It's me again and I've had it with this fucking blog of yours and your chirpiness. That's right. Your fucking chirpiness. All you ever do is say the same thing in a chirpy tone over and over again only in different words, which is Pal, change the way you think and everything will improve.
Change the way I think? Hump rocket, may I remind you I got one leg, no feet, a big welt on my cheek, no job, plus a cleft palate and also since my last letter an eye got poked out by a pool cue. With my one good eye I still get a real good look at God and the experiments He's running, and this particular one here on earth is not turning out so hot. There's piles of corpses everywhere. There's babies being thrown off of bridges. Ten feet beneath the high heels of some bitch eating snails across the table from some rich pretty boy on coke is sewer pipes clogged with more shit than there's room for that's got to be shoveled out by people like me. The fucking experiment ain't working, and yet you with two good eyes don't see it.
No. I'm wrong. Sorry. You do see it. Which makes you worse than blind. You are a phony. A fake. You wear one of them fucking smile masks, but underneath that mask your sweating face is as dead as mine. You are as desperate as me. I can feel it. I can smell it. The difference is, I am honest. You are dishonest. I see that this life sucks, that everybody is a selfish prick, that fixing things is hopeless, and that the fucking Afterlife is where it's at. You, you are a fraud, and it will be me who has the last big guffaw.
Last time ever,
Sensational letter. I must admit I love hearing from you, and I am genuinely sorry about that pool cue. Just the idea of getting that blue pool cue chalk in my eye makes me wince, and I can only imagine what it must be like to have some part of the actual stick come into play. Again, my sympathies.
What I say next is going to burn you up I'm afraid, but it must be said: You are 100 percent correct. I am a phony. I do wear a mask. Those piles of corpses of yours, and those babies flying off of bridges, and those clogged sewer pipes, that's good for starters. But how about those brightly-colored striped beach chairs and those two tricycles just now separating from the roof rack of that family van cartwheeling across the median and slamming into a busload of kids heading for summer camp. And how about the blood on them machetes after a hard day a-genocidin'. And how about the eyes of children waking to the touch of pale hungry men. Or any hand on any throat, any colliding of fast-moving flesh. Or simple lies, rampant hopelessness, everyday despair.
See? You are absolutely right. I am aware of horrible things. And I'm certain that the horrible things I do know about are less horrible than the horrible things I do not know about. Is there a square mile on this planet with human life on it that has absolutely no horrors to report? I would say no.
Agony is everywhere.
But then, so is loveliness. In the light of candles, a small shrine made by loved ones from those tricycles and those beach chairs. Just a circle of people holding each other.
And so how do we decide if life is ugly or if life is beautiful?
I know how. We turn our attention to me, Waldo Mellon, playing shortstop in one Little League game long ago. My mother and my father are in the stands for this one. A grounder to me. It goes through my legs. Another grounder to me. It bounces off my glove. Another grounder to me. It goes through my legs. Another grounder to me. It hits something, bounces over my shoulder. Another grounder to me. It goes through my legs. How come all the fucking balls are coming to me on the one game my mom and dad are in the stands? How come? How come? And here comes another one. I can't believe it. I'm going to get this one. It goes through my legs. That's it. I throw down my glove, pick it back up, cover my face with it, head blindly off the field in tears but the coach stops me and pulls me back to shortstop. But I don't want to play shortstop any more. I don't. I want to end all of this. Another ground ball heading right at me. What? This is life? This is the way life works? -- Hey! It's in my glove! The ball is in my glove! There it is! It looks so big just waiting in my glove. I take the big, not-moving ball from my mitt. I rear back. I throw it to the first baseman. And he watches it sail high over his head, high above the stands where my parents are sitting, and their eyes follow it all the way into the swamp behind the bleachers.
Well what do you know? How about that? Lucky me! At the age of ten I'm being delivered an insider's tip about how Life works: When bad things happen, it does not mean that more bad things will not happen. Bad things can happen at any time. Bad things can happen again and again and again. What happens at one moment has no relationship with the goodness or badness of what happens at the next moment.
Is Life unfair? You bet it is.
Does Life care about fairness? Not one hoot.
Does Life compensate? Never by design.
Does Life keep score? Uh-uh. Uh-uh. Uh-uh.
And so you are born and now you are something that's in the way and you can cry all you want but all it does is get you hit and then hit again and the day comes when you stop crying and you decide it's payback time and all sorts of messes are made. That is, the ball keeps going through your legs and then you throw wildly and now you are hiding your face in your glove and the world is nothing but the smell of leather and tears and snot.
You are born and now you are cherished, and when you cry you are held and fed, and the day comes when you head out into life drunk with the idea that the world works on hope and kindness, and it all smells like roses, and you field the ball, and you make the throw, and your mom and dad stand and clap their hands with modesty as other parents pat them on their backs.
My Demon, it's all random luck. It's clear that many times the ball has gone through your legs and that you have thrown your share of wild throws. And once again you are one hundred percent correct. I have painted myself into a familiar corner and I have nothing to say to you beyond what you so insightfully pointed out I've been saying a thousand different ways, which is this: Pal, all ya gotta do is change the way you think and everything will improve.
Some people are lucky. Some people are not lucky. You may dwell on the bad, or you may dwell on the good. What you dwell upon will change nothing but your level of contentment. The Good and the Bad will continue to happen in spite of you. So just go ahead: Choose. Good or Bad. Good World or Bad World.
I admire your faith in the Hereafter, but I guess I prefer tinkering with the Here. I'm hoping you have not really written your last letter to me I'm hoping you will not give up on me. Like you and everybody else, all I'm doing is making guesses.