February 24, 2005

I'm Still Hoping for a Miracle

This is another peek into the world of Jean, Irene, and Eric that I mentioned below. Sadly, Fluffles does not make an appearance in this document. It's a letter from Irene to Jean, and it is quite long. But the extensive examinations of Barbara Boxer's courage, the Israel/Palestine ceasefire, tabouleh salad, the price, quality, and availability of bulk bulghar, the way to handle strife in the workplace, and the challenges of mailing an envelope when you don't have enough time to stand in line at the post office, are an important part of the over-powering ordinariness that gives this found letter its subtle charm. And yet, on the other hand, there is certainly something rather extraordinary about Irene, who is apparently a grown woman whose thoroughly unironic passion for Disney, Sanrio, Valentine stickers, and Kogipan stationary is matched only by her dreams of social justice and hopes for a robust Peace Movement. And you gotta love how she manages to count her blessings and get back in the game, even while facing the abyss, right at the very end.

The tale of how tragedy struck at the Long's Mailing Center is the key element here. Irene certainly has documented the affair with exhaustive detail and precision. Over at the left hand margin of the second page, she has even provided a diagram of the crime scene:


Hinting at a tantalizing, ultimately unknowable backstory, the letter was torn in half while still in the envelope, apparently unread - that is, the envelope does not appear to have been opened, though it's possible that it was opened carefully and the flap's adhesive re-adhered.

It is written on both sides of a piece of Cinnamoroll stationary. I think it's important to have the image of the Sanrio stationary in mind while reading the letter, so here's a picture of it. Italics represent underlining.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Feb. 12 2005

Dear Jean,

Thank you for the New Year card & good wishes. Right now I'm listening to a radio program "Experiencing War, More than Love Stories." Stories of caring, tragedy, healing. The other day Sen. Barbara Boxer was interviewed on Fresh Air. I really admire her courage in the way she questioned C. Rice about tough issues concerning mistreatment of prisoners & the mistakes about going to war. The most hopeful news is the recent cease fire agreement between the Israelis & the Palestinians. If the peace movement gains momentum, there could be a bright future for the whole region.

I was re-reading your card this evening & hope the meeting with your boss went okay. You're one of the best employees an organization could hope for & I hope your job stays enjoyable & that you have good coworkers. If you ever have a problem with anyone I hope you can avoid a mistake I made by ignoring it and just concentrating on my work. Meanwhile the one causing trouble had regular meetings with the mgr & tried to make me look bad. If I had to do it over, I'd have spoken up for myself & made the mgr aware of the situation early on. But if [business acronym] is observant, they can't help but notice how valuable and organized you are and that any dept. would be improved if they had you there!

Do you like tabouleh (sp) salad? Eric calls it "energy salad" because he feels energized after eating it. On the Cosentino's on Bascom carries bulghar in bulk & the Cosentinos closer to us said they're having a hard time ordering it and keeping it on the shelves. "As soon as we put them on the shelf, we're sold out!" Bob's Red Mill grains are really good quality, but expensive. I tried his brand of bulghar & it has a good texture, but usually buy it in bulk. When in Stockton, Mom & I go to WINCO, a non membership store with GREAT prices. I usually stock up on bird seed & bulk food, orange juice etc. there. Wish there were one in San Jose.

Now - this hectic, ever changing schedule finally caught up with me. Last Mon Feb 7 I had to weigh an envelope plus get it in the mail & make some copies, so I went to the nearby Longs. I set my clear file/letter case on copier #1 ("out of order") while I made copies & then weighed one envelope on the scale, about 2 yards away. (The Mailing Center is right behind the copiers) Usually I'd just go to the Post Office, but I was already late to pick up Eric who gets off at 4:30. I left around 4:45, dropped off the letter at the P.O. (& didn't have to stand in line because I already weighed my envelope). I picked up Eric then we went to the library & to the grocery store. Early the next morning I was going to put a stamp on an envelope when I couldn't find my letter case. (It's a clear plastic case with red handles.) Then my heart sank when I realized I must have left it at Longs because I only mailed ONE letter & had several in my letter case. If my letter case was with me it would've been on the passenger seat of the car & I would've SEEN the other letters.

At 7 AM I went to Longs, spoke with the mgr. but he checked all over and no one had turned it in. He said it might take a subpoena to be able to review the security camera film even though there's a camera facing the entrance by the copiers. I called several times, went to make out a police report but the officer didn't offer much hope. In addition to personal correspondence, most (95%) of my collection of commemorative DISNEY, NEW YEAR etc. stamps, plus receipts and medical papers were in the blue folder. Eric & the mgr thought surely someone would return it, but I have the feeling the STAMPS and Kogipan stationary and Valentine stickers probably tempted a younger person to steal it since Longs stays open til midnight. My friend parked her jacket down for just a minute & someone stole it from her shopping cart! I'm still hoping for a miracle but feel it's a bitter lesson to be more careful. Whatever happened to HONESTY and DECENCY. Oh well, I'm thankful for what I still have! Please take care. Love, Irene

Posted by Dr. Frank at February 24, 2005 04:12 PM | TrackBack