Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Letters to the Little One

Dear Little One,

You're five and you're hanging on the whims of the adults around you. Kansas City, Mo and Ks aren't all that bad. You'll live in the rough parts but you'll see the nice parts later. It makes you closer to mom and you'll never forget it. You'll get the chicken pox, you'll miss your school pictures. Mom is going to take enough pictures to make up for it. Your bus buddy, Luther, is going to write you up for talking on the bus. The world isn't over, people just have to do their jobs. You'll laugh about being a gabber later.

You're eight and St. Louis is full of adventure. You're going to cheat on a math test. Trust me when i tell you it's the last time you pull a stunt like that. You're going to be taking those pictures now, you're going to country line dance. you're going to hate it but you're going to thank mom and dad. Our sister is going to annoy you and take your toys, but you'll deal with it. She's not so bad now.

You're ten and you live in Noblesville, In. You think it's in the middle of bumfuck Indiana, but know this: It's the nicest place you're going to live and you'll end up missing it when you're twenty. You're going to cheat again, but this time it's on a book report about "Pecos Bill: An American Tall Tale." You're going to be thoroughly embarrassed when you're caught. You'll get your shit together later when you realize you want to write for a living.

You're thirteen and you live in Indianapolis, In. The big city. You're not going to fit in. I'm telling you that right now, so you can save yourself the headache. You're going to try and change yourself to blend in. But you and I both know you're not the blending type. You're not going to be welcome by either side, so when you get to the cafeteria, find an empty table and sit down. Open a book, eat your food and enjoy some solitude. You'll learn to cherish it later.

You're sixteen and you've hit Long Island, Ny. You're going to start slow and pick up speed when you find you're really kind of cool. You're going to find some like-minded friends, I swear it. You're going to write like speeding locomotive. you're going to learn how to fight and you're going to like the feeling behind your punch. It's going to make you drunk with power. You'll join fencing because of your crush on the new coach. Our knees will not thank you later. You're going to graduate highschool at seventeen but not before two planes hit two towers only two hours away. You'll be scared and you're going to cry. You'll want to leave New York, but you've got so much more to do. So much more to see. So many more people to meet. You're going to be fine.

You're twenty two. You're back in Illinois. You're going to get fired for the first time. You're going to feel like a failure. Mom isn't going to let you forget it either. You're going to write a book, though. It's not going to be that great but it's a start. You've taken a break from school too. You'll regret it later. But I won't hold it against you.

I can't finish this letter because there's a lot more i don't know. I can't tell you everything. You're not suppose to have all the answers, it's going to make you feel powerless and a little alienated, but you've got to get past that. You've gotten this far, I have faith in us.

Sincerely, The Older you.

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