The Ross Letters

#395

April 24, 2017

Matthew,

You can’t break an omelet without making some eggs.

Chew on that,

Pete

#398

April 27, 2017

Matthew,

‘Wonton’ spelled backwards is ‘not now.’  Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

What a big, crazy world we live in.

repaid,
etep

#403

May 26, 2017

Matthew,

I only use Starbucks coffee in my enemas.  Anything else is pointless.

Doppio,
Pete

#404

June 1, 2017

Matthew,

I don’t want to write a letter.  Screw this.  This is stupid.

I punched through a door in my office.  I think I haven’t cooled off yet over some recent bullshit.

I am surrounded by disappointing people.

An absence of ambition saps my ambition.

I just read comics and play video games, and I’m still less of a fuck-up than any of these people.

I still read short stories, too.  And novels.  I’m fucking awesome.

I want to have a snack, but it is almost eight.  I’m not staying up until midnight just to indulge some childish impulse.

Tomorrow is a half-day.  I’ll just have a damn snack tomorrow.

I wonder what Donald Trump is doing right now.  I wonder what he had for breakfast.  Probably black coffee and a kitten.

I’m worried.  Things keep getting pushed back.  A payout is supposed to be coming soon.  Maybe I will rest easy when that happens.

I wonder what Roger Stone had for breakfast.  Probably gin and a kitten.

I have no home.  That’s scary and depressing and shitty.  I have no idea what comes next.  I don’t even pretend to have control over this screwy journey.

Maybe I will still accomplish something.  You can be depressed and angry and still make your time count.

I ate too damn early.  That’s why I want a snack.  Being back at work is messing up my routine.  Time to adjust a little.

I could always just shower up and get into bed.  It’s not like there is anything left to accomplish.

I think I need to read the Torah or something first.  Then Green Lantern maybe.

This muscle relaxer is relaxing my muscles.  I guess you get what you pay for.  It makes my lips dry, though.  Fucking Thailand.  Can’t get anything that doesn’t have some shitty effect on your skin.

Toxic dingus whistle.

What else.

The B52s are pretty good.  So are the Psychedelic Furs.

Goodbye.  Lay the blame on luck.  Goodbye.  Lay the blame on life.

Dinosaurs.  Chef Boy-R-Dee.

You can’t trust an impotent zebra.

I wish the water actually got hot in this fucking hotel.  A day like today calls for some near-scalding water.

What I’d really like is a nice long soak.  Playing Suikoden always reminds me how long it has been since I have been in a hot tub.

Urkel was the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.  Crazy world.

Bowie Bless You,
Pete

#409

July 22, 2017

Matthew,

I think it’s time I finally forgave my mother.

Looking at where I am and what I have, she came through in the end.  She had her shit together and she helped her boys get a little farther down the road.

Would I rather have my mother than the money?  No, I wouldn’t.  I don’t know if that’s because things remain yet unresolved within me, but I just don’t want her back.  I could never be myself when she was alive.

And there it is:  the whole truth.  Even this series of letters was composed in the beginning with the idea that one day she may discover them and be disappointed in me.  Without my parents, there is literally nobody left to disappoint.

That doesn’t mean I can’t forgive her.

It’s time to let my anger go.  I’ve lived well this year thanks to her.  I’ve lived better than I ever have.  She’s paid for my wedding, she’s paid off a lot of my bills, and she has given me a better quality of life.

In the end, my mother was a hero.  I could only hope to be a hero of that magnitude to my own child one day.

Pete

#418

October 27, 2017

Matthew,

My cat makes sense to me.  I can’t tell if he speaks Thai Meowish or standard Meowish, but his communication is still clearer than most of the people with whom I interact out here.

All he really wants to do is eat fish and lay in the sun.  Who doesn’t?  Sure, there are times where he breaks shit and makes too much noise, but that’s just the acorn falling directly at the base of the tree.  I don’t even care now when he does something a bit disruptive.  I’d say it’s a part of his charm.

I’m glad I have a cat again.  He keeps me grounded.  Very little makes sense to me out here, so to have something that constantly needs to be swept or scooped after gives me the diversion I need as I sort out what I am doing with the rest of my life.

That’s all for now, dick.  Love you.

Pete

#344

January 2, 2016

Happy New Year, Matthew.

Today I ate silk worms.

That is all.

Jub jub,

Pete

#348

January 12, 2016

Matthew,

David Bowie has died.

In my mind, he is one of the most complex men in recent history: bawdy, thoughtful, talented, wild. To say “he was a good man” would be to completely strip him of any artistic credibility. He didn’t need to be a good man. He was the space oddity, the man who fell to earth.

He was a legend.

tvi,

pete

#350

January 15, 2016

Matthew,

Last night I had a dream that I was training to be a wrestler. It seems like I wasn’t very good at it, but I got to meet The Undertaker. He tried to help me with the fundamentals.

