Love Letter From A New York Girl Stuck In Texas


I'm so glad that this has reached you--and that you wanted to open it and read my words, as you used to love to do. Maybe things haven't changed so much, after all?

I won't say "wish you were here" and I wouldn't will it so, even if I had a genie on my shoulder taking down every word. But I am with know that, yes? Even still?

I'm thinking, tonight, of a song you once played for me on the phonograph--you with your vintage records you love so much. It was called "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." Do you remember? And do you recall how I wouldn't believe you that it was "The King of the Blues" singing it? It sounded so old-timey. You had that sparkle in your eye and your lips turned up at one corner, it amused you so, knowing you were right all along. How I insisted! I'm a silly goose, darling. 

Tell me, sweetheart, is it evening as you read this? Have you had a nice meal, are you feeling content? I want you to be, even if you don't believe it. (I can grin that Cheshire grin at you too, you know!) Even though it's late here--nearly midnight--I am only now sitting down. I'm having crab cakes with baby carrots, plus Raisin Rum Cake for dessert. Yes, your favorite--I specifically put in my request for it, in your honor. You say I always get what I want--not always, I'm afraid, mon coeur. Not always. In spite of all my best efforts.

Well, sweetie, the time has flown and I need to get this into an envelope for you. They don't let us seal them, did you know that? I hope they don't undo my best intentions by redacting the heart of all I've said. I love you, I love you, I love you. There. They can't black out all three, can they?

Please forgive me, mon petit coeur, for anything I may have done to offend you...ever. It would mean so much to me if you could. That girl, she was coming between us, ruining everything, and the thought of losing you made me not myself. Blame it on that Other Me, won't you? Could you? I won't beg--I know you like me best when I'm all devil-may-care, and I promise to try to be that way from now on. I'll pretend I'm only visiting the doctor, getting a routine inoculation so that our next weekend won't be ruined by me sniffling and honking like a sea bird. All right, off I go any minute now..."down under" let's call it. That sounds so much better, yes? "Tie me kangaroo" Poor kanga. 

Forgive me. Don't forget me. Be glorious, for us both, all right? 

All my love,


This letter inmate-generated from Mountain View Women's Correctional Facility, Gatesville Texas. Contents have been screened. Recipient is advised to view all such correspondence as being possibly coercive, manipulative or false.

For "dear poems" at Real Toads.  



Oh, so brilliant! The way you make it so we start to realise halfway through ... and then the significance of that meal sinks in ... and how much you tell without actually spelling it out ... and even the name Charlene somehow so right ... as is the whole tone. It's quite excruciating really. You make me believe it's all real.

(I wouldn't have believed that was BB either – except, he's SO good, isn't he?)

Now I feel impelled to go and have a piece of that rum'n'raisin chocolate I've got in the pantry. (Yes, really.)
tonispencer said…
Oh how I would love to respond to this. For dinner tonight I have made us crabcakes, steamed carrots in butter, Cole slaw, and carrot rum raisins as we both hate them. Now I am just going to have a salad while my husband eats royally. I am too busy reading this letter in my heart. This letter is so very real. I think I need to share it with Dorian. It could have been him. Love,
Anonymous said…
All the things never said aloud contained in your letter. There is an untold story here.
Vivian Zems said…
This is the first time I've ever focused on what an inmate might write to a loved one on the outside. I found this intriguing. I suppose when you hit rock bottom...what you should see is the heart. I suppose, as the letter also says( at the bottom)...beware of coercion and manipulation. Sigh...what to believe?
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh wow! This was a TRIP! Only you can think up stories like this. The Sheherazade of online.
hedgewitch said…
The prison of memory never lets us out. Fine writing, Shay, and the detail as well as the human context makes it work so well.
Outlawyer said…
Dear Shay - I am not sure if my comment got sent or maybe not posted, as I wrote it on a train (not sent part) but also maybe had too many details that might have been spoilers. In case, the problem was the first, I wanted to say that much enjoyed the piece (though of course there's definitely a sad edge and especially for those who are against c.p.) A lot of very clever details-- k.
Fireblossom said…
^^^ Karin, I didn't receive any previous comment; it must have got eaten by the internet. :-(
Maude Lynn said…
Oh, this is clever. You played it just right.
Magaly Guerrero said…
This is magnificent kissing heartbreaking on the mouth. This is the kind of piece that one doesn't even care if the speaker is a liar because, the thing is that, it has happened to someone. And even if it hasn't, the emotions this words pull out of the gut are real, so very real.

I wonder if we'll ever get a letter with the details of what happened to "that girl".
Shadow said…
One line, and EvErythIng changed... You're good *smiles*
Brendan said…
It's the perfect love letter, going so deep and naked and intimate in such short space. Great drama when we realize the breath of it will be inspected and redacted because it belongs to a dragon. Or did, for a passionate enough while. Fire in the pen from Puff in the penn -- amen!
brudberg said…
This is brilliant... how you lead me on and how I gradually understand what (might) have happened... a very special place to write from, but maybe we all have prisons sometimes.
Kerry O'Connor said…
Amazing how the story unfolds - one reads with a growing sense of horror, and a measure of sadness too. Love may drive a person to strange acts of desperation and even violence.
Susie Clevenger said…
I have actually written to a friend in prison. It goes through your head what to say, not to say, will what I meant reach the one who actually needs to know. We can be in a prison of iron or mind and for me anyway writing out what I keep inside brings freedom.
Margaret said…
..."the recipient is advised... " Nice "reveal" as it slowly dawns on the reader from where she is writing from!
And one wonders what happened to "that girl"!!!