Dear Marianne

Let’s just get this right out of the way. If you were still here, Ralph and I would have shipped you Mom’s dog after she passed and told you all the best parts about him and his little personality. You’d have thought you were receiving a little blessing from Heaven made of gold. And then he’d have given you attitude, wouldn’t listen, peed on your floor, and thrown up on your shoes within a week or two. However, by then, there’d be no returning him and you’d be cussing our asses out. Oh, you’d laugh about in 3 or 4 years when he passed, so stop glaring. It could happen!

How are you? It’s almost been a year since you left us and I half picture you sitting on a long couch being handed red seedless grapes while someone else holds a goblet of Coke…or that godawful fruit drink you used to mix for yourself, and hands it to you from time to time when you snap your fingers. The good life! And no more tele-marketers or insurance people to deal with since Hell doesn’t have a direct line where you are above. Definitely the good life!

I’m sorry the hospital never forwarded my last card on to you before you passed. It was a funny one, though I think you probably saw what it said for yourself reading over Sharon’s shoulder at some point. I know you heard our eulogies. It didn’t escape me or Ralph when the clock outside the room chimed at a time it wasn’t set to when we stood next to it. We knew right then it was you and you were okay. That was you telling us as much.

Things are kinda “meh” here. Do you remember how people used to say you can never go home again? Naturally, they mean that in the human sense, not the angelic sense. Well, I dropped something off at my aunt’s house before Christmas and while I haven’t been back to see Grandma’s condo and the house I used to live in, I did drive by Grandma’s old house, the one on Fenton. Lots of family history in that house. Mom grew up there and I have incredible memories of all the holidays spent there. The current owners have let it go to hell. What a disappointment.

That day is further reason I haven’t driven by the condo or home where I grew up. I can’t quite prepare myself for the disappointment. The same goes for your house. I drove by with everybody else on the way to the church, only I haven’t been back. I can’t do it. I have too much history there from when Ralph lived with you, and too many good memories. Funny memories. And the dogs.

Speaking of the dogs, I can’t help but wonder if Holly and Meka have gotten their revenge on you yet. I think they’ve been plotting for a very long time. I envision them pushing you out the back door and screaming at you to go “Do your duty!!!!” while you flip them off. You know you’ve got that one coming!

What it all comes down to, Marianne, is I miss you. I know Ralph does too. I miss the sound of your gruff ass—yet loving!—voice. I miss your tell-it-like-it-is way of summing things up, especially with expletives. Oh, the sheer multitude and combinations of those expletives! And I miss how you’d actually ask me about what I was currently working on story-wise, because you’d eventually read it. Sure, you’d read it to see if any of the threats I made about putting you into a story found fruition, but you’d read them nonetheless. I don’t miss your driving, though. Sorry. The other drivers in the state of Illinois don’t miss your driving either. Your driving music? Yes. That thing you called driving? No.

Please keep an eye on us if you would. Having one extra guardian angel up there in Afterlife Compliance leaves us all breathing a bit easier. I promise next time I can get Ralph to a Portillo’s, I’ll eat a hotdog in your honor. And, hey, if you find any decent crab leg restaurants up there, make a reservation when it’s our time to join you. We’ll catch up over a good meal. You make dessert, though. No bitching. You made incredible desserts!

Until next time, may Tiny Tim serenade you with Tiptoe Through The Tulips for eternity! lol I know, I know. “Fuck you!”, right?



PS If you get a chance, listen to the new Sarah Brightman album, Hymn. It’s heavenly! Er…you know what I mean.

Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, and sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant.

2 Responses to “Dear Marianne”

  1. Ali says:

    You always know how to make us smile at her memory and cry because we all know who and what we lost, so good with words not only did she love and appreciate it I know my entire family does as well.

    • Kristoffer says:

      I still laugh when I think about how Ralph and I would lay there in bed listening to her yell at the dogs each early morning, wondering what the neighbor’s must be thinking, and what the dogs must be thinking. I miss her a great deal.

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