guy who has walked the face of the earth would do it. But girls are different, aren’t they, Aimee?

But Kat became so ravenous, she was a problem over the course of the cruise. She became absolutely sex-obsessed. And when she couldn’t get enough and others thought she was acting strange, she made a suicide attempt by cutting her wrists in her cabin. One of the other girls found her. It wasn’t life-threatening, but enough to lock her in.

Then I overheard Diana talking to Jerger about a scandal they don’t need, and what should be done? Then the door closed and five minutes later, she came to me ashen saying she didn’t know what was going on anymore. Suddenly, the girl was trying it again. There was a huge commotion on deck and we ran back out there as fast as we could.

It was said she escaped from her cabin by being skinny enough to go through the little round window. She was all cut up by the glass and fell into the water bleeding. Immediately sharks jumped her, and there were screams as people on deck saw this happening. One or two might testify they heard glass break, then a splash, but then the rest saw the bloody feeding frenzy. Everyone knew Kat had tried to kill herself, so now this makes sense that she succeeded.

Morgan-Hughes doesn’t know for sure if the girl did this on her own. It is possible. It is also possible that Jerger twitched and his crew thugs shoved Kat through the window. Diana doesn’t know. But she is clearly shaken up. “I’ll never use an untested amateur again,” she said.

Jerger doesn’t care if she and I discuss it while our words are being recorded. Only in the past would there be political enemies seeking full investigation. Now it is all one big happy political party. The tape of the discussion can just be destroyed and no one will ask about the lapse. But no one will even request the tapes. Nor this letter to you.

I would tell you more about it, Aimee, but maybe not right now when you’re feeling so bad about your father and brother and the whole trip. I’m sorry things aren’t going well. If you could stand back from V like I can, you’d see a vicious joker who likes to play with heads. Who knows why?

Please, please, please stay safe. Take care!




Subj:    hi

From:   bopeep

To:       Mackattack

Date: 12/3  6:10p.m.

Dear Mack,

Oh my god, Mack, you shouldn’t be there.

My trip is going okay, I guess. Trips are never as fun as you look forward to them being. A lot like life.

V never came back for me that day (when we had that problem). I was really stuck. I mean, I didn’t know where Dad was, or his address or anything.   Dad called me and said that V had said that he hadn’t seen me, and wasn’t sure if I was coming or not. (V is such a queen bitch.) I took a cab over. (Cabs are expensive here!) V was there and gave me a big (phony) hug and said, “I’m so glad you made it.” I just glared at him. Dinner was really nice. Angela made chicken and biscuits. She made a big cake. The only hitch in the dinner was when V made a comment about how close Angela and Pamela sounded. He’d had a few beers and started just talking. He said that Angela/Pamela, and now two perfect kids. Dad had pretty much just erased the slate and started over. Maybe now Dad could get it right. Funny how all the names were so much alike. Angela looked really uncomfortable. Dad chose to ignore it. There was this long, long silence.

Finally I said, “You have to forgive, V, he’s a bitch, sometimes. He can’t help it.” Dad laughed. Angela laughed. V just sat there steaming. So, I pushed the envelope. I added, “Gay men are like that.” V’s head snapped up, he looked quickly at Dad then at me. He went to speak…but it was like words just failed him. Dad said, “Yeah, so he finally figured it out, huh?” V said, “you knew?” Dad said, “Yeah, it was pretty obvious. I figured that if you were trying to convince yourself that you weren’t, who was I to tell you any different.”

V said, “So, you accept it.”

Dad said, “What’s not to accept. What? I’m in the dark ages. What do you think? Your Uncle Ethan was really big into the AIDS Quilt thing. Hell, my own father, your grandfather, left your grandmother once Ethan and I were of age and moved in with a man half his age. For godsakes. V, you are in the wrong family if you think it’s some big deal. And, lets not even start to catalog the number of pedophiles and perverts on your mother’s side of the family. It’s in your genes, boy.”

V just sat there. I’ve never seen him so quiet. He was very pale.

I didn’t know about my grandfather, or that I even HAD an Uncle Ethan.

