Open Letter: I’d Like to Apologize to a Few People, by Kirsten Larson

Editor Matty Byloos, Letters, June 26th, 2014

But you didn’t have to choke me. That was over the top.

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I’d like to apologize to Connie Bozinski, nee Patzkowsky. I stole the little carved animal with the foxy pointed face and a body made out of mink fur from your bedroom in 5th grade. You had so much: all of those stuffed animals, books, a matching Swiss-Miss bedroom set, the huge house, two parents. I just thought I could love and care for it more than you would. I know it bothered you when I said you acted like Nelly Olsen from Little House on the Prairie, but you did. That, I am not sorry for. You said, “Isn’t that funny that your mom works at the bank all day but is really a honkey-tonk bar fly?” You said that I didn’t smell good and to take a bath using soap. You said we “lived in a barn” when you knew they were apartments.

I want you to know that I still have that little animal. If you care.

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I’d like to apologize to you, Dan Shmidts, for the time I put gum in your hair in 9th grade when I was seated behind you in the bleachers at the basketball game. I have felt bad about it ever since. I don’t know what I was thinking, other than nothing was more important than making my friends laugh. I’ve looked for you on Facebook. Sometimes I send you good vibes. Can you feel them? I wish for you (by visualization) a nice long marriage, and children who love you. I picture you doing things like driving your family around Barron Lake in a speedboat on a warm, humid, Michigan summer day, your full head of hair blowing to and fro. I hope that you have forgotten about a long ago incident of unkindness at the hands of a show-off. I feel bad for making fun of your speech impediment as well, like when I said “Hi Dan Schmitschs,” with extra spit in my cheeks. That was uncalled for.

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Jimmy H, I am so sorry for kissing that guy when you were in jail. I really did love you, I think. I was young and I have to say, the hormones were raging. We were at a party, all of us, so free and wild, it was the warmest of summer nights, we had done mescaline, I believe, and there was free beer, and music, and boys. We were beautiful. I just loved everyone. He smelled sweet and peppery like young men do, and well, I did think of you briefly, sitting there in the Berrien County Jail. I thought, “Jimmy will never know,” but your skank friend narced me out and the rest is history. But you didn’t have to choke me. That was over the top. So was the time you gave me stiches. That would never fly these days; you’d be in jail – again! Ha ha. Please forgive me though. I didn’t know you’d take it so hard.

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Gramma, I still don’t know exactly what I did, but I’m sure it was something. I was 17, and there was all sorts of mischief going on. You called and said something like, “I know about you and what you’ve done, I am so disappointed in you,” and hung up. But it was your tone, Grandmother, which really hurt. Anyway, since you didn’t specify, I assume mom told you whatever disappointed you, and here is a list of what she knew about: I am sorry for sleeping with all of those boys, I’ve explained above. Sorry for the times I was an accidental Lesbian. Sorry for taking the $50 from my second cousin’s stockings at Christmas when we went to stay with them in Cheboygan; they all got Chevy Cobras and were bitches to me, and I think I stole a bottle of vodka then too – sorry about that. Sorry for taking money out of mom’s purse, and for “borrowing” her car all of those times. I am sorry for stealing alcohol repeatedly from the Perry Street Party store, and for collecting from the customers on my brother’s paper route to buy a keg for that one party. Before you died, you said that I was a good mother. Thank you for that, Gramma. I like knowing you didn’t think of me as a complete fuckup.

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I’d like to apologize to you, Debbie Walker, for stealing your husband while you were dying of a disease. It was such a bad habit of mine. I know I said before that I wasn’t the one who cheated, that I was single and he was married, but I know better now. It was wrong of me – completely wrong. I was thinking only of myself. If I could talk to you, I would tell you that I got what I deserved on that one. He just couldn’t say no to his mother’s meddling. I know you felt the same way about her. I thought I’d die of loneliness being with him, all of that time in front of the TV and no words. My aunt called him The Doorknob. I thought you might like that one. I only married [Dick] because I promised you that I would take care of your son. I loved your boy the best that I could. I had dinner with him a few years ago. He’d just fallen in love for the first time. He loves music. He seems earnest and curious. In short – he is nothing like his father, you’d be glad to know. I just couldn’t stay any longer than I did, I was dying. Dick was mean to my son. I stayed for years past when I wanted to leave. I agonized. Your boy is fine. Know that he is really, really, fine.

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I’d like to apologize to all of the people at the Oregon State vs. Oregon football game some years back.  I just could not have cared less about Beavers or Ducks. “Rodent vs fowl,” I announced with my hands in a makeshift bullhorn to anyone who would listen. I did, however, care to keep drinking, and there was an endless supply in the parking lot. Basically, I continued to have my own personal tailgate party while everyone else was in the stadium, watching the game. As I stumbled around the dark, empty parking lot, I apparently became annoyed by all of the ‘Save Our Troops’ bumper stickers, and so I removed them and put them in my purse. My own type of anti-war protest, I guess. I didn’t remember this until the next day when I opened my purse and saw over 100 of these dirty stickers. “What the fuck!” is what I thought, “Who put these in my purse?” Then I remembered it was me, and rammed them deep into the kitchen trash before my husband could see. Anyway, I’m sorry about your stickers.

 

Please forgive me; it’s just who I am.

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kirsten larsonKirsten Larson lives and writes near Portland, Oregon. She studies writing both at Antioch University as an MFA student, and in Tom Spanbauer’s basement as Pond Scum for the Dangerous Writers. She loves to read and ride her bike.

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Matty Byloos

Matty Byloos is Co-Publisher and a Contributing Editor for NAILED. He was born 7 days after his older twin brother, Kevin Byloos. He is the author of 2 books, including the novel in stories, ROPE ('14 SDP), and the collection of short stories, Don't Smell the Floss ('09 Write Bloody Books).