Note: This was an assignment in a writing workshop I attended. We were supposed to write a hate and a love letter. I wrote two but this one turned out to be the more interesting.

Dear Karen G,

You always seemed like a sweet girl. I loved your red hair, by the way, and that braying, snorty laugh you had, as if no one was listening in when you found something funny. And I’m really glad we didn’t shoot you with my dad’s antique rifle that time you startled us when we’d been making prank phone calls in the back bedroom. We thought you were a burglar, or worse. Good thing we didn’t have the sense to know how to use that gun. I mean, no hard feelings, and anyway, that’s beside the point of this letter.

You see, Karen G, I have a bone to pick with you. Yes, even after all these years. It was really nice that you got that fancy laserdisc machine after you and what’s-his-name got married and were living out in some god-forsaken backwoods hamlet in Texas. And don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Xanadu and just knew that roller skates were indeed the answer to everything. But – and let me remind you that I was only twelve – I hold you personally responsible for letting me watch Friday the 13th Part I that same night.

Did you not realize I was a kid with an overactive imagination? Did you not think about how this was going to scar me? Did you not ever pause to contemplate the fact that I was going to have to walk 300 yards or so home alone in the dark that very night from your parents’ house to mine? Perhaps you had confused me thoroughly with your kid sister. You know, the one as bold as brass? We may have been best friends that spring, but I did not have her courage, her ability to sleep soundly, or her bladder.

I assume, also, that you were not aware that R-rated movies were completely off limits in my house. Hell, even Xanadu was a little questionable. There was no fucking way I could tell my parents that I had seen what I remember as a bloody, horrible gore fest. It would have meant that I was never ever allowed at your house again. Although, in retrospect, maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad. I would have at least been spared any chance of watching anything like that again.

Since I was not able to share this experience with my parents, I compensated for my abject and petrifying fear by sleeping for three months in an upright position with about eighteen lights on.

I hope you realize, Karen, that I am still pissed at you over this.

You are forever linked in my mind with Jason and ski masks and bloody teenagers who should not have been having sex in a deserted bunk house. You are linked with lonely dark country roads, our foray back home that evening, and the fear that an old pickup with too many miles on it will break down most any second (as it invariably does in any horror film worth its salt). You are linked with an innocence lost that can never be recovered, as I became, suddenly, acutely aware that the world was peopled with serial killers and crazed madmen who might be waiting around any corner to spring their menacing, slashing selves on me in a fit of rage and destruction.

I think you deserve no less.

So, while I once remembered you most for the sea of kolaches at that raucous German Catholic wedding of yours that went into the wee hours of the morning, the one where I got to stay up later than I ever had before in my whole life – not anymore. And I just wanted you to know that I still hold a grudge.

In closing, I just want you to know that I hope to someday have the opportunity to sneak up behind you at the end of a scary movie and frighten you so badly that you wet your pants too.

So, watch your back, girlie.

Yours Truly,

me

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