To Tile or Not to Tile – Letter 1

Steve,

What’s up, man? It’s been a while. Well, a bit longer than a while: 6 years, 4 months, and 27 days…but who’s counting?

I’m not sure if you still have the same feelings about me as you did all those years ago when you kicked me out of your tile business: the feeling that I am “a horrendous human being whose only contribution to the world will be my larger-than-life suck-factor.” I am hoping that by now it is all water under the bridge.

I am hoping this, but I am also worried that you will burn this letter prior to reading it, since you know just as well as I do that you were always a hard-ass. Some people said I had to be crazy to work for you, but damned if I don’t admit that you’re a GENIUS when it comes to designing and installing porcelain tile.

That’s right, Steve, I still respect you. After all, you are my brother. I would never let something as silly as a difference in opinion get in the way of our kinship.

We used to be so close. Growing up, we were inseparable. I’ll admit that you were always the talented one out of us two. I will definitely admit that. Tile became your passion, and you were a prodigy. When you were in High School and created that porcelain tile portrait of Mom and Dad high-fiving for their bathroom, I knew you were going straight to the top of that business.

I hope you know that I always appreciated you teaching me the ins and outs of the tile business. For the past 12 years, 3 months, and 18 days I’ve made installing tile my source of income, and it’s all thanks to you. You have a knack for it. Mom used to praise me for my expertise with the flute and for my Rainman-like ability to remember dates, but no matter what composition I created in her honor, or dental appointment I helped her not forget, your porcelain tile masterpieces secured your position as the child most loved.

I did not mean to make you so upset all those years ago, when last we spoke. I simply was making a suggestion that maybe your business should branch off from simply doing porcelain tile portraits of couples high-fiving. Yes, I know that there are differences: sometimes there’s an explosion behind the high-five, or due to it; and yes, sometimes there’s a shark giving a thumbs up, or a bear with a shocked-into-awe expression on its face nearby…but I just thought maybe we could do more conventional tiling for a change.

But, I don’t want to bring up old news. In fact, I’d like to bury the hatchet because…well…I’m getting married!

That’s right. Her name is Joanne, and I must say that we go perfectly together: like bread and water. I met her at a rather low point about 4 years, 2 months, and 12 days ago, and after a while we fell in love.

Despite our distance as of late, I would still like for you to be my best man. As you can tell from the return address on this envelope, I am now living in Ashland, Oregon: home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Joanne is a very well-respected player in the Shakespeare festival, so it goes without saying that our wedding will be Shakespeare oriented.

I hope to hear from you soon. Hopefully we can put the past behind us and look forward to a future filled with love and respect.

I love you, Bro.

– Mack

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