March 14, 2002

Dear Sara,

Wish I could send a happy report. Alas, Matilda has been diagnosed with terminal kidney failure, untreatable (after $500 of tests). I stormed into the vet hospital today and with grief eking from every poor, told them to hand over my ferret and under no circumstances would there be any "youth-in-asia" going on in that grim, autopsy atmosphere. (I hate that fucking word.) A hot-headed Germanic/Dutch girl like you would have appreciated my ire. I was pissed when they made me wait and wait and then were like, "Well, are you in some kind of hurry?" I silenced the whole friggen waiting room with an impassioned rant about grief, fuck the bill, give me my animal, no I will not let her suffer, I will take care of it/her. "It" being what now awaits me. She's surprisingly perky now, which makes it harder still. But at the first signs of pain and suffering, Matilda and I are gonna enjoy a nice Demoral high together as I gently rock her to sleep once and for all.

Whatta fucked up world. She's not even one-year old.

A coupla abandoned broken TV's on my block are gonna suffer a brutal baseball bat death over this one. I've already riddled my walls with silver-dollar sized divots from my machete.

Oh, Sara. No cloud has ever shed so many tears.

I am broken, but I am surprisingly resilient at the same time. I drive Duke around this town as though he were a tiny Kharman Ghia. I drive fast and hard over pothole-riddled streets, hell bent, irreverent, mad as a hatter and fearless, absolutely fearless. And the city loves me. The fratboys and sorority girls amassed on party weekend days behind Tulane U. send up wild cheers every time I pass. And if I'm feeling blue, I need only take Duke on a stroll through the Vieux Carre, down Bourbon Street where everyday is a celebration. The reception is grand without fail.

I am ill, I know. But I will beat this illness of mind and rise to great heights, and in time I will walk this Earth with the comfortable confidence of a gentle giant.

Sara, I wish you only the best. Keep your heart free and your life full of passion. Love, be loved, be everything you want to be. For we are weak, and our time is shorter than we think. Kidney's fail. Plane's crash. Buildings crumble to dust. Dive in now, don't wait. Suck deep of the marrow of life, as Thoreau said.

On that note, I will say goodnight, having said enough.

RSM, the Duke of New Orleans

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