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the poetry audio CD set“HopeChest in the Attic”
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Hope Chest In The Attic
13 Years of Poetry & Prose
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Janet Kuypers - Etc
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of Janet Kuypers reading her prose a Letter live 9/17/15 at Story Teller Night at Roots Room in Chicago (filmed with a Canon fs200 video camera)
video videonot yet rated

See YouTube video
of Janet Kuypers reading her prose a Letter live 9/17/15 at Story Teller Night at Roots Room in Chicago (filmed with a Canon PowerShot camera)

A Letter

I was looking through some old photographs of mine the other night, and I came across a photo of you. A snapshot, by the pool in Florida. Years ago. Those were the days when you thought you were cool, when another gang broke your ribs, when the cops chased you down the street for trying to steal a car. They caught you because you slipped in your two hundred dollar boots. You had to sell your stereo to pay your lawyer.
And things do change. You wanted to go back to school, you worked full time, you kept away from the drugs. And your back hurt all the time, you felt too old, you wanted to start over again. I still remember that photograph. I was dating you then, but you never told me you had another girlfriend. She wrote me a month later, telling me you were engaged.

It’s funny to see that I lasted longer than her, that I still have a hold over you.

Did you ever give her an engagement ring? Was it an emerald, too?

I remember once, in the hall, after you took a drag from your cigarette, leaned over the pool table and made your shot, you told me that you would do anything for me. I asked if you’d give me the diamond earring in your ear. You remember the one, the one a married thirty-five year old woman gave you when you were sleeping with her. Yeah, that one. And you told me that if I needed it, you’d sell it and give me the money.
Christ, the pool table, and the pool cue that was your grandfather’s that you got after he died. You loved him, and he wasn’t even related to you, your step mother’s dad. But you never liked your family. You never liked anyone, unless it was convenient. You never liked anyone, unless you weren’t alone.

Someone told me last spring that they heard you say, “Have you ever decided that you wanted something so much, but you knew you could never have it?”
They thought you were talking about me. I think you were, too.

Yes, it was nice to see a change, it was nice to see you sitting in the mornings with your coffee and your cigarette drawing in your book, creating. You have potential, you’ve got a genius inside you that’s been beaten up by too many gangs, screamed at too many times by your family, hardened by too many pains, hurt by too many insane nights.
You once knew a pharmacist, one who liked to steal stuff and mix it with anything else he could find. You befriended him quickly. You think I don’t know these things, but I do. You think I don’t know you, but I do.

You used to always tell me I was the only person that knew you. You wanted someone to talk to, and you wanted it to be me. And then we’d argue, and you’d get defensive, and the first thing out of your mouth would be, “You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me.”
Don’t try to separate yourself from me. You can’t do it.

It’s not love. You should know that by now. It’s two people, from two different countries, from two different worlds, who can read each other’s minds.

Less than a week after you stormed out of the bar, someone came up to me and asked, “Why are you still wearing his emerald ring?”.
I shouldn’t have to explain. They might not understand, but you do.

When you stormed out of the bar a few months ago, I didn’t think you were leaving town. But you were gone. Damn, you’re such a hot head. But I know you. A few months will pass, maybe a year, and you will call again. You will say you want to be friends. But it’s more than that.
It’s like we’re connected. It just feels different when we’re in the same room together.

And when you can’t stand it anymore, when you need that feeling again, you’ll call.

Copyright Janet Kuypers.
All rights reserved. No material
may be reprinted without express permission.

the book Hope Chest In The Attic