Jones is such a strange case-goddammit, if we only could be sure what had gone on in that classroom after that Decker individual had the shades pulled down!
Diagnosis hasn’t changed. Flat-line catatonic state w /some signs of deterioration.
I might as well admit to you up front, Rich, that I am not as hopeful for this boy as I once was.
November 3, 1976
December 5, 1976
They tell me you can have mail now, so I thought I would drop you a line. Maybe you noticed this is postmarked Boston-your old buddy finally made the Big Time, and I’m taking sixteen hours here at B.U.
(that stands for Bullshit Unlimited). It’s all pretty slushy except for my English class. The instructor assigned us a book called The Postman Always Rings Twice that was really good, and I got an A on the exam. It’s by James Cain, did you ever read it? I’m thinking about majoring in English, how’s that for a laugh? Must be your influence. And you were always the brains of the combination.
I saw your mom just before I left Placerville, and she said you were just about all healed up and the last of the drains were out three weeks ago. I was sure glad to hear it. She said you aren’t talking much. That doesn’t sound like you, skinner. It would sure be a loss to the world if you clammed up and just scrunched in a comer all day.
Although I haven’t been home since the semester started, Sandy Cross wrote me a letter with a lot of news about all the people at home. (Will the bastards censor this part? I bet they read all your mail.) Sandy herself decided not to go to college this year. She’s just sort of hanging around, waiting for something to happen, I guess. I might as well tell you that I dated her a couple of times last summer, but she just seemed kind of distant. She asked me to say “hi” to you, so “hi” from Sandy.
Maybe you know what happened to Pig Pen, no one in town can believe it, about him and Dick Keene
[following has been censored as possibly upsetting to patient], so you can never tell what people are going to do, can you?
Carol Granger’s validictory (sp?) speech was reprinted by Seventeen mag-azine. As I remember, it was on “Self-Integrity and a Normal Response to It, ” or some such happy horseshit. We would have had some fun ranking that one out, right, Charlie?
Oh, yeah, and Irma Bates is going out with some “hippie” from Lewiston. I guess they were even in a demonstration when Robt. Dole came to Portland to campaign in the presidential election stuff. They were arrested and then let go when Dole flew out. Mrs. Bates must be having birds about it. Can’t you just see Irma trying to brain Robt. Dole with a Gus Hall campaign sign? Ha-ha, that just kills me. We would have had some laughs over that one, too, Charlie. God, I miss your old cracked ass sometimes.
Gracie Stanner, that cute little chick, is going to get married, and that’s also a local sensation. It boggles the mind. [Following has been censored as pos-sibly upsetting to patient.] Anyway, you can never tell what sort of monkey-shines people are going to get up to, right?
Well, guess that’s all for now. I hope they are treating you right, Ferd, as you’ve got to be out of there as soon as they’ll let you. And if they start letting you have visitors, I want you to know that I will be the first in line.
There are a lot of us pulling for you, Charlie. Pulling hard.
People haven’t forgotten. You know what I mean.
You have to believe that.
With love, your friend,
I haven’t had any bad dreams for two weeks, almost. I do lots of jigsaw puzzles. They give me custard and I hate it, but I eat it just the same. They think I like it. So I have a secret again. Finally I have a secret again.
My mom sent me the yearbook. I haven’t unwrapped it yet, but maybe I will. Maybe next week I will. I think I could look at all the senior pictures and not trem-ble a bit. Pretty soon. Just as soon as I can make myself believe that there won’t be any black streaks on their hands. That their hands will be clean. With no ink. Maybe next week I’ll be completely sure of that.
About the custard: it’s only a little secret, but having a secret makes me feel better. Like a human being
That’s the end. I have to turn off the light now. Good night.