To Tile or Not to Tile – Letter 3

Steve,

I’m so glad you wrote back! I’m also pretty happy that your letter has an even mix of normal human conversation and hateful slander. Are you getting soft in your old age? HA! I kid.

In the years that passed I learned that it was wrong of me to suggest adding regular tile-work to your business. The Glorious High-Five has brought you success, and, as you’ve said since we were young, “every time you have a thought, remember that your thought is shit compared to mine.” Sometimes I slip into this selfish mode where I think I have an idea, without even thinking first that your idea is better.

I am sorry that I broke your heart all those years ago, and I am truly apologizing now. I’m happy that, as you mentioned, you accept my apology! And don’t worry about hating me, it actually brings me back to childhood: being in the den with my toy train, and you coming in, picking it up, and throwing it into the fireplace, saying all the while “I hate you.” Over the years, as you threw more and more of my possessions into that fireplace, I grew to love it. The fireplace itself was the one thing you couldn’t throw in the fire.

But, enough of this reminiscing about the good ol’ days, bro; let me tell you all about my fiance Joanne!

During those self-proclaimed “bad years” I mentioned in my last letter, I would often get blackout drunk, wake up some place not knowing where I was or how I got there, and then repeat the process. At one point, I woke up covered in my own vomit at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I had apparently bought the highest priced weekend tickets. I had learned to just go with the flow of my blackouts and follow through with the next thing my drunken self had wanted me to do. So, I went to the following performance: Henry VI Part 2.

Now, I had no idea what to expect, but boy howdy was that a riveting performance! Suddenly, when Gloucester went to talk to his wife, I was spellbound: playing the Duchess (Wife of Gloucester), was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I had promised myself I would speak with her, but I was so nervous. I didn’t know what to do. I kept telling myself that I had to get over my anxiety because this was my one chance at happiness! I was sweating profusely, but after the performance I stood near the backstage area and waited to see if she would come out. Then I would risk it all and say hello to her. It couldn’t be that bad, I kept telling myself.

Luckily, when she came out she informed me that we had been sleeping together the past week and a half, but that I’d just been blacking out so often I couldn’t remember. My nervousness was replaced by a bit of shame and awkwardness, especially since she kept grabbing at my crotch stating that she “needs a fix.” It was then I knew that the bashful, quiet, and never-forgetful sober Mack was not the same as this debauchery-inducing drunken Mack.

I promised to clean up my act, and I did. I got off alcohol altogether. She told me she had been using performance-enhancing drugs in order to up the drama in her life…specifically cocaine. She got off the blow, and we’ve never been happier. We live a life of subtlety, quietude, and above all, love and serenity. We love to laugh at the little things in life, and let the beautiful music of the crickets lull us to sleep each night. We are two people who have seen the darkness, and within each other, found light.

Hopefully you think she’s as cool as I think she is, Steve! In fact, I know you will. She’s great. Plus, she loves burritos.

I want you to know that I am mailing this return letter out 52 minutes after receiving your reply. You mentioned that you needed me to respond quickly. I hope this will suffice.

Love you bro! Keep on kicking ass in the tile business. And let me know your decision on the best man thing as soon as you can. We’d love to have you involved in the wedding.

– Mack

P.S. I’d love to see your new sketches! Send ’em along.

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