Letters to Shannon

Dear Shannon, 

I've been writing you letters in my head 

for the last two months since you've been dead 

because I wasn't ready to write them out like this yet. 

I still think I'm not but I don't want to lose

all the thoughts I've been meaning to send your way. 
 

To say this was a shock would be an understatement. 

Zack called me and I was in the parking lot of Costco. 

I always think that's the reason for him calling, 

assuming the worst, that you're dead and it will be 

the worst phone call of my life. So Ramses answered for me. 

But this time I was right and it was the worst call I never answered. 

I think I will always hate Tom for not telling everyone 

like he said he would. I wasn't prepared to have that conversation 

at 6am when I had barely slept a moment, putting on makeup

so I didn't want to cry, just like you taught me. 

I listened to where the hood at on the way into work that morning 

and I cry laughed hysterically because I could just see you 

making fun of me for crying to DMX at 5:45am on a Friday.

I'm sorry I couldn't tell Fred, as much as he drives me nuts 

I know how much you loved him. I could barely look at him. 

Billy came in and he and Chris collapsed into each other's arms,

both of them crying loudly into their respective shoulders.

Sometimes I can't get Billy's sobs out of my head at night.

He bitched about you so much but he really loved you.

I thought about how you brought Diane flowers 

on her last day before retirement

and I hope she doesn't find out that you're gone. 

 

Remember how we always thought I'd go first? 

You were convinced I'd die young doing something stupid

and you'd live to be really old and do tons of heroin 

because who would stop you if you're 90?

 I had to return those stupid temporary tattoos I bought 

for white trash Wednesday because looking at them 

on my dresser, waiting for a party that would never come 

made me sick. 
 

For a while I had gotten it into my head 

that you had hit it big with your stonks 

and this was all just an elaborate hoax 

and any minute you were going to text me,

give me the good news and tease me for believing it. 
 

Going to Heather's place was terrifying. 

I know in life you didn't really get along 

but I hope you don't mind that I keep up with her 

because you two are just so similar. 

Sometimes she sounds just like you 

and I have to swallow my tears.

We talked about it and when I get married one day, 

I'm going to sew your ring into the skirt of my dress.

You always insisted on being my maid of honor

and I'll honor you in every way I can think of.

 

Cleaning out your apartment was surreal. 

I felt like any minute you'd walk in and say 

"don't touch my shit! Look at this mess!" 

I almost didn't want to take anything at all,

now I wish I had taken more. 

Your clothes that I took have lost your smell 

and as creepy as that is, I wish it would come back. 

I wish I had taken one of your brushes or 

a pair of your signature converse that smelled awful 

and would have been too big for my feet,

but I'd be happy to walk to one of your favorite places 

just one more time for you. 

 

I kept it together while I was cleaning out your locker,

rushing to get it done before Chris came in. 

Two months later, he's still a mess. 

I kept your no bun double protein ticket and 

your miracle hair tie, but I felt guilty and told Heather 

even though they were literally garbage. 

Chris wants to retire your locker, he put "A-Team" stickers

on yours and his and it breaks my heart a little 

every time I walk in and see them there, knowing 

I'll never see your crank ass Sunday morning face again,

strolling in 7 minutes late and complaining about 

how you only got to sleep for 5 hours at your other job. 

I think you would have liked your memorial. 

Pete's friend Peter did a nice fire ceremony. 

You would have rolled your eyes at that part 

but it was a nice comfort to most everyone else. 

Tom had me working for a lot of it and I know you'd be pissed

but I think I maybe needed the distraction for a while. 

Stephanie brought this shitty stop and shop cake 

and put peanut butter cups in it but no one touched it. 

I thought it was funny and you'd like that part.

Bill showed up and finally admitted that you were his favorite. 

He gave me his number and I think I'll text him some time. 

By the way, Looney wasn't dead this whole time! 

I brought my Last Resort cosmic brownie and at the end,

Pete and I shared it. It was then that I realized that 

cosmic brownies are gross. They always had been, you had just 

fixated on "sometimes a bitch just needs a cosmic brownie"

and I thought it was funny enough to keep eating them.

 

So much and so little has happened since then, 

I talk to you out loud sometimes and some other times 

I crack jokes unfairly at your expense since you're not

there to defend yourself, sometimes I cry and most days 

I wear something of yours to keep you close. 
 

Your family gave me your knives 

and I felt so guilty accepting them. 

Your whole knife roll is still in my island, 

untouched and undisturbed

from the last time you used them. 

Part of me feels I'm not worthy to weild them, 

another part is still waiting for you to show up 

and ask for them back. 

 

But it's been a long day and I wasn't ready for this, 

I needed it yet it was too soon and I've cried all my tears

that I've got in stock for now. I'm going to go make dinner

and I hope your ghost gets to watch me because I'll be damned 

if I don't make you proud. So this is good bye for now 

but not for good. I love you forever, fartface and I always will. 

 

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