[Today for you, tomorrow for me]: 256.Good Night, Dear Someone
Today is: November Third, Year 2005
I’ve never liked writing to blank pages. I was once told pages listen twice as much for half the price, but some of us are masochists and like to pay the price. I guess I could be considered one of these people, seeing as I’ve never liked writing to blank pages. There’s something about it that make me infinitely lonely, so, I’ll pretend you’re a book of letters, written to my greatest confidant( who has yet to manifest him or herself). As I was saying . . . To my Dear Someone . . .
Today was a lonely day. We all mope about the house without knowing what to do. Gabriel was our light, our leader, our inspiration! Oh what I wouldn’t give for him to come home again! Sometimes I’m not sure which I miss more, my brother himself, or the way my family was before he left. Wait . . . Scratch that again. I do know. I miss him most . . . I miss his annoying nicknames that were just on the verge of an insult: “little lady”, “squirt”, “small one” and the occasional “hey idiot” or two. I miss being woken up at ungodly hours by his off-key caterwauling coming from the bathroom unluckily placed next to my own private haven. The house is so cold and empty without his glaringly dazzling presence.
So many things have changed. Now, someone in the family is always running late. Now, we no longer eat dinner as a family. Now, no one has time for a cheesy “family game night” where all that succeeds in happening is a couple of bad rounds of charades and the round of insulting jests about the whole family’s acting skills that always follows. No more monopoly every second Tuesday of the month. No more seeing Gabriel’s friendly face in the crowd when I perform. And now . . . I’m no longer “the baby”, I’m merely “the youngest.”
It sounds selfish, I suppose, but I miss his special way of spoiling me. I get letters from him now, but it’s never the same. Before we would take long walks and discuss things that I found highly philosophical. He always let me feel clever, despite the thoughts of my 16-year-old self that I found deep and highly religiously stimulating he’d probably already calculated his own answers for, being 6 years older than me. He always critiqued my singing and my art. He was never cruel about it, there always seemed a strange way for the compliments to sneak in amongst the constructive criticism( “I couldn‘t understand this small swatch here Ashley, but your tone was flawless!”). Any small compliment he paid me I’d take in stride - and then some. I was always proud to be my brother’s baby. Now it’s different, he’s proud of me still, I think he always will be, but . . . Well, it’s just not the same. He’s gone now, distant.
Our lives have gone from a glittering crescendo of fresh sheet music to a gloomy over-worked classic that no one wants to hear anymore. Why isn’t it possible for people to realize that those in direct contact with war are not the only ones affected? I fear for his life every day, every day! And still, he has yet to come back to us. The other kids at school just expect me to go on like I don’t worry myself to sleep every night or like I don’t bite my nails down to the remains of bloody cuticles just to keep from screaming with fear and frustration and the grief of abandonment. As if that were possible! Gabriel used to be my personal protector, but now he’s a defender of my country. Sometimes I’d rather not share him because unlike this country he’s working so hard to defend, I would never, ever expect my freedom at the price of his life.
Today is: The Worst Day of the Year, Thanksgiving, November 24, Year 2005
Me again. I hate Thanksgiving. To me it’s always seemed like a pointless holiday. It should mean something to this country, but instead of giving thanks, like you’d think the title would indicate, most of America celebrates the day by slaughtering millions upon millions of turkeys. You’d figure since the holiday is termed “Thanks Giving” it’d be a vegetarian holiday and we’d give the living things that could feel an think a day of rest from the frenzied fear of being eaten, but, instead, we do just the opposite. Well, no one ever said America was perfect, I guess, right?
At least my family doesn’t take part in the ritual. As a strict vegetarian myself, I refuse to let my family participating in putting a living being behind a cage all its life only to eat it later. I mean, come on after dealing with living in a cage their whole life, you’d figure we’d give them an honorable ending out of pity, but no . . . we eat them instead.
OY, I’m grumpy today. Granted, it is Thanksgiving, The Worst Day of the Year, but I generally don’t start in on my thou shalt not slaughter innocents rant until mid-afternoon. If must be the fact that I have to cook this year. I hate cooking. But as I am the only one in the family who knows how . . . I get stuck with the job. At least when Gabriel was here he’d always spend the day trying to cheer me up. Lately I’ve been so grumpy that no one in the family wants to go anywhere near my general direction. I don’t think they even want to think about my general direction. Me being grumpy during a grumpy period makes the notion less appealing I guess. Oh well, must go cook or I’ll get the “What did I tell you about being flighty” lecture from my mother. She’s not too big on procrastinatio
Dear Anon.( sorry to deviate from my pattern. I was in desperate need of a change)
Today Is: Does anyone really care? Oh, all right. March Twelfth, 2006
So, not much has happened really. Well, I guess in a way it has but, then again, life goes on as it always has. Well, maybe not always. I’ve gotten letters from Gabriel, gotten asked to the prom. You know, I’m still not sure whether I want to or not. Gabriel say I should. He says he wants pictures. He says he wants to see me don up properly like the little lady I am. I could laugh at that, but I may go just for him and my mother, I think she’s feeling a need to connect with me on something. I honestly think I’m a bit of a disappointment to her. I’m her only daughter, the one she expected to be a girly-girl like her and I turn out to be the biggest tomboy alive. Poor mama . . .
I think I will go. I don’t think anyone expects me to and I like to be somewhat flexible . . . Shopping is gonna be murder though . . . Mama with probably make me try one all sorts of hideous dresses. Wait, I think I hear her calling. I’ll write again soon.
Today is: The most God-awful day I’ve ever had in my life, period
Shopping! I DESPISE shopping. I loath it with a passion to rival any classic Romeo and Juliet story! What was I thinking? I just spent 4 HOURS in a MALL with my MOTHER. Its not possible for that word combination to turn out well and for some small sort of consolation, I was right. The dresses were hideous,
“Oh, but that’s so cute, Elizabeth, its shows off your great little figure!”
“Why are you being so finicky, Elizabeth? I thought you hated shopping!”
“Oh, that looks divine on you! The fuchsia works so well with your complexion!”
Never again . . . NEVER again. Oh God, that experience will haunt me forever. On the plus side, it’ll make Gabriel and my friends laugh.
Today is: A day I will never forget
I’ve found my someone to write to now. And its you . . . Maybe it always was. I thought I missed you before but nothing can stop the vivid, throbbing ache that is the whole in my heart where your life used to reside. Not more diary writing for me, my dear brother. No more hiding my feelings from those that matter most. My family will hear all that I have to say in the future so they know exactly how I feel. So they know how much I love them and I can be at some peace knowing that none our brothers, not Father, nor mother will die without being reassured I love me. I didn’t get to say it before you left for college, I was too angry. I didn’t get to say it before you left for the battlefield, I was too worried. I didn’t get to say before you left this world, it happened too quickly. But I will say it now, brother, and I hope you can hear me. I love you. Good night my Dear Confidant, goodbye.