Two packages arrived in the mailbox, both anonymous.
The first one, for me, was a fluffy yellow envelope from Atlanta
- and I knew the sender before I even saw the postmark- but I'd no idea
what it was.
Inside the bubble wrap envelope and wound in two merchant bags; one from
Michael's and the other from a Cost Plus, was a box with 12 perfect sticks
colored chalk... I opened them to find that every piece was intact from
the trip. They clicked together when I opened the box and withdrew one. I
was so pleased with this gift that I laughed and opened them quickly to
look inside... I was thrilled - I turned to show my gift to Stefanie but I
stopped as soon as I saw what was in her hand.
The second, for her, was a thin white envelope from Santa Ana
California - and I knew the contents as soon as I saw it - but I've no
idea who keeps sending them. I recognized it when I saw the envelope and I
would have thrown it away if only I'd gotten the mail when I got home from
work. I hadn't, and she was frozen, standing there with the top ripped off
it and the newspaper clipping peeping from the jagged tear. These things
hurt me; but they were aimed at her. She had known what was inside too and
I could see that it had already done its job.
"Give me that." I said and reached forward, trying to rip it
from her hand.
She twisted around and grabbed just the clipping out of the envelope. I held the envelope and stared at it, empty in my hand. "You know what it is, so don't
look at it, they're only trying to hurt you." I tried to get the
article again but she'd started unfolding it - a full-page newspaper add
for a weight-loss program. In the margin were the handwritten words:
"Try this, it works!"
Someone has been sending these fucking things for at least three years
now and it truly disturbs me. I don't know who it is or why they send these
- fucking newspaper cutouts. Somehow I feel that it's my
bad Karma somehow whipping back on her rather than me - because that always
hurts me more to hurt someone I love than to hurt me. I can’t imagine who
dislikes her so much - she doesn’t deserve this.
We tried to talk about it for a while but as I became angry about it I
wanted her to get angry about it too. I needed her to be angry rather than
hurt - it was easier. I can deal with anger.
She told me that I didn't understand what it was like at all, didn't
understand what she went through before she stopped eating for a year -
she was frighteningly thin and I still cringe when I see pictures of that
Whoever sent them knew her well enough to cut
her right to the quick.
I hated this person... these people... whoever the fuck she/they are. I
kept telling her that it wasn't about how she looks - because she looks
great - it wasn't about anything real at all. It was about them - it was their
issue, not hers.
“If you could be hurt over something to do with religion, or on being
gay or straight or whatever - they would send something about it.” I stood
and paced madly. “Don’t you
see, it doesn’t matter what it is! They’re just trying to hurt you - it
wouldn't matter if you were a size one, as long as they believe it
hurts you - they’ll send them.. It’s not about you! It’s about them.
Don’t base your self image on what they think or send!“
I tried to make her see my perspective on it - and I argued for a
while. I tried to reason and make sense of it; but everything I said simply
isolated her from me. I was trying to see this person as a sick individual
who had some serious issues and I missed the mark completely.
She shrieked at me to just shut up - please!
Her anger made my words useless and petty. When she started crying I fell
silent. She sat in her swivel chair and I knelt down and wrapped my arms
around her waist, touching my head to her shoulder.
“They don’t know you, Stef.” I felt her cool arm against my face.
“I’m sorry. I just wanted to make you as mad as I was; I thought that
maybe-” I stopped, realizing I was going into my speech again. “I’m
sorry that I don’t see this the way you do. I love you. I want to hurt the
person that did this, I want to see them bleed.”
The fact remained that, no matter what was sent, she was hurt and I just
needed to be there. I was throwing around useless proverbs when all she
needed was to be held and told that she was beautiful - because THAT was
true and tangible, not some ethereal babblings about sociopaths and
self-esteem. I held her while she cried and I hated them more for making
Later, I went back downstairs and looked at the two packages sitting on
my desk and was filled with total conflict. Two gifts from opposite coasts
with opposite meanings. My feelings were a sine wave: hate, joy,
I set the chalk on top of the folded paper - hoping that the perfect
gift, sent of friendship, would somehow negate the
hateful feelings of the other- and went to bed.