The Ross Letters

#394

April 23, 2017

Matthew,

My brother and I have taken my mother’s death two completely different ways.  He was there when she passed on, and I think having to watch both her and his father die was traumatic.  I, on the other hand, chose to stay in Thailand both times, even though my mother wanted to see me one last time.

On one hand, I definitely feel for my brother.  We’ve experienced the losses of six immediate family members in the past ten years, including a rather violent death of an aunt by a little piece of shit who was driving drunk.  I honestly don’t think anybody deserves what has happened to us.

But on the other hand, they were his meal ticket.  Even in his 30s they were bailing him out.  My perspective is much different.  My stepfather kept trying to throw me out of the nest, and my mother’s only role was to try and see that the fall didn’t kill me.  With my brother, he could wreck a vehicle being stupid and have a new one later in the week.  Our upbringings and what we were given were so fucking disproportional, even on holidays and birthdays.  And they set my brother up for failure by never letting him fix anything on his own, and you can add that to the list of reasons I resent them.

And he milked it.  He dry-humped that cash cow until the bitter end.  He even moved into mom’s house with his girlfriend when she was Stage 4.  It wasn’t to take care of her, either.  They both had no money.  They both weren’t working regularly.  Even my aunt who is in charge of the estate is trying to push the money in my direction because he took all of mom’s furniture and both vehicles.  He stripped the place down, refusing to carry out her wishes that those things go to the church.

I was no different early on.  When he had his son at 19 years old, I was right there to try and help him out as well.  But he got too greedy, and I cut him off.  One day he had the audacity to ask me why I didn’t give him more, and that was that.  He brought me a few shitty bags of weed when I was in grad school, but it hardly counts when you stick around all day expecting me to smoke half of the bag with you.  He has a track record for being a mooch, one with an incredibly short memory.

I had to browbeat him for months to compensate me for all the stuff in mom’s house, because once again those were the wishes of our mother.  She knew he was probably going to take everything, so she told my aunt to just take a certain dollar amount out of his half of the estate.  I didn’t want to take the legal avenue with my own family (and I also didn’t want an aunt I’ve only met twice to arbitrate our conflict), so I came down on him for months until he finally sobered up and realized I was the only family he has left.  I settled for a thousand dollars, and since then we have been cool.

But when this is all over, I’m not sure whether or not I want anything to do with the little fucker.  The only reason I speak to him at all is because he is holding most of my stuff.  Mom was storing things from my childhood, sentimental items like stuff from high school, a stamp collection, a coin collection, my old books and writing, and even some cool stuff I managed to save from elementary school.  After that, I suspect that he can go fuck himself.

However, it isn’t fair to just make my mind up that I will still be pissed off at him in a year.  He has taken some strides to correct his life, and I will say he definitely shut me up when he forked over the money.  But when he contacts me saying shit like “I wish I could talk to mom,” I do get irritated.  It’s not that I doubt that they had good talks.  Even I had a good talk with mom every once in a while.  However, I can’t help but wonder why he misses her and what he misses.  I don’t miss either of them.  I don’t miss anybody.  I was just getting to know Aunt Lynn when she was killed.

Holy shit, Matthew.  I think I might be a little more messed up than I originally suspected.

He’s more normal than me for missing them.  I’ll grant you that.  Outside of this, however, I am still very cynical because of all the times they spoiled him rotten and he took them for granted.  I only got about twenty percent from mom and about two percent from my stepdad, because my brother needed all of their attention and resources.  It’s hard to let that go overnight.  He tends to think I never wanted a relationship, when the truth is I hung in there long after it was even advisable.

People can change.  I don’t doubt that.  A guy like my brother, though… I think he needs more time for these things to be truly sincere.  For right now I think he knows I’m the only family member left who will talk with him, and I don’t want him thinking I’m going to be his shoulder or his rock.  A thousand dollars was enough to placate my ire, but it is not enough to make up for what a shitty person he has been.

Let him go without for a little longer.  Maybe he’ll come around.

Screw it.  Time for some more coffee, and then some stretching before I go back to this badass country club gym.  Time to work out some more of my irritation.

Talk soon,
Pete

#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