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Friday, July 5, 2013

Hot Dank Air


14th July 2012
Dear Cassi,

Perhaps the reason I love sleep so is that the world I wake up to is worse than any nightmare. Today was a day of some unnatural heat and as such I spent most of it in bed with my two fans passing air over my massive frame.

The room is full of hot dank air as is my home. The world is hot outside, but the air within my home is like breath. I can’t tell if it’s the rot in the sink or the perspiration off my skin but I know I need air. I set fans and open windows; I showered the roof with water and watch the steam lift away in the afternoon sun.

The water I have sprayed comes down black with soot from the fireworks of the fourth of July. We celebrate our independents by making the air unbeatable. If only a cold rain would come and was our foul revelries from the wounded sky.

The hot air drives me back to sleep. It’s a pounding heat that drives me down and lords over my sticky flesh. The insulation in my attic has turned to dust long ago and so my home is a furnace in the summer. I long for the winter days.

I would write more, but I am stifled by the heat.



Stay cool, little sister, 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Magic Fire and Angry Souls


4th July 2013

Dear Cassi,

          Today is the Fourth of July and there was a time when this day brought to me so much joy and mirth. Now, honestly, it’s a day I go to work. Is there some reason we should save something for the holidays or should we just live every day? Well, that is a question for another time.
          As a boy there was a magic in fire and so fireworks were a great thing to me. The family would go about and buy some reasonable supply of combustibles, as would our neighbors, and the block would have a show of fire and smoke. Pickles was one to dance about with fire in hand and make the folks laugh.
          There was one soul that had dismal feeling for our mirth and that person was my stepmother. I think she hated to see me happy. Or perhaps she hated to see anything go to children that were not her own. Who knows? All I can say for sure is that my love of fireworks infuriated her.
          I recall one year I had taken the family fireworks out of the bag and put them on the coffee table. Fireworks were so nice to look at with their cartoon designs and colorful paper. I think at some point I moved the combustibles to a hire location hoping to keep them from the dog.
          My stepmother was furious. She came over that weekend before the forth and said, “I think what you want to do is eat those things. You arrange them over here then you arrange them over there.”
          Why this was her affair at all escapes me. Then why, even if it was, would a child loving fireworks be so offensive? Some folks live life looking for a reason to be angry. I paid her no mind at the time and regret ever having taken her seriously in the duration of my knowing her.


Let every day have its magic

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bitter Feelings


10th July 2012
Dear Cassi,
       
The most frustrating part of my life has to be that small things that should never be an issue tend to be a major production. Such has been the case with the dishes. On Sunday Pickles said he had done no dishes for two days. I started them after he went to sleep and, taking them twenty minutes at a run, was still washing by six in the evening. I’ll grant that somewhere in there I slept, I cooked; I did homework, and laundry. Still I had to run the wash twice and wash most of it by hand.
       
This left a bitter feeling in my gut and so when I returned home from work I had no want for food and went directly to bed. I awoke at three in the hot afternoon and a pile of dishes already waited in the sink. It was the plastic containers I had put frozen food in so that Pickles would stop disgracing my kitchen with his cooking.
       
At four thirty I made smoothies. The hot California air had dried my throat and made me lethargic in my movements. I started this meal with red wine and berries which I made into a froth so thick it had to be eaten with a spoon. This revived Pickles and I some and gave us strength.
       
The next serving was simpler, just cantaloupe and coconut water. I cut and froze that cantaloupe when it was fresh and sweet so that the smoothie was a hair away from the melon. With this I felt new life. The frozen nectar of fruit gave me some relief from the heat and so I set about the house work again.
       
My life is a grind but who’s isn’t these days. In the end I have to understand that if I want to live in a clean house it just has to be up to me. The fact that out of Pickles and I only one works is irrelevant.

Stay strong, little sister,


Richard Leland Neal