found stories

Today on my walk I found two pieces of writing. The first is a page ripped out of an address book--the letter J, no addresses on either side, but a color photo of catamaran sailboats on a beach. On the reverse side, just the words "laxative effect" in red ink.

The second is a three-page handwritten letter in rather elegant script, full of capitalized letters and flourishes but with shaky spelling and frequent usage errors. The letter begins "Salutations Eric" and thanks Eric for a recent gift of money and hopes that God (underlined four times) will "Keep You Under His Wings Of protection." Eric, we learn, was unable to attend the writer's (his cousin) mom's wake. We also learn the writer recently married Keysha. He asks Eric to keep what he is to say a secret. The reason for this letter is that no one in the family can accept collect calls and this is his only way to make contact.

The writer, Pito (it looks like, maybe Dito), is in dire physical straits: "My kidneys Are Failing which can collaps in Any given moment . . . I also have a weak Heart and my Eyesight Is So Bad that I'm Literely blind . . . I have no Apitite to eat to the point that I'll go 4 to 5 Days Without Eating . . . And this Cancer is Spreading throughout my body . . . " Not surpisingly, we learn that Pito is suicidal.

And he needs help with another issue, but he doesn't want to hit up Eric again, so he asks Eric to tell Chunkey that he needs "$340 Dollors." But he then addresses Eric again, dropping the whole Chunkey pretense: "This is my first time in a long time I've Communicated with you and now i'm asking TO get me out of a Life or Death Situation once again . . ." He refers to an enclosed photo (which I did not find, but will look for tomorrow) of he and Keysha.

"And if anything happens to me through the hands of another prisoner or By my hands, always remember that your Big Fuck up Cousin loves you and we'll see eachother On the other side. . . And please don't think of me as a Weak man Cause I'm not, I'm just tired of Breathing . . ." and he signs off: "With Blood in My Eyes."

Whew!I found each page of the letter separately, each about twenty feet beyond the previous.Tossed out a car window?By Eric? Were there more pages?

Later on in the walk along the Intracoastal, I suddenly caught this overpowering smell of patchouli. I turned but no one was there or even close by! No, it was not an olfactory flashback. About five paces after that I saw a dead Eurasian collared dove dead on the grass. Looked like a little damage had been done to the neck--but no missing feathers, so probably not a hawk. Was he, like Pito, just tired of breathing?