Do you have an email address that’s private, little bro? If you receive this letter, send it to me. Mine is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter writing seems so hopeless. Every time I do this, I feel stupid. I can’t believe these missives ever reach you, since none of us ever hear anything back. It amazes me that Jane keeps this up the way she has. That’s the one thing she’s managed to communicate clearly to us, and insist upon: that I continue to write you letters.
What to say, what to tell you? What could a Tibetan Lama want to know about us? How about this: Griffin, the dog who lives in our household, has started sleeping on our younger daughter’s bed instead of on Lark’s, our older daughter’s bed. This has caused a bitter eruption of jealousy. When Lark is at her loveliest, no one in the world could be lovelier. When she’s not, look out.
This morning, when I got up early like I usually do, I heard a small noise in the girls’ room and peeked in. Chloe was awake for some reason, and standing at the foot of Lark’s bed. She was holding Griffin, who looked very sleepy; he had that expression of forbearance that he puts on when one of the girls treats him in a manner that challenges his dignity. He was lying on his side because Chloe was forcing him to, and she was pulling him this way and that on Lark’s quilt. When I gestured to Chloe to come out into the hall to explain what she was doing, she said that Griffin had left Lark’s bed once again and hopped onto hers in the middle of the night.
“If Lark finds out,” she said, “She’ll hurt me.”
Most parents would contradict this; but I wasn’t convinced Chloe was wrong. “So you’re rubbing Grif around so he’ll shed on her covers. Lark will think he slept with her.”
Chloe nodded, relieved I understood her logic. I helped her find a lint brush, and together we swept telltale dog hairs off her own bed.
An hour and a half later, I was taking a blood sample from the neck of a zombie. This is the way it goes around here.
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.