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Missive in a Bottle: Dear Brian

Brian–

You told me that there were beaches in New York City. That was one of so many stories I believed. Well, let me tell you, just because a place has surf and sand, that doesn’t make it a beach. I took the bus to the very end of that horrible street which, I don’t care what you think, has traffic worse than any you can find in LA, and landed not just at the end of Brooklyn, but at the very end of the world. Does that sound dramatic to you? How about this: it was the end of time. I looked down hoping to find somewhere soft to rest my head and what I found instead was a whole century collapsed around my feet. Strap-on roller skates rusted nearly to dust, horse bones bleached by a hundred years of salt, a plastic clown doll from that show my mother was on as a child, shouting her heart out from the bleachers. Can you believe—I went to the water to hypnotize myself out of thinking about you and ended up thinking about my mother? The lesser of two evils, I guess. That’s beside the point, though—that’s not why I’m writing. By the time I walked the length of the bay, I was so sad looking at all of those poor, abandoned artifacts—objects someone, at some point, probably loved—that I would have laid down among them, hepatitis, tetanus be damned. I was wearing a bikini—yes, the white one with the little strings, and yes, on the bus ride, men stared—and I just wanted to burn, to prostrate myself in the sun. But before I could spread my towel down, I saw, there on the sand, a full set of dentures. They were smooth, warm to the touch. And I wondered if you still have those dreams, the ones I used to comfort you after, where all your teeth fall out and you don’t know why. Do you?

–Sylvie

This letter posted for our Missive in a Bottle activity … write your own letter inspired by an underwater object.