Letters, Thunder, and a Pearl for Coco

Saturday, August 16th, 2003 | Family, Travel

Well… my parents, who recently officially retired, and who are great organizers (read “ones who need to toss out their children’s childhood beloved sentimental detritus from time to time to satisfy their need for order and space”) have unearthed letters written by their children to them over the past 30 years or so, and are in the process of archiving and organizing the letters into a chronological narrative of our family history, as seen from the perspective of the kids.

The few gems of mine brought down as samples include my coming out letter (“I am a homosexual”), a 5,000 word essay on my summer at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts and travels around China, and a letter written shortly after graduating from the SF Art Institute, full of despair and manipulation (I had put myself through one of the most expensive art schools in the country and was apparently very resentful, hostile even, of their lack of support). The letters are so cocky and confident, and written in a florid style that I’d find hard to emulate today, but fun to read, especially my adventures in China, extensively detailed and illuminated.

Tampa is called “The Lightning Capital of the World.” Yesterday evening we watched lightning for hours, the west coast siblings thrilled by actual weather (we don’t have it in San Francisco). Our screams competed with the lightning and claps of thunder, we were so excited, like watching 4th of July fireworks.

Tonight we celebrate Sue’s 50th birthday, the second eldest. I’m on the edge of tears all the time here. I love my sisters and brothers so much, I don’t want us to ever be without each other. They’re what I want to be and what I’m not, my aspirations and envy contained neatly in 6 dynamic and fun-filled packages–Carol, Sue, Diane, June, Paul and Mark.

The pearl that I found in one of my oysters yesterday….

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