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Dear Mini Me,
You are undoubtedly feeling a lot better now that third grade is over, and you have escaped from that wench of a teacher. Your school system is messed up, and half the things they said about you are not true. I still get a bit angry when I think about what that guidance councilor said to you. You know that you had to see the school councilor because your anxious, your too sensitive, and most unfortunately you really don't like yourself right now. That bitch (we both know she deserves that word) had no right to say that no one liked you because you were mean to other people. It's not true at all, and the fact that she even suggested it means that she is totally incompetent. Just like the nurse who thought you were faking when you broke your ankle, and the teacher who called you stupid.
I'm not going to lie, the next few years are going to be really tough on you. But you will get though them, and you will come out of them stronger and in many ways better then you came in. If I could make a second point obvious, it's not you it's them. I know it's hard to believe but once you are out of your home town you will make friends easily. Think back to a few months ago when you announced on the bus that you don't believe in violence, and the kids around you just didn't get it. They made fun of you and said that violence exists, and went on to talk about fights they had been in.
This should be a sign of what the real problem is. Your smarter then a lot of these people and far more mature. I know you had a lot of problems this year you can't spell, your terrible at math, and your penmanship is so bad that the teacher never let you pass the pen test. Believe me I know. But pretty soon you will figure out that there are many different types of intelligence. Also despite what everyone tells you after middle school everyone lets you use calculators, write in print instead of cursive, no one makes you hand in things that are hand written.
I want you to know that your a lot tougher then you think. You go through a lot of shit, and you will have your low points, but you always get through it. I'm not going to impart any big warning for the future, you need to know that you will get through them without my advice.
Hang in there, you will get though this. While school will be pretty bad for a while your summer will continue to get more awesome. Summers will usually give you enough happy memory and something to look forward to so that you can get through the year. Well actually you end up loveing college, but this is really not the point.
Your Aunt Barb died recently, and you've spent hours trying to conjure the tears that are supposed to come naturally when a family member dies. Your aunt was cool, or so we assume from the little we saw of her. She used to drum on tin cans at Christmas gatherings and encourage you to join her, much to the dismay of other relatives. If you could actually read this, my main piece of advice right now would probably be encouraging you to go ahead and drum. Stop worrying that you're doing it right. Just assume that there isn't a "right" way to do things and do them how you think you should.
Barb's house still exists faintly in my memory. There was wood siding, something reminiscent of high ceilings (though they may have actually been normal height), lots of clutter from her 4 kids, and an extremely noisy washing machine that galloped its way across the laundry room and tried to unplug itself when left unattended. Barb had a warm presence to her that counteracted the meddlesome attempts your cousins made to get you to socialize. When they tried convincing you that the boogie man lived in the shed and sent Jamie in to rattle around and stalk out after you in the dark, Barb reminded you that the boogie man was probably less scary than most random people you meet on the street, and considerably less likely to be a serial killer. But that was when you were 5 or 6.
More recently, relatives from dad's family came to the campground where you, your brother, and your parents were staying to inform your mother of her sister's death. You were fishing with your dad and mom had just brought lunch, and you tried to sympathize when mom started crying. But after all, Barb was just a human. Dying is what humans are best at.
You cried at the funeral in hopes of seeming more caring. Just when it started to seem like a hopeless sham, relatives swooped in to console you and make you the center of their tearful little galaxy. Throughout the funeral home, there were a dozen galaxies of sad people being consoled by other sad people. You wondered how many of them were faking it for the attention.
When Dale died, you cried at the injustice of it and for what your life would be like while your father mourned. Dale didn't molest his grandchildren, and everyone, including their falsely accusatory stepmother, knew it. But just the accusation and legal clusterfuck that followed were enough to inspire him to set his brains free from the confines of a skull.
You want to know how he did it, what it looked like on the floor, how the blood contributed to his home decor. I'd still like to know that myself. Looking at the body during the funeral, you were disappointed to see that his skull had been reconstructed and didn't offer any insight.
You were creating some strange crafts as gifts for old classmates and asked your oldest brother what shapes you should make them into. When he replied 'dead people', you pretended to be upset by the suggestion while secretly planning out the different shapes in your mind. Since dead people, for most practical purposes, look like living people, you decided that you'd have to make dying people.
You know, you really should be less focused on other people's lives and deaths and more concerned about your own development. Read more, write more, try and make 4th grade worth more than a few silly crushes and a cheesy creative writing project or two. When your music teacher tells you that you're too young to play the piano, tell her to eat shit.