To read the hand written letter, click here: Jude Letter 4
Monday 5 March, 2012
I hope those eggs benedict were good. It’s the usual rabbit food around here, usually Weet-Bix or Cornflakes. On special occasions like birthdays we allow the kids to choose Coco Pops or Froot Loops.
After my last letter to you, I drove out to The Point to watch the storm roll in. I sat in the car with a bag of hot chips, just for old times’ sake.
The first time we went there was soon after you arrived here. You agreed to come out with me, and it must have sounded really lame, but you came anyway.
The park at the bottom of the hill at The Point had a playground (they’ve changed it now to make it ‘child safe’ – boring if you ask me) with swings and the spinning roundabout. We span around until we were almost sick. Your hair flared out like a comet’s tail, and I thought you didn’t like boys. Probably made me feel a whole lot more comfortable around you.
While I was recovering and trying not to throw up, you yelled from the swings, “Race you to the top.” With a quick grin, you took off towards the crest of The Point. Damn you were fast. I trailed you up the hill wondering how on earth a girl’s uniform never revealed her underwear when she ran. Marvels of fashion design.
Catching you at the top you stood there looking out to sea. You were still, as if you had not been running but simply appeared. The wind was running on shore and your eyes were looking out to the horizon.
The patchy clouds ran parallel to the whitecaps on the ocean below. You looked calm, almost serene. At The Point was where I think you found the greatest peace.
Another time we went up during a storm and watched the waves beat and hammer against the cliffs. There, in the centre of a storm, you were at peace. The wind and rain pushed and pulled you; the rain formed tears on your face that were not yours.
And you stood there resolute, at rest with yourself and the world around you. This is how I remember you. But it seems the storms have eroded your feet of clay, caused you to tumble into the whitewash.
One afternoon we were sitting in my room with the radio on, and Kate Bush’s song ‘Running Up That Hill’ came on. Another song to the soundtrack of our lives. I would have traded places with you, make any deal to see you safe. (Thank goodness for youtube to recreate the soundtrack).
I’ve gone on a musical odyssey, scrounging the internet for those songs we used to love. Do you remember Mr. Mister and ‘Broken Wings?’
By the time you left Piper’s I could have filled both sides of a cassette of all the songs significant to use many times over.
I sincerely hope you can find some closure while you’re in Brisbane. Perhaps there are things there that will help you stop running. May there be more answers than questions.
I don’t know what to offer you in the way of help. Please keep writing. You spoke of emotions to drown in, and it reminded me of a dream I had in the year after you left. It occurred sporadically over the years, but faded. I haven’t had it in years but its vividness is there. I can see it when I close my eyes.
In the dream I see you standing at the high tide mark in the dead of night. A storm flashes out on the horizon, a ball of clouds illuminated by the lightning. From your hand drops a ring. With a focused intensity you walked towards the wash. As your foot touches the froth of the whitewash, the waves erupt in a maelstrom yet you pursue your intended path. Into the waves you walk, moving quickly past your knees, waist, chest and finally your head is submerged, consumed by the malevolent beast that swallows you whole. The storm breaks overhead with a thunderous clap and lightning strikes the spot where you went under. The waves still like a lake; the gentle hiss of the whitewash the only sound.
In the dream I stand there waiting for you to emerge but you never do. I bury the ring in the sand only to dig it up and put it in my pocket.
I do not want you to drown. I am not giving up on you.
Always and ever,
P.S. the other day I was passing the St Vinnie’s op shop and chanced my way in on a whim. And look what I found – St Jude.
May the lost be found.