For This Relief, Much Thanks

Worried, even certain, will die on upcoming Peru trip — card-carrying hypochondriac — so jotting down some instructions for you. Here goes.

First thing, ms. on ugly brown reclining chair in study, containing, near end, these very instructions — card-carrying metafictionist — requires thorough proofreading before sending out. Aim high initially, as I am of opinion this one may deserve proper publication by proper house, proper distribution to brick-and-mortars, etc., unlike first two. Hopeful royalties, if any, suffice to cover boy’s dental care in upcoming years. Good boy, as you know, deserving of straight teeth. Maybe royalties enough to cover Little League uniforms/dues, though doubtful. Sorry couldn’t afford term life with smoking, unemployment, etc. Baseball equipment stuff way cheaper on Amazon. Try to find ways to make it work. Boy already knows how to be broke. Dentist is one next to Pro’s Ranch, only Spanish spoken there so have him keep moving ahead on his Duolingo app.

Dog fed one scoop twice per day, whatever’s on sale at Walmart. See daily to her water bowl by fridge. Don’t let her run free until after dark else dick neighbor phones dogcatcher. Forget her shots, it’s a racket, plus she’s already pushing 100. If/when suffering, put her down, have boy help dig grave. Teachable moment, recall, as it was for me. I know you’re not a dog person but if possible please pet her if only a couple times per day as boy won’t guaranteed.

Swamp cooler motor dying shortly. Consider dishing out extra $ for 1 HP this time. Kenny, exterminator, leaves envelope on front door twice monthly. Not cheap but must continue otherwise scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, even occasional snake/tarantula will get in house.

Sorry to say still bare concrete on bathroom floor. She’s crammed all necessary materials/tools in corner of bedroom closet if you want to give it a go. Otherwise just live with it or grab a guy out front of Home Depot who says he knows how. Use boy to translate.

Torn bedroom blinds, your call.

If boy gets sick, breaks arm, etc., do not ever take him to hospital or doc-in-the-box but instead go to sliding-scale indigent clinic on I-25, nurse-practitioner there, Lauri, been seeing him since birth. Pack lunches are pb&j on multi-grain, couple carrot sticks, couple broccoli florets, tortilla chips if available, wedges from half an orange, Great Value-brand red sugar-free fruit gel cup for dessert. Ensure water bottle has tons of ice else he’ll blow a gasket. Ensure lunchbox placed in backpack before leaving house. If while at Walmart for groceries he starts asking for stuff, Legos, baseball cards, etc., yell at him really loud and he’ll stop. Usually good about getting his homework done but if given his druthers stays up until 2 reading in bed then always cranky next morning. In bed 8:30, lights out 10. Bedtime origami/drawing fine on weekends but always reading on weeknights. Please check to ensure he’s reading age-appropriate books. Requires glass of ice water to read, song and back rub to sleep.

See to daily moisturizing of his eczematous knuckles with stuff from nightstand drawer.

Only solution to flooding in driveway is cut maybe 2’ x 2’ section of concrete in northeast corner with DeWalt edge grinder. Use pole shovel digger thing to dig hole maybe 5 feet deep, fill hole to top with large rocks, cover with metal grate.

Number of completed or nearly completed books as well as stuff I don’t want you or him or anyone else to ever see on password-protected hard drive connected to MacBook Pro on ugly brown reclining chair in study. Please burn. Hard drive I mean, though chair fine too. Give MacBook to boy, noting recent installation of Minecraft and iStopMotion software. Parental controls already engaged.

Always extreme difficulty showing you affection, revealing love to you, why I never knew. The thought that he might one day treat me as coldly as I have treated you, always on my mind, very painful. Could not overcome some resistance, why I never knew.

Roof needs repair before monsoons. Sweep first, then hit visible cracks with brushes applying buckets of black stuff on garage workbench. Use paint roller with extension stick to twice coat roof with buckets of white stuff. Do not let boy on roof.

Icemaker goes down again afraid it’s back to ice trays for you two.

No funeral. If must, BBQ at pirate park. Veggie kabobs, etc. Cremation. If ashes need dispersing try Aguirre Springs on east side of mountains, spot boy and I often hiked, he knows where.

Every window in house won’t stay open ergo Campbell’s cans on sills. If using can to prop window in boy’s room, announce presence of can banning his touching of it else falling window will, say this verbatim, chop off all his fingers.

Has your genes, will get fat if not careful. Please make him walk around block if nothing else. Encourage him to take dog. Good luck with that. Please no soda or juice, water/fizz only. Candy/dessert only for Sunday Splurge, cannot emphasize highly enough. Patience will be required for his vegetarianism. It means a lot to him. He convinced me, maybe he will convince you.

All books in study, with two exceptions, go to that other son of yours, with caveat he let his nephew have his pick when time is right. Boy gets two books for now, on ugly brown reclining chair next to ms. and laptop, one with no dj, black boards, my chicken scratch on every page, second book same as first but brand new.

Assuming other two died with me which is why so much on boy. If others survived, ignore all herein, though she will need your help. Visit more. She loves you. Please help her for she will be crazed. If she’s gone too but not the other, your hands are very full and you will have some soul-searching to do. Certain things in ms. on ugly brown reclining chair may help, ways I’ve tried to deal. Likely not though. Mostly bullshit in there.

You get boy. Hoping this binds. No living will.

For this relief, Dad, much thanks. I love you.


"It’s this life I want, this valley / between the hills and high places"

Dear Dorothy