Mourning the Unloved

Goodbye, Coolie. You were always a good friend. I remember our Sunday phone calls and when you told me that you thought Brussels sprouts tasted like dirt. I remember the candy bar you sent me through the mail for my birthday and how we talked about Game of Thrones and the books we were reading. You told me about writing about your life. I learned about your family, especially the niece you loved more than anything. I remember how you scolded me for not telling you about some important news in my life and how you used to spend what little money you had buying greeting cards to send me. I said once that our meeting and becoming friends was a wonderful but unlikely experience and you replied that we would have met anyway in a library somewhere. I liked that thought. Remember when I managed to get myself on your visitor list? We laughed so much after my visit because I got a letter from the Department of Justice telling me never to come back. We laughed a lot, really.

People believe that prisoners only want friends on the outside because they want money. You never asked me for a thing except more letters. More phone calls. People think that because of what you did you’re not human. You were always a person to me, a dear friend. I am beating myself up for not flying back home to stand with you as your lifeless body is driven out. The only way I can be with you tonight is to meditate on what it must feel like to be led into a room thick with justified hatred, to feel myself being laid out onto a table, the rough fabric of the cuffs on my wrists as they tie me down, maybe to remember with regret and self-hatred the lives I took in retaliation for my past pain, the pain that is truly passed down by all of us, the pain that will not end tonight with my death, but will continue to be passed along, endless, like a curse from our ancestors.

Rest well, Coolie. Rest well, Harveys and Baskervilles.

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