Sometimes when I think of what we once were, I feel sick to my stomach. Other times I feel my chest tearing with such a yearning to be with you again, in that time, when the birds knew us by name and the future was just a fantasy. Is this our legacy, nausea and raw nostalgia?
It’s been a difficult couple years, Anabelle. I been in prison for a while—I’m sure you heard—and a mental hospital, too (don’t know if you heard about that). I think I came out worse than I went in. There’s no sympathy in a place like that, despite what people say. (I’m talking about the hospital but that’s true for prison, too.) Not that I was looking for any. But it woulda been nice if I got some from you. Even just a bit.
There’s a lot I want to say that I shouldn’t, but since I’m not going to post this letter anyhow, I will. I gave myself to you. Whatever that means, I did. I shouldn’t have probably, for both our sakes, but I did. And when you’re holding the whole of a person in your hands, you can’t drop em, darlin. You’ll break em. But you dropped me like I was hot coal burning your fingers. Hell, maybe I was. It wouldn’t have been so bad except you didn’t stop to pick up the pieces. You just ran away screaming your pretty head off. Didn’t you want to help put the pieces back together? Didn’t you care?
I been out here a few weeks now. It’s peaceful. I catch fish in the river, forage for mushrooms. I think I could live like this. For good. Ain’t nobody bothering me, tellin me toget a job, pointing out what’s wrong with me. What do I want with a world that never had any time for someone like me?
Last I heard about you, you was going steady with some big city boy. Guess he can buy you all the stupid shit you don’t need, keep you distracted from the memories in your heart, those ones that sometimes keep you awake at night. Cause I know they do, Anabelle. I know they do.
This brilliant debut consists of a prose collection of fictional letters from a deceased 26-year-old Southern American named Jeremiah John Watts (JJ). The people JJ mentions in these letters have a parallel to the alienated and confused dreamers, addicts and lost souls found in the work of the likes of Denis Johnson and William Burroughs, but JJ’s larger-than-life sentimentality as his past leaks out of his heart and onto the page puts this collection in some new sphere of perception equally brilliant but entirely its own. Gradually, the letters tell a fractured tale of a life of mistakes, heartbreak, sickness, and regret, but also love, faith, hope and perseverance.
– Heath Brougher Author, A Curmudgeon is Born, and Your Noisy Eyes
About the Author
Philip Elliott was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1993 and quickly started scribbling nonsense. He’s the founder and editor-in-chief of Into the Void Magazine, and his own writing can be found in various journals in 9 countries, such as Otoliths, Scarlet Leaf Review, Foliate Oak, Revista Literariedad and Flash Fiction Magazine. He has a degree in Ancient Classics, likes to blur the boundaries between fiction’s many genres, and loves above all writing that is honest and heartfelt. Philip lives in Dublin, where he gets along better with his dogs than any humans, is finishing up work on a novella and much too many other projects, and is any combination of these things: fiction writer, poet, feminist, vegan, atheist, buddhist, minimalist, mindful meditator, wandering wonderer, punk rock fanatic & very loose cannon. Stalk him at philipelliottfiction.com.
Visit Philip’s Author Page At: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/philip-elliott.html
Free to Read on Kindle Unlimited At: www.amazon.com/dp/B06XJCG48J