I received a letter in the mail, which wouldn’t be a big deal if I still received letters in the mail. Well, maybe it doesn’t really qualify as a letter because there was only the lone photo. That photo, printed on a standard sheet of printer paper, folded haphazardly. I guess everyone knows now. He wouldn’t have sent it if he didn’t know. I bet Trish mentioned it. I mean who else would have? Not mom. She wants nothing to do with him. That motherfucker’s taken enough from her to fill an entire lifetime. Not a moment to spare on his little mind games. Which leaves me. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I hadn’t gotten into that car. This is for me to bear, to carry until my knees buckle, and even then, there’s no going back. This broken body is what I’m left with, it’s punishment. I can’t just move on like everyone else. There’s no moving on. I’m sorry I crashed the car. I really am. It was your pride and joy. I’m not asking him to care. I just wish the first words were, “Are you okay, son?” rather than nothing, rather than this photo, which stares back at me, stings long after I throw it away.
Michael J Seidlinger is an Asian American author of a number of novels including My Pet Serial Killer, The Fun We’ve Had and The Strangest. He serves as the social media editor at Electric Literature and publisher-in-chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in innovative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he never sleeps and is forever searching for the next best cup of coffee. You can find him online at michaeljseidlinger.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@mjseidlinger).