Features, The Written Word

Letter From An Army Jacket

0 Comments 12 June 2015

Dear Editors of the Shade,

It has been a while since I have made a submission, but I found something today that I think should be shared among the editorial staff.

I was looking at a camouflage jacket that I have in my possession. A few years ago,I stole it from a twenty-something named Pikul. He did some shady body work on my girlfriend’s car after I sheered off the passenger side mirror trying to avoid a shadow late one Saturday evening. I didn’t trust the kid, but needed the work done cheaply and quietly. I gave him my business but I stole his jacket as some kind of moral collateral.

I wore the jacket to one campfire and then forgot about it in a heap of life’s detritus. I was going to bring it down to the thrift shop today and here is what I found in the pocket while cleaning it out:

boyce letter

I saw you made the police report Saturday night. I hope that cop had an ear for detail and got it correctly when he quoted you as saying “fuck you” to both the police and citizenry of Watertown – well done.

While some people look down on run-ins with the law, I never understood the stigma. I say if your not running a line between getting put in cuffs and just having a good time than you’re just standing still while the world moves away and around you.

It’s what gets good people in lockup overnight. And ultimately it’s the poets job.

*In a way you were doing your job, and they did theirs. No one right, no one wrong, and both parties get to feel accomplished – if the “fuck yous” were warranted (and they always are) don’t regret.

The revolution is coming – keep adding to the spirit.

[M. Henault]

The letter, like so many, went unsent and sat forgotten. But I think I made good on its purpose. I folded it back up and placed it in the pocket of Pikul’s jacket. I didn’t bring it down to the thrift shop though. I drove by Pikuls old house, where he did the work on my car, and threw it onto the lawn. I’m not sure if he still lives there, but I don’t think it really matters.

- who has written 510 posts on The Shade.


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