Friday, July 13, 2012

an oldie, but a goodie....

To the Mayor of Victimville Valley:
Enclosed please find the deed to my property.  My leaving probably comes as a shock to you for I have been a long-time resident of Victimville Valley.  An aquaintance of mine, Sympathy, led me here many years ago and I found it a very comfortable place to settle down.
Victimville Valley became a cozy place to hide far from the requirements of many a burdensome responsibility.  The city’s high wall, while not providing much of a view, protected me from looking back upon the ruins left behind by poor judgment.  Those abandoned eyesores were only reminders of paths I’d rather not have trod.
Over the years, the soil here has proven to be extremely fertile for the growth of my prized garden of blame.  As you may have heard, when my blame begins to bloom it gives off the sweet and satisfying aroma of justification.  Tending this garden kept my conscience fit and virtually guilt-free.  I have cultivated and enjoyed it for many seasons.  You may have even heard about the blue ribbons that line my mantle.  The Victimville Valley Fair judges certainly appreciate hard work and dedication to the task of assigning generous portions of blame for all to view.
The mountains that surround us have always provided a sense of solitude.  It is surprising to me that the population of our city has grown steadily over the years.   There is one thing that has puzzled me.  One would think that with so many new residents buying property daily someone would organize a welcoming committee or throw a party, but everyone seems to be content without socialization.  I can only think of one explanation for this: those who come to live here must be glad to leave the hurtful entaglements of intimate relationships behind.  From personal experience, I can tell you they probably have very good rationale for relocating to the valley.
It has become obvious to me, however, that my property lies across a faultline.  I’ve felt some minor shifting of the ground over the years but it did not prove to be very damaging.  In the past, I have been able to overlook the annoyance of this instability through the discipline of denial.  The vibrations have recently become more intense and severe cracks in the façade of my home are beginning to become evident.  The anxiety of future damage is too overwhelming to ignore any longer.
This constant state of upheaval appears to be taking its toll on the wall around our fair city as well.  The upkeep on the wall has become quite imposing on those of us who foot the bill.  At first I voted for the tax increases, but now it seems like we are fighting a losing battle.  It seems only a matter of time before the entire wall is diminished to rubble.  And in my estimation, the walls’ protection has begun to lose its value.  I received a wire from my friend, Duty, who lives on the mountainside.  She went on and on about how beneficial it is to undertake restoration projects that imporve the views around us rather than simply blind ourselves to them.  She said the work is hard, but that the rewards are quite good for one’s soul.  I believe she might be right.
To top it off, my garden also has become a source of irritation to me.  I steadily put more and more time into cultivating it but my enjoyment of the results has been greatly diminished.  The ground seems to have become depleted of the minerals that nourish my blame, for it is no longer producing the same sweet aroma as in years past.  And with tending my blame being such an exhausting task, it just doesn’t seem to be worth it any more.  I didn’t even get honorable mention at last year’s fair.  The competition for assigning blame has gotten pretty stiff these days.
It’s as if the very things that initially drew me to settle in Victimville Valley have now become the source of my displeasure.  The absence of personal ties leaves me without reason to stay in a place that brings neither joy nor tranquility.
Victimville Valley, as you may know, has not been a very prosperous place for me either.  There is an apathetic attitude towards commitment among those living here and I found it acceptable to flit around like a child from fancy to fancy never really finding anything that could satisfy me long enough to yield rewards.  My home and its contents are all I have to leave you.  Whatever you gain from the sale of my property please use to cover the liens that have been imposed.  I consider myself fortunate to get out of the valley without owing much more than I do.  If you get more than what is owed just apply it to the maintenance of the wall.
It’s ironic that the places I abandoned are now challenging me to return and I’m looking forward to appreciating the walls of Victimville Valley from outside its gates.  Feel free to come visit me on the mountainside anytime.  The hard work would be good for you, too.  I feel stronger already and I have only just begun to conquer those unsightly ruins.  If you ever see me near the entrance to Victimville Valley, it probably means I am lost.  If that happens, I would greatly appreciate being reminded of the reasons I left.
Very Truthfully Free,
Teri Hegi
P.S.  You may have noticed that on my deed my name is spelled with two r’s.  Don’t worry, I had it legally changed so the difference should cause you no trouble.  It may seem trivial to you, but I’ve grown tired of things that are redundant just for redundancy’s sake.  I’ve repeated far too many mistakes and now that I’ve learned from them I’m ready to move on.  This small change is symbollic of my new attitude toward life.  One r does the job just fine, there isn’t any need to repeat it.  I feel as though my new name also reflects perfect balance.  And having balance is very important in life, wouldn’t you agree?

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