Dear A.,

We got a thin envelope addressed to you and labeled “Criminal Subpoena.”

I have so many questions.

First, have you really not filed a change of address form with the post office yet? It’s not that hard. Did you do something criminal? Or do you just have to testify?

What did your ex-husband play on the baby grand that used to stand in the living room?

Do you notice that I don’t say “our” living room? This house still feels like it’s your house.

While I have you, what happened in the master bath? Why that wretched marble tile? Water stains it. Water. The shower can never have worked. Water always splashes out, the shower curtain clings to your skin. And the tile isn’t grouted properly. So when water splashes out, it leaks into the walls and collects under the paint in the kitchen below.

I used to imagine that all the worst choices were your husband’s, odds and ends left over from other houses that he had flipped. The house was in your name because of those lawsuits filed against him, right? The market started to dip, and he used this house to float one more loan, never intending to pay a penny back. The industrial faucet in the guest room sink. The ugly pink glass lamp in the kitchen. That tile. You never approved of these. Did you?

And why is there a tiny ramp on the tiny raised brick patio outside the living room windows? It is too small for a wheelchair. It’s like a built-in practical joke.  Did you laugh when your guests slipped and fell on their way to get another beer?

I’m sorry that your life seems, at least from a distance, complicated. I don’t mean to complain. But sometimes I feel like the house represents a set of choices that I need to understand in order to avoid.

Why did you put that toilet in the basement? What was going on down there? That toilet cost us thousands of dollars after a pipe broke and the toilet, the lowest point, exploded all over our stuff in a river of shit.

Did you go down there, when you were getting a divorce and you had three kids and the house was a mess? Could you hear the piano through the floor?

Sincerely,
–M.

 

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3 Responses to Dear A.,

  1. A. says:

    Dear M.,

    All of your answers are already in your questions.

    The water stains the tile; you already know that all cleaning leaves stains.

    The ramp trips the guests; I know you understand that all buildings are jokes on their owners.

    The dead letter in your hands: all punishments arrive after all crimes.

    The piano, my ears, my belly, your toilet: I was only ever incidental, whether I heard his ivory dirges in my basement or in my bowels. All creation is expulsion of waste. Go make art in your beautiful home.

    A.

  2. thisblue says:

    Dear A.,

    Well, I did start blogging.

    –M.

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