I have kept a memento album since sometime in the late 1990’s. Just a photo album with newspaper scraps, pictures of friends and loved ones, and letters/post cards from people that I’ve communicated with in the past. Not letters as in email print outs, but actual letters. You know, those that were hand written at one point in the distant past? Yeah, those things… Hard to believe we did stuff besides typing, isn’t it? Sentimentality is so over-rated…
But I went into this album today with the specific intention of taking out and tucking away a few pictures I’d taken close to ten years ago (within a year or two) and a handful of letters as well from that same time frame. I’ll just say that they were all of the same subject. That person has been chronicled here in vagueness and obtuseness.
But going through the letters — marred with the inconsistency of not knowing what I had originally sent (which had led to these response letters) as well as the letters themselves rambling in vagueness. I found one passage of one particular letter (written on loose leaf paper as they all were, and dated 8/06 and likely from 1998 ) that just left me smiling and nodding for all the wrong reasons:
Dear John —
Today is a day I shall always remember. I took a wonderful, if not so secret thing and brutally destroyed it. I’m disgusted. I have new understanding of several things Sorry so obtuse but I don’t wan to talk any more about it
Why do I take satisfaction in this? What kind of sick asshole am I to do such a thing? A ten+ year old letter, stated rather obtusely, about destroying something beautiful?
Answer: I hadn’t said it felt like someone died for nothing, people. This letter may be an echo of a person that I knew in the past, based on different events and different circumstances along with different consequences, but to me? It’s the only remorse that I will see in the present from that person.
We’ve all taken something beautiful and destroyed it – a keepsake, a plant, perhaps a relationship of the friendly or intimate variety — at one point or another in our lives. I know I’m guilty of this in the past with people and things, but I take some solace in knowing that at one point in time, there was expressed grief and remorse by certain people. Grief and remorse that I can’t quite see them express or have linger in their head or heart today over recent events.