Worked out, all-in-all. I’d say it was a good family reunion. The conversation did turn to Mom. Dad asked how Pamela was. V and I sat there and V said, “I don’t know. I keep away from her. But, Aimee talks to her all the time. She even went to dinner with her and Gil.” Dad said it had been a long time since he’d even thought of Gil. I caught him up on the prison thing and all that. He just looked down at the table and moved crumbs around as I spoke. I didn’t tell him about Mom wanting a baby and all that. I didn’t think it was a good idea. I said Mom has is hard to deal with. He just sat there and nodded.

Angela kept sighing quietly.

I don’t think she likes to hear about Mom. Dad just asked both of us to do him a favor, “Don’t tell your mother that you’ve seen me, or where I live. I am so tired of getting restraining orders against her.” V promised. I promised. I don’t totally trust V, though. I mean, he seems to like to tell what he’s not supposed to just to see the fireworks. Dad repeated it, later. “I really don’t want to go through the paperwork to get restraining orders, again.”

Mack, I didn’t know my father had had restraining orders against Mom. I thought that he just left us, and that was that. Mack, that seems so weird. I mean, he DID have restraining orders? It just raises so many questions in my mind.

After dinner, I played with the baby until Angela put her to bed. The little PooBoo went to sleep on the floor right after dinner. Angela carried him to his room. We sat around and just chatted about all kinds of things. It was really comfortable. It seems so, well..for lack of a better word “normal”. It was like watching some TV show about a family.

Dad started to talk really serious and his brow furrowed. He said that V and I have to meet him downtown tomorrow. He started talking about all this stuff that I don’t totally understand: that V and I will have to go with him to release the funds to us out of the account. He said it’s best if we open accounts in our names and then we can transfer it when we get home, instead of having a cashiers check or anything. He said that he’s been making investments, and he’ll keep doing that if we want. He’ll do something about the tax impact, and make sure that it’s shielded.

I have no idea what he’s talking about. I just, mostly sat there and listened. I don’t understand how much money he’s talking about. I just it’s just some savings account. I don’t know.

V is acting like a cat that just caught and ate a huge rat. V and I drove back together. He asked what I did all day. I told him, “Nothing. Stupid people can just sit around all day and do nothing, and not notice their brother who didn’t come back to get them”

He finally said he was sorry. I don’t feel any better about it. I mean, maybe I don’t always understand everything like he does, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid. I just process information differently. There are times that he’s talking and it’s like I can hear the words but I don’t really care what they mean. I think it’s from dealing with Mom so much. She will talk and talk and talk and talk about nothing. She repeats herself and she goes off on these wild tangents which have nothing to do with what she’s talking about. She’ll go ballistic if I say anything or ask questions. So, I guess I learned how to tune people out.

I wish I could have asked him about what Dad was talking about. But, I really felt that if I did that he’d really think I was stupid. But, I’ve been thinking about this.   You’re always saying that I’m not listening…..tell me how you think that? Do you think I’m stupid?

So, Mack, what is the deal with the boat and the old man and all the drama you seem to be into? I haven’t spoken to V about any of this. V seems to have a pretty strong opinion about the people you are around, and he says that you are sealing your sarcophagus (is that how you spell it?). I don’t know what he means, and if I ask him about it, he will keep saying the same thing. That YOU WILL KNOW what he means. I don’t really know. I don’t think it’s because I’m too dumb to know, but because V is being cryptic. It’s like sealing your tomb, isn’t it? (Isn’t the sarcof…whatever…isn’t that what the Egyptians buried their dead in?) It sounds pretty scary. And, what you are writing to me doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m worried about you Mack. Maybe you should go back to your department store job. I’m sure they’ll take you back. Mack, where’s your amazing ability to size up a situation here? You’re always more critical than I am. Step back and take a look. This isn’t ART Mack, it’s something evil. I can’t explain it, but where you are and what you are doing just doesn’t seem right.

It’s been a long day and I think that V will be back from his friends soon. I’m hungry, and restless. I think I’ll go down to the bar and hang out and have a drink and some snack. I need to zone out.

Please be careful. PLEASE.





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