If I were a real wrestler, I would call myself The Postman. I would come to the ring in the traditional uniform of a postal worker, and I would carry a mail bag full of different foreign objects. My finishing move would be a pun about mail, something like the “Overnight Delivery” or something like that. I’m not too crazy about that name, so we will work on that. Anyways, it would involve the top turnbuckle. Maybe a jackknife suplex.

Maybe this dream was a sign that it is time for a career change. I need to start training harder, if that’s the case. I also need to figure out where to get steroids. I’ve always wondered what they were like.

Irascere ob rem gravem,

Pete

#353

February 3, 2016

Matthew,

Right now I am simultaneously reading Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. There is quite a contrast in style, and there is also quite a contrast in tone. There is also a difference of opinion in what is considered to be moral conduct, morality, and good and evil.

In Middle Earth, good and evil are well-defined. Evil knows it is evil, and is quite unrepentant. Evil is determined to ride that torpedo all the way to the end, knowing full well it is responsible for corruption and destruction. Even the characters who outwardly pretend to be good know that they are evil. For example, the Master of Laketown. He has such a thinly-veiled persona that you can tell that even he doesn’t believe his own crap.

And good is good is freaking GOOD. Again, it is clear. Characters are humble. Characters are brave. Characters overcome fears. They say they are sorry. They drop age-old prejudices. Good is good is freaking GOOD.

Then, there’s Westeros. In Book One, all you want is to see Tyrion take a dive through the moon door and have somebody chop off Jamie’s smug head. You sympathize with the oafish, drunken king, because he is surrounded by conspirators and were it not for such rampant ambition, he might be left alone to be an ineffectual king in a post-war era of peace, the likes of which history will ultimately speak kindly. However, by Book Three your eyes turn misty as Jamie tells the troop to turn around and go fetch Brienne, you are hoping dearly that Tyrion knows of a way to knock his demon-spawn nephew off of his pedestal, and you curse the idiots who elevated Robert Baratheon to his ill-fated position.

Because life isn’t that simple, Matthew. I love The Lord of the Rings, because all loose ends are ultimately tied. I’m not quite finished with the series, but the author cleans up neatly after himself as he goes along. There are no loose threads, simply a good-old-fashioned linear story line with a clear-cut conflict and almost painfully apparent sides.

Meanwhile, in Westeros, you find yourself oddly sympathetic of Theon Greyjoy. After all, no man deserves such humiliation. The systematic emasculation, however, of certain characters seems more the style of Martin. He doesn’t just let a bad guy die. He makes them suffer. He gives them such a bruising that you are left to pity them. You want to pick them up and brush them off. They’ve been taken down more pegs than a normal human can even be taken down. They’ve suffered in ways that you wouldn’t even wish upon your enemies.

And let’s call it what it is: regardless of what happened to them, Jamie and Theon are bad guys. My thoughts on the line between sympathy and pity are unflinchingly rigid: sympathy is reserved for victims, while pity is designated for those who have dug their own grave. Perhaps Jamie and Theon were merely pawns in this colossal game, but I don’t like going too far down that road of thought, simply because I know that the author is daring me to do so, and Tolkien is insisting that I ignore that impulse.

I’ve alluded to wanting my own story to end like Lord of the Rings (informed by the film and not yet by the completion of the novels, just so we are clear). However, the farther I go down this road, the more I realize the duality of man. As much as I want to fight it, even my own duality is shining through so brightly that it leaves me more than just a little shocked. Some days my trail song is “Road Goes Ever On,” and some days only “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” will suffice.

I must admit, though, that coming to terms with my own duality certainly has done well to curtail the anger I’ve felt for some time towards the people at this job. I think most of them are barely hanging on, and I also think that they see their own duality as well, but are either too powerless or too far down that road to change. There are days where I feel like Petyr Baelish and just want to step on their heads to get to the top, while other days I feel like the High Sparrow and I just want to save them from themselves. However, there are also days where the quiet life of a ranger seems most suitable.

And please don’t get me started on how much I envy those happy-go-lucky hobbits. If only life were that simple, Matthew…

Because life is Game of Thrones. We can strive for a Lord of the Rings ending, so long as we realize that our best laid plans are absolutely flawless until our threads become intertwined. I think that is the whole point of Game of Thrones. Threads don’t always come together to form a nice, pretty rope. They get tangled, they get frayed, they snap, and they even get discarded when it seems they are no longer serviceable.

Who am I in the grand scheme of things? Why, I’m just a bastard. I’m just a baseborn son with no name to elevate me. I’m more a Game of Thrones character than one from Lord of the Rings, and I make no bones about who and what I am. However, if Game of Thrones has taught me one thing, nobody is nobody unless they choose to be.

Growing Strong,

Pete