The Last You’ll Hear from Me

DEAR Friends and Family,

By the time you receive this letter I will be dead. Those of you attending this service are sitting quietly, holding a beautiful paperweight, a gift from the collection, which, in life, had been my pride and joy. You turn the paperweight over in your hands, look deep inside, at the object imbedded in the glass, be it a rose or a scorpion, whatever, and through your tears you ask, “What is death like?” By this time I certainly know the answer to that question but am unable to give details. Know only that I will one day meet you upon the grassy plains of Heaven, where, with the exception of Randy Sykes and Annette Kelper, I will be tickled to embrace you and catch up on all the news. When the time comes I probably won’t be too thrilled to see my mother either, but we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it.

If my instructions were followed the way I wanted them to be (see attached instruction envelope #1), this letter is being read to you from the pulpit of The Simple Shepherd Church of Christ by my best friend, Eileen Mickey (Hi, Eileen), who is wearing the long-sleeved Lisa Montino designer dress I left behind that always looked so good on me. (Eileen, I hope you either lost some weight or took it out some on the sides or you’re not going to be able to breathe. Also, remember it needs to be dry-cleaned. I know how you and your family love to skimp, but please, don’t listen to what anyone says about Woolite. Dry-clean!)

Most of you are probably wondering why I did it. You’re asking yourselves over and over again, “What could have driven Trish Moody to do such a thing?”

You’re whispering, “Why, Lord? Why take Trish Moody? Trish was a ray of bright sunshine, always doing things for other people, always so up and perky and full of love. Pretty too. Just as smart and sweet and pretty as they come.”

You’re probably shaking your heads and thinking there’s plenty of people a lot worse than Trish Moody. There’s her former excuse for a boyfriend, Randy Sykes, for example. The boyfriend who, after Trish accidentally backed her car over his dog, practically beat her senseless. He beat her with words but still, it might as well have been with his fists. He struck her again and again with words and names such as “manipulative,” “jealous,” “childish,” and others I wouldn’t justify in print. The dog’s death was a tragic accident but perhaps also a blessing in disguise as Randy tended to spend entirely too much time with it. The dog was in danger of becoming, like Randy himself, spoiled and disobedient. Besides that, being a registered breed it was headed for unavoidable future hip problems.

What did Trish’s mother say when her daughter, heartbroken over her breakup with Randy, came to her in search of love and understanding?

“If you’re looking for sympathy you can find it between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.”

Perhaps my mother can live with slogans such as this. I know I can’t.

Neither can I live surrounded by “friends” such as Annette Kelper. Poor, chubby Annette Kelper, who desperately tries to pretend that nobody notices the fact that she’s balding on top of her head. That’s right. Look closely balding just like a man. Perhaps Randy feels sorry for chrome-dome Annette. Maybe that’s why he was seen twice in her company in a single five-day period. Seen standing together in the parking lot of the Burger Tabernacle (her home away from home) and seen huddled together, laughing on the escalator of the Crabtree Valley Mall. Annette, my supposed best friend, who secretly wanted and coveted everything I owned. Annette, always in my corner, the balding, chubby girl who said to me, in the spirit of friendship, “You’ve got to loosen up a little, Trish. People aren’t things that you can own and control and arrange to stay a certain way.” I remember she said it to me in the bedroom of my own home, her hand on my shoulder, facing left so that I could clearly see how those two top teeth of hers are turning brown as a result of a cheap root canal. I remember feeling sorry for her.

Is everyone on earth as two-faced as Annette Kelper? Is everyone as cruel as Randy Sykes? I think not. Most of you, the loved ones I left behind, are simple, devoted people. I urge you now to take a look around the room, Are Randy Sykes and Annette sitting in the audience? Are they shifting uncomfortably in the pew, shielding their faces with the 8–1/2-by-1l photograph of me I had reproduced to serve as a memento of this occasion?

(Eileen, read this part real fast before they have a chance to leave.) Randy Sykes’s dick is the size of my little finger and that’s when it’s hard. And I’m not counting the nail, just the finger! He had sex two times with a boy at Camp Ticonderoga when he was in junior high school. Maybe that explains why he loves it when somebody sticks their finger up his butt. He used to beg me to do that but I refused. I said, “No way, Randy.” He used to do it to himself all the time. That’s why I never held hands with him. His hands stink! He secretly thinks he looks like Marion Brando, but take a good look a young Marlin Perkins is more like it! Maybe that’s what he sees in Annette Kelper he’s an animal lover. She used to come to my house crying, her breath smelling a mile off like her uncle’s dick. She said he forced her but that’s a lie because you don’t force whores and that’s what she is a whore. Annette and Randy deserve each other. Dick-Breath and Stinky-Finger riding up and down the escalator at Crabtree Valley, up and down, up and down. Fancy little shitheads! Look at them, take a good hard look at them. It’s their fault I’m dead. They are to blame. I urge you now to take those paperweights and stone them. Release your anger! The Bible says that it’s all right to cast the first stone if someone dead is telling you to do it and I’m telling you now, pretend the paperweights are stones and cast them upon the guilty. I’ve put aside my savings to pay for damages to the walls and windows. It’s money I was saving for my wedding and there’s plenty of it so throw! Hurt them the way they hurt me! Kill them! No one will hold you responsible. Kill them!

(Eileen, I’m going to allow a few minutes here because it might take a while for certain people to get into the swing of it. Pop in the cassette marked “Stoning” and wait until both Randy and Annette are lifeless. Wait until everyone has finished with their paperweights and then I want you to hand the microphone over to my mother. Watch the way she trembles and stutters and remember every gesture as if you were me.)

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