Hi. My name is Savannah Thorpe and sometimes I stay up ridiculously late to write things that no one will probably ever see (and I ranted about it here: http://goo.gl/78cRm
). After spending an afternoon with an actor friend of mine, I spent the next two nights going insane trying to get this idea onto paper into a monologue-esque form. And after I got done and got some coffee, I was actually fairly proud of it, to my great surprise. So I decided I would turn over a new leaf and share it with the internet. I hope you enjoy the scatterbrained products of my insomniatic nightblogging :)
Hey, uh, Dad.
I don’t know if you know me very well, but I’m Eli, and you’re my dad. I already said that. Whatever. I’m bad at this, so you’ll have to bear with me. I mean, I like to write and all, but I’ve never written a letter to the dead dad I never knew. So forgive me if this sounds a little funny. And not that you’ll actually be able to read this since you’re dead, but as a disclaimer, my handwriting isn’t generally this bad. This pen is almost out of ink, and all I had to write on was this old legal pad from the trunk of mom’s car.
Mom said you always wanted me dead. She said that when you found out she was pregnant with me your junior year of college, you told her to just abort me and be done with it so both of you could finish school in peace. Well, I hate to rub it in your face any worse, but look who’s dead now. Look who never went anywhere in life now. Ya know, I’m doing OK for someone who should be dead. I’m a freshman in high school now. I have a girlfriend. Her name is Candy. I get good grades, too, especially in writing. I think that’s why mom made me write this letter to you when she found out you died. I do some work for the newspaper. They really like me there. They think I’m valuable. They didn’t tell my mom to kill me.
And listen, I know that sounds bitter, and I shouldn’t be so mean. You’re dead. Nothing’s changing now. But for whatever “glorious life” you said you wanted to preserve by killing me sure doesn’t mean much now, does it? Sometimes, I try and think about what I would have done if I were you. But, hell, I’m fourteen. Actually, you know what? No. That’s not fair to me. I can think ahead. I can think of others. You can’t – I mean couldn’t. I don’t know; I’ve never been dead before. But do you know what it’s even like, thinking of others before yourself? You thought about what was best for you. You didn’t want to live with the consequences of your stupid decisions. You wanted life to go on just the way it was, with everything revolving around you. What a selfish dirty bastard you were.
Anyway, we went to your funeral the other day. It was weird that the first time I saw you was like that, you all dressed up and pale, lying in that casket with your hands folded on your chest. You seemed kind of abandoned and helpless. It was like you were somewhere you didn’t want to be and you wanted to go back. I wonder if that’s how I looked when I was first born, but you wouldn’t know that, would you?
Mom pointed at some of the old pictures of you. You two looked cute together back in college, Mom with her feathered hair and you with that high-top fade. I’m starting to look more like you now that I’m growing up. I’ve got that funny crook in my nose like you do, and my smile is really toothy and goofy like yours was. Mom says I’m loud like you used to be. She said you couldn’t do anything quietly, not even eat or comb your hair or put on a pair of shoes. It’s funny – I’m just like that now. Did she fuss at you about it, too? I mean, she knows we can’t help it, right? It just doesn’t feel right unless it’s a little noisy. Otherwise it’s kind of lonely.
I don’t know what your life was like. I mean, your funeral seemed well-attended, but I don’t really know how those go. This was the first one I remember. Mom said I went to her mom’s funeral when I was about three. I have no memories of it at all. But was it lonely after you and mom broke up? Did you ever wish you’d hung onto her? I mean, I know logically why you left her. It made perfect sense. You had goals, and a kid wasn’t a part of them. But after you let go of a girl who really really loved you, did you ever find another who loved you like that?
She still talks about you, ya know. Rarely, but she does. I don’t think she’s angry anymore, but there’s a lot of internal bleeding that never healed. She loved you. I wonder if you ever really loved her like she loved you. She would have given up everything for you. And she sort of did. She’s devoted her life to raising your legacy – me. Did you ever know how it felt to love? Did you ever appreciate the treasure and preciousness of what you had in mom? No, no you didn’t. I can tell because you let her go. You decided that something else was more important than the woman who loved you, and you let her go.
She says you used to drink a lot, too. She doesn’t know this, but I drink a lot, too. Sometimes I sneak out late and meet up with Candy and Jake and Justin and Miller and get drunk at the high school football stadium. It’s not that fun, to be honest. Mostly I do it because I get overwhelmed by life, and for that hour, none of the s#$% you’ve left us with exists. I know it’s not ideal on my liver or whatever, but I have nowhere else to go. All I’ve got in this world is Mom and Candy. I don’t have grandparents or a dad or anything. And Mom likes for me to stay in and stay safe. We watch a lot of sit-coms, and a kid can only take so many. But when I’ve got alcohol pumping through me, I mellow out. My thoughts get fuzzy and things seem OK for a little while. I can laugh. I can’t always do that anymore.
Really, though, what went through your mind when mom told you she was pregnant? Did you ever think about anyone other than yourself? Ever? I’m really trying to be respectful here, seeing as how you’re dead and all, but do you know how hard you’ve made it for me to respect you? I never got to go to baseball games with you. I’m voting in four years and I have no idea what I’m doing. I had to go on youtube to learn how to tie a tie and shave. I don’t know how to change oil or chop up firewood. I wish so badly you could have fixed this before you died, but now all I can do is rant to your dead body in a letter you’ll never read. God, do you know what you’ve done to me? All the kids at school think I’m a loser. They call me gay because I love to write and read and think. You wanna know why I love that stuff? It’s because no one taught me how to throw a football or appreciate rock and roll. I don’t know what it means to love a girl. I’m almost a man, and I don’t have a damn idea in the world what that means.
Mom said your dad wasn’t around a lot when you were a kid. Maybe that’s another thing we have in common. Maybe that’s why I didn’t matter to you. How did you deal with it – with all the emptiness? Did you find someone else to take your dad’s place? I wish I could, but mom doesn’t like it when I get close to people other than her. I’m all she’s got left, now. She’s jealous for me, I think. I understand that. I value the love I got, unlike you did. You jerk.
I think that’s all I gotta say. I wish you the best of luck wherever you are, and if you need help getting into heaven, you could try to make mom’s life a little easier. She’s really all I got, too, and you threw her – us – away fourteen years ago. I hope we make you proud anyway.