Friday, March 10, 2006

A Letter Writing Campaign

I've decided to write some letters. Some will be funny. This one really isn't. Enjoy.

Dear Youthful Idealism:

I have been better. The yellow stains around my collar are forming deeper, and my feet are weary. My headaches and drinking are getting worse, but are still infantesimal comparative to the space between myself and the goals I warranted as my own years ago. I eat less than Orwell's Animal Farm inhabitants. I am a small fish in a pond the size of New York City. The people there are dejected and hate you, Youthful Idealism. They think you are funny joke, but an indiscriminate idea long out of reach. Their hatred of you causes them to hate me for holding out hope. Hope glimmers in my eyes like clenched hands on a just born infant.

I won't liken you to a prizefighter, Youthful Idealism. I won't. It's too easy. I'm giving up on easy. Easy is a countryside and a car full of cheap gasoline. Easy is an all-night Coin Laundry. Easy is an old vinyl record without skips.

I'll never have it easy, will I? My father taught me that. He hates you too, but he still believes in you through me. I am martyring myself aren't I? I'll probably learn how to cook well, and never be able to afford the real ingredients. I've learned to look impressed at grocery stores. I walk the aisles and marvel at the choices; the comprable prices of cheeses and cereals. The ebb and flow of the soda aisle's colorful exterior is rife with your understanding. You offer the wealth of colors, but in the end you are a pale comparison to the happiness of the kids on macaroni boxes. They beam with pride. Their lives have arrived at a happy point.

What I'm saying is that you are a poorly constructed crab cake. Your ingredients are unattainable. You break apart at the hint of failure. Interminable shame accompanies those who follow you to large cities, small colleges, mid-tier publishing houses, and bars. No one really realizes your cruelty. Your loving arms wrap around us and offer us a beer in our apartment, and then hang around long enough to cheer against our sports teams, puke on our bathroom floor, and clog the drain with your thick spitted realism. You hit on our significant others and eat our Tostitos, complaining that the lime flavored ones are better.

God I hate you, Youthful Idealism. I need you around like ex-drinkers crave cigarettes. I welcome you like a high schooler welcomes an internet synopsis of a long British novel. I believe, but I still hate you. Improbably, I warrant hope, and I slave for the men and women that once held you dear. They wear a predictable smile when I am unable to fulfill job vacancies or publish marketable fiction pieces.

You motherfucker, you better give me more chances. You live in every drink I mix, every hyphen that lengthens my already long sentences, every pair of socks I re-wear because I can't afford laundry, every call about college loans I don't answer. You'll die alongside my hope in a few months when I reassess my choices. You'll smile as you pass through me to some other foolish young face, brightening each table they serve.

You're a poorly disguised repossession officer. You're an upstanding pederast. You're in my kitchen right now refilling my whiskey glass and forcing me to talk about my narrative voice. I want you to sleep on the couch tonight, Youthful Idealism. I can't sleep with you in the room, but I won't sleep unless you're around.

I won't ever forgive you. I won't. Youthful Idealism, I can't even hear what you're saying-- not even the inflection in your voice or the way you slip in and out of my thoughts can appeal to me right now. Not even a little. Not even a lot. I'll sleep better ignoring you, but knowing you're there.


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