Unanswered Pen Pal Letter #32

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

Dear Demarcus,

Sometimes from here I can see a big thunder cloud over your part of the city and I think g-damn, Demarcus, hope you’ve got an umbrella. But probably you don’t, you are so poor. No way you sleep in a racecar bed, Demarcus, probably you sleep on lawn chair cushions on the floor. For the record I do not sleep in a racecar bed either, Demarcus, but a boy down my street does and his house is only somewhat nicer than my house, Demarcus, so at the end of the day we are the same, me and that boy. Hey, I notice you have not written me back in forever/even ever. But look at me writing you when I am so busy, jeez!

So guess what? I have a new babysitter, her name is Jeanie. I had a babysitter one time before but her name was Kimberly. Kimberly was not okay. She dropped acid at her cousin’s before coming over and for the rest of what should have been our time together she stayed in the bathroom hallucinating that she was the letter R. But Jeanie is awesome! She’s got plans plus tattoos, is just out of prison. We’re best friends now and guess what, twelve years ago when she was twelve she killed her step-dad with an ice pick and guess what, that is only two years older than what I am now.

Demarcus, maybe you don’t write back because maybe you’re afraid to. Like maybe you’re afraid of itty-bitty white girl me. Not surprising! I’ve gotten that vibe from others before. Maybe it’s because I’m homeschooled or maybe it’s because my mom’s dead, but sometimes I wonder if it’s because in my last letter I told you about my mom’s grave dirt, remember? How I put a handful of her private grave dirt in my pocket to microscope later to see if there were weird things in the dirt (and by the way, there were). Well maybe you want to ask me questions about having a dead mom or what was in the dirt, which you should, Demarcus—one day your mom will have her dirt (you think you’re special but guess what you’re not)—but you don’t because you think it will freak me out/make me cry and that’s why you never effing ever write.

But Demarcus, I don’t cry and by that I mean never. Fuck you, Demarcus, get ready to be wrong because watch me right now tell the whole story of Her, my mom. Watch me shed not one effing tear once ever.

My dead mom: Sharon Louise Sibly, RIP. 1961-1983. Who she was, how she died, who killed her, etc.

Who she was: the best fucking drama major Cal City Community College had ever seen. So good she would have made it to Hollywood and would have been Geena Davis when she got there which means last year she would have been Thelma in Thelma and Louise. Instead she met my dad and got knocked up with baby me and had to give up her dreams and drop out of CCCC. She quit school and got a job making gold stars at the sticker factory, but then she died, so now guess who never gets any?

But wait, how’d she die and who killed her? you’re asking.

Bob Reynolds, just this drunk driver guy. I bet when you think drunk driver you think some dumbass drunk guy killing the regular way, like my mom Sharon Sibly on her way to Sonic for chili dogs and Bam! Bad Guy Bob Reynolds crosses into her lane doing ninety.

But Demarcus, guess what? My mom was drunk too!

Drunk Bob and drunk Mom were going down the road opposite directions, drunk Mom at the wheel of Dad’s Pinto and my Dad (a dipshit now, a dipshit then) asleep on the passenger side, neither one of them buckled in. Then here comes drunk Bob swerving in his big white 1-800-Plumber van but Demarcus, let’s be honest, some might say it was really my mom who drunk-drivered him because later on the coroner said in fact she was the drunker one.

But does it even matter, Demarcus?

I vote No it does not. Everyone is on their own path, Demarcus. That’s what Jeanie the Step-Dad Killer says. The main thing is Bob smashed into Mom (or Mom smashed into Bob, ha ha, who knows!) and next they both died alone in the road there together. The crash woke up Dad and blinded him semi-permanently and when I think about his part I always imagine it this way: one of his bloody hands feeling around in the gore of my mom, him grabbing at his trashed car crash eyes with the other.

But oh my god where was I, was I okay? I know you’re wondering.

Well thanks for your concern but who the fuck knows? I was just some dumb fucking baby then. Probably I was in my highchair eating my baby slop while Caretaker Kimberly was on the bathroom floor writhing. Probably I was drooling at dust specks afloat in the air. The point is, Demarcus, wherever I was it was my path to be there. Just like it was my mom’s path to quit acting and work in a sticker factory eleven months before dying.

