Letter to a Ghost is beautifully and soulfully written by Jess. Jess is a talented writer with a vision that takes her inside the psyche (a psyche at times tormented) and into the center of the mind of thoughts and emotions. Her writings often dive into a realm of darkness though somehow she ends up in a place that works. Somewhere between the hard knocks of life and that ever elusive perfection or Garden of Eden. I like Jess' honesty in her writing.
You can read more by Jess at her blog called; Insignificant, Yet Important: http://insignificantyetimportant.blogspot.com/
Letter to a Ghost
One day in June when I was fifteen, there was a knock at the door. I answered it and saw this strange man standing in front of me. You said hello to me and introduced yourself when you saw the confused look on my face. I didn't believe it was you, back after all these years to see me. You took Brother and I for pizza and talked on and on about the dogs you rescued and I talked on and on about how Mom was there. I was angry that you took in strange dogs and loved them when you didn't love me. I look like you and you were happy to mention it. I've always looked like your family and I've always hated it. I hated looking in the mirror and realizing all the differences in me, knowing who they came from. I looked like the odd one out because the person I resembled was the person who left. Brother and I didn't make an effort with you. We were angry that you abandoned us and you turned around and did it again because we didn't immediately embrace you in loving arms.
It wasn't until October of the year I was nineteen that I received a phone call telling me of your death. I wasn't sure on how to react. Apparently you had died in June and we were only just notified because of the lack of presence you had in our lives. At first I didn't know how to react, how to feel regarding this news. I mean, I barely knew you. You were just a name, a picture, nothing to me. You gave me much of my physical characteristics and many personality traits as I'm learning, but that's about it. You were just the other half that made up my genetic material. I felt nothing from your death and that's what worried me. I felt horrible I didn't care. I knew I should, you died and you were a part of me, but I just didn't care. Nothing in my world would change.
You were a drug addict, an alcoholic, an overall bad person. From the two years you were in my life, I still hold the evidence. I have the scars, the skull indentations, the lasting influences. Mother barely drinks and you drank like a fish. I'm starting to notice how much I enjoy drinking, how much I like the buzz. I'm afraid I'll turn into you. Most of the time I can push that thought out of my mind, but it likes to creep in time to time. I'm afraid I'll be a strung out loser like you and just blame my genes to give myself an easy scapegoat. Whenever I feel myself start to slowly slip into the downward spiral, I hear myself blaming you. It's too easy to blame genetics and childhood conditioning.
I don't know why I'm thinking of you. Although you are a part of me, you weren't a part of my life. But I feel like you made sure I would always remember. I look at the scar on my foot, the scar you caused, and think of you. You put a two year old on a motorcycle bare foot. I burnt my whole foot on the exhaust and instead of cleaning it, you put a sock on it. Do you remember, or were you too wasted? I feel the dents on the right side on my head and think of you. Do you remember how I got these perfect corners in my skull, or were you too stoned? I look at the few photos left of you and me together. Do you remember being happy with us, or were the drugs too important? Sometimes I'm glad you're gone, at least I wouldn't go through more abuse.