I don't know when you'll get this. Today is February 22nd. When I finish writing this, I'll slip it in the mailbox with the proper postage and then I'm going to go back through the doors to our apartment. If you get it in about a week then we'll be able to talk about this but to be honest with you, I don't know if this is at all real.
I've spent most of my adult life afraid that the crazy that sleeps inside my blood would creep out, and grab me, and I'd be like my mom or my aunt and need somebody to watch over me for the rest of my life. So I'm sending out this letter and if you don't get it in a week, then I'll have some idea as to what I'm going through. If you don't get this letter, I'm crazy. If you get it, the world is crazy.
When I woke up to go to work yesterday you weren't in bed with me and I couldn't find Gwen. I didn't know what was going on, I thought maybe you had gone for a run or something and so I went to go online, except the computer wouldn't turn on, and neither would any of the lights or anything electrical in the apartment. It was early so I drew the blinds. This is when things get a little odd. This is when I was certain I was dreaming.
Outside- where we should see the guy who dries his clothes out his window and the woman who leaves her windows open to do her aerobics stuff on the other end of the complex- I saw a huge forest of birch trees, carried out to the extreme of my sight. The sun was shining but through a mess of clouds, so everything had a dim, ill-lit quality to it. I lifted up the screen and stuck my head out and found out pretty quickly that our apartment was now inside some sort of tower made out of brick.
I was hesitant to go outside into the hallway but, eventually, I did. It opened to reveal a long, winding staircase of stone that drew down about sixty feet to the ground. I was still 'dreaming', you understand, so, I decided to explore.
When I got down there I found you, on the ground, your eyes milky white, your body dead and bloated from decay. The smell was awful, and I vomited immediately. I heard howling and yelping from the woods nearby and saw stags and does hopping through the trees.
Where the fuck am I, I thought.
I turned around to go back up to the apartment, convinced that if I lay down in bed it'd be over and I'd wake up next to you again, but the tower was gone and so was our apartment and instead I was standing in the forest, neatly halved by train tracks. The train was coming, I could hear it.
I reached down and picked up a handful of soil, and got on the train when it pulled up. There was no one in it, this ultramodern European bullet train, just me and the tacky felt seats, and I went from car to car aimlessly before the train suddenly stopped, and I got out, and I was- swear to God- at the Smithsonian Metro platform.
What the fuck, I thought, and that's when I realized that I hadn't been asleep. Anyway, look, I got home, and went to work and you slept the entire time but I woke up again in here, and I found this mailbox besides this tower, and I'm putting this letter in, and I'm going to wait and see if I really am completely insane or not. (Is biology destiny? You had that burned into your arm like the idiot you are, but maybe it is, who knows)
When I got it, I sat down and went over in my mind the past six months. Of course I didn't believe it, at first. But I began to remember things you'd say to me, I remembered a week where I thought you had ordered me a package online.
"Check the mail lately, Jay?"
More letters. More of the same. Highlights include:
"This forest contains small stones where acorns should be, and when you shake them they produce jet beads."
"I dug into the soil below one of the trees tonight, and my hands came up with spoils of copper wire. I brought some home to prove their reality. You mentioned them! You asked about them! Maybe this is real!"
One in particular stood out:
"The stags speak if you ask them pointed questions. One told me the day and hour of my death, and I spent the next few minutes in shocked silence before I could bring myself to cry."
The last letter- I got this yesterday- reads:
Well, it's pretty clear you've gotten none of these. I've been checking our mailbox but none of them come up, but whenever I check the box on this end, they've disappeared. I can only make one conclusion.
My father spent the best years of his life patting my mom's hand while she sat in a rocking chair at the Alameda County Sanatorium, and I won't do that to you- you who I love so much and so deeply. I know you'll never get this but if I even hinted at it, you'd figure it out, and stop me. You wouldn't understand.
No more but my love always,
I found her that night in bed, coming home from the late shift at work, and just assumed she was asleep. I leaned in to kiss her but she was unusually dry, it felt like, and still, and I rocked her back on her shoulders and found her shockingly pliable, and then shook again and again until I reached the only possible conclusion, and I screamed, and bellowed, and threw her up against the wall to wake her, I pumped my hands into her stomach to make her throw them up, but it was over.
I moved out of there.. as well I should've, and I took the cat with me, and I went back home for a few months. I've been trying to get my life back together.
But last night I decided on a whim to sleep in my old bedroom instead of the hideaway downstairs. I woke up but the lights wouldn't turn on. I pushed up the windows and found myself staring out at a vast forest.
Are you out here, among the trees?
If I put the proper postage on this, will you get it?
Or was everything, including the letters, just my own sleeping crazy waking up?