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  • Dear Hawkeye Pete,

    Man, your letter really kind of freaked me out – mostly in a good way, I guess. I’d just gotten back from that Neil Young concert at Yale – I’m sure you remember the one, where I met Neil while I was wandering around backstage after the concert, trying to sober up before driving back home, up I-91 from New Haven to Windsor. Typically for me these days, it was a night of great highlights, and not so great mishaps. Meeting Neil was unbelievably cool – just hanging out by the buffet, chatting about the concert, his music, and life – before security threw me out of there.

    But it didn’t sober me up enough, and I wound up getting Mom’s Valiant tangled up with that telephone pole in that bar parking lot, where I stopped to get directions to the highway. Caved in the entire back window and did some body damage, to boot.

    This was pretty much the last straw for Dad. He’s furious. Mom’s not too thrilled, either, but she always handles these things so much better than Dad does. But I can tell she’s really disappointed in me. That really sucks. If I only could have told them the truth about how it happened, not the lame story I made up about a truck hitting me in a parking garage.

    I am in such a world of trouble right now, you have no idea how much your letter came as a ray of hope. Of course, you know me – so self-critical, I’m also seeing it as further proof that I’m really going crazy. Who gets letters from their almost-60 year-old-self? Just crazy, fucking Pete, that’s who! But, it’s cool man, I did dig it. You sound like life got a hell of a lot better, eventually. That was good news. I just wish it would start getting that way sooner than later.

    Well, speaking of later, I’ll finish this later, as I am getting the fuck out of “Dodge”, and going to hitchhike up north to New Hampshire to see that pretty little Greek girl I’m dating, from Raymond. I met her on that Pilgrim Fellowship retreat up there in January, the one where Amy and I split up and each found someone else on the same weekend. Amy was great – first girl I ever slept with – and was such a free spirit, just what I needed after getting dumped by Martha. But, the way we both found other people at the same time was pretty cool. What a wild weekend that was! Even though I was already messing around with Leona, I got all jealous and furious when I saw her with Scott – like, who the hell was I to judge her? Then, it all made sense, and I just went with the flow. Well, I’ll finish this after I get back from seeing my love in New Hampshire…
  • (4 days later…) Oh, man, I got dumped again! This time was nothing like getting dumped by Martha – I’m still not really over that – it was just way more humiliating. I hitchhiked all the way up there, 5 hours in a driving blizzard, got in all frozen and nearly broke, and she’s all sad and crying and tells me her family won’t let her see me. Damn them! Damn her! She was totally different than she’d been that weekend. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Same thing happened with Martha – all in love with me and all on the retreat, then back to reality, and love goes out the window. How do they turn it on and off like that? Do I ever learn to do that? Man, I hope not.

    But, wait a minute, you said something about Martha still loving me, but not wanting romance to get in the way of her goals? Really? You must have found that out at some later time, from her. Wow, if nothing else, that made your letter really great to receive. Here, I always thought it was me, that I’d come on too strong, and scared her off. I guess that still could have been part of the problem, but at least it’s nice to know that she felt the same way about me – but made a different choice. You’re right – I think that makes me love her even more. She knows what she wants in life. Me? I have no freaking clue what I want. I just want to live it, you know? And right now, everything I touch seems to turn to crap. Nobody here can stand me, and I think I’m done with girls for awhile. I don’t think I could take another heartbreak. How long is it until I find my life love, that you mentioned? Hey, I guess I can wait.

    Hell, just the fact that your letter is evidence that I made it past 30 sounds like quite the life accomplishment, right there. The way things are going now, that’s pretty hard to see. Do I really join the Navy? What the hell am I thinking? I can only guess that I become really desperate to get out of the house, and that’s the only way I can do it. I actually don’t think I looked too bad in the sailor get up – I guess you could say I clean up well! That actually sounds like a real adventure. I’m beginning to warm up to that idea, even looking forward to it.

    Who knows, maybe getting this letter is what finally convinced me to go that way. Who knows? Up until reading that, and getting that idea, I hadn’t even really thought about it. If I told all my friends today that I would be in the Navy in a matter of months, no one would believe it. But then, you say, a lot of them turn their backs on me? All but one? I definitely know who that one is. I guess, despite it all, it is good to have real friends. Does he really die after he saves my life? Wait – what were we just talking about? I just went completely blank. Oh, never mind. None of this is real, anyway.

    Catch you later, Hawkeye or whoever the hell you are. Cy, if this is one of your pranks, some kind of an elaborate hoax – good job! You really had me going.

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