Anyway, Sharon L. Sibly had a psychological death wish says Bob’s wife Elsie in the long letter she writes us each year Christmastime. When we write her back—we always write the people who write to us back, Demarcus—we say Merry Christmas Elsie, sorry about Bob, but you ma’am are a coffee pot calling us black as everyone knows that that car crash was mutual.

Demarcus, I said when we write her back, but that was a lie. Dad does the writing while I pace nearby and shout things. It is my path to do that and his path to ignore me. Except last week when Barbara the drive-thru lady slipped a 2 Live Crew tape in my happy meal. When we got home I stole his headphones, was listening to 2 Live Crew all super fucking happy, but then he saw me off my path and yanked the headphones away. He was like Never ever touch these! These belonged to your mom! These are not yours! Go the fuck away! Then he started inspecting up close the orange foam ear things and I was all God, what the hell? What are you even doing? and then all super sad he goes Little wads of her earwax were stuck in these and I said That’s so gross, that’s effing disgusting and he said It’s what I’ve got, now go the fuck away.

His path is to start crying at the dumbest things, like when we’re going through the boxes of crap in the basement and I find my baby swim floaties still filled with her air. His path is to tell me to go upstairs when I find the floaties and my path is to climb to just the top step and sit there, to watch him hold open the floatie valve against his cheek for five minutes while he closes his crying trash eyes and lets out her air.

Demarcus, this brings me to Jeanie and our plans for later, but first you need to know what Jeanie’s path is. Jeanie is a Destroyer, a kind of Mankind Terrifyer, a person born to shock and frighten and then disappear. Yesterday when she babysat she told me the story of her Spiritual Recovery, how she was twelve when it happened, two years older than me. She had just ice-picked her step-dad because of his perving, had chest-stabbed him twelve times, a stab for each year of her living. So there she was straddling the top of him screaming and bloody, all tired and animal-wild, screaming and bloody, when then her mom gets back from the gas station with groceries and sees: blood all over the trailer, killed step-dad on the floor of the trailer, Jeanie’s arm froze in half-stab in the air of the trailer, her used-to-be blue eyes now bright flashing green.

So her mom takes in this spectacle, this horrible vision, Jeanie’s homemade revenge so awesome and holy, and for the first time her mom looks at Jeanie horrified to look at Jeanie but also for the first time seeing her daughter demonstrating excellence in what she was doing.

That was the moment my awakening began, Jeanie told me.

Jeanie says we live in a world of infinite, ecstatic possibility, but also that acorns must grow into acorn trees. That if from birth you’re planted with AutoZone Assistant Manager energy then that is the exact thing the Universe demands that you be. When I ask her how both things can be true at the same time, she knocks me down and calls me Thundercunt, says Thundercunt, this is why the Universe sent me. She says we’re best friends now and that I don’t need to worry. She’ll keep me fixed on my path. She’ll help me and terrify me.

Demarcus, when she knocked me over I didn’t cry, I’m no pussy. I looked up at my new best friend and I said Thank you, Jeanie. My mom’s path was to kick ass in Antigone at CCCC and then to work in a sticker factory for eleven months before dying. My path is to suffer and to suffer the suffering.

My path is sacred and I have made an energetic contract to honor it, Demarcus, so blessed be my bloody scabs, my hurt feelings, my infected toe. Blessed be my grief for the Antigone of Antigones, the Geena D. of CCCC, the drunken killer of drunken Bobs. I will mourn her all my life but I will not fucking cry about it. Do meteors weep, Demarcus? Because I am one of those.

I am a meteor, I am an asteroid, Demarcus. The path of a meteor is a billion times longer than a star’s. I blast through this dark universe of wasted creation and to you I’m just a dumbass white girl writing fucked-up letters, but I am also a colossal thing in the sky that burns hot.

I’ve got to go now, Demarcus, because remember? Jeanie? The sun’s down now and she’s waiting on me. She says sleeping boys in racecar beds are top shelf to terrify, that this time with my help she can lift the bed.

Well holy shit, Demarcus, look. Any drips on this paper? Tearstains? Voila, proof of my path, I told you so, etc. Write me back and remember: your mom will die too. Maybe in a long time or maybe soon. But definitely someday. Definitely not never.

Yours Sincerely,


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