Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Illegible Manifesto

She found the letters while cleaning out the garage the other day and they had to make her smile. She remembered writing every one! They had gotten her through those long nights of hysteria and insomnia and wanting and hoping and wishing for him to come back. She had given him some~she couldn't talk to him then, so when he came to pick up the kids she would just hand one to him, watch him ignore it, toss it on the seat beside him. She would then go in and cry~both for the kids leaving and his tossing aside both her and the letter.
As she opened the first one, it hit her like a wave. They were obviously the diatribes of a lost soul~someone she didn't know and didn't remember being. They were long and rambling~rants, mostly, against him, his mistress, herself. They would be crazy with threats and blame and cussing, then turn to misty thoughts of past love and begging for a future if only he would come back to her then back to how glad she was he was gone. There was one written to her mother, her grandmother about putting up with the men in their lives and how she now totally understood. And the handwriting~she didn't recognize it~it seemed illegible to her. It couldn't be hers, could it? When the writing was sane, it was neat and tidy, angry was scrawled, love was loopy and girlish~little hearts even dotted the "i". She didn't even have to read the words to know the emotion behind them. As she slid to the floor with them in her hand, she began to understand how she survived those first few months after the betrayal. She had become schizophrenic. By day, she was together and a mom and a survivor. By night~and sometimes all night~ she would let out the angry bitch and the scared little girl and the woman who wanted to be loved and each would write in their own journal~in their own voice, their own handwriting. An illegible manifesto, written to her, from her. A guidebook about how to overcome and move on~but to never forget. None of those women could have survived on their own, on the surface. But each had a voice that needed and deserved to be heard.
She smiled through the tears as she put the letters back. When she needed them, they would be there~still illegible, still a manifesto to herself, from her old friends. The hysterical laughter of the schizophrenic didn't start until she remembered the ones she gave to him. He had told her he read them and kept them in case he ever had to use them against her. No wonder he afraid of her back then. No wonder he was still a little cautious around her to this day~he never knew when those crazy bitches in the illegible letters would come back! And that was just how she liked it!

4 comments:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

"An illegible manifesto, written to her, from her." All three of her. What a concept! I like it.

paisley said...

oh this was very well thought out,, and who among us is not guilty of writing letters in the heat of the moment delivered or no,, that at any other time,, and read by any other persona would not sound equally insane........

gautami tripathy said...

That was some letter/s!

:D

deathsweep said...

Captivating - I enjoyed this very much.