A couple months ago, my dear friend
Jenóformer HG cohort, Lahaina bartender, Sugar Shack roomie and owner
of the electric-green purse on fireómoved back home. She hadnít been
back to the East Coast for nearly 12 years, but was excited about
making a new life for herself and her boyfriend in Pennsylvania. Here
are a few of her recent letters to me...
Oct. 11, 2006
Shane and I are bored stiffóonly five more days until we move into
our freshly remodeled pad. Iíve recently become addicted to live
auctions. Itís like gambling, except that you always go home with
something! Iíve gotten cool antiques to outfit our apartmentósometimes
things need a little work so itís keeping us busy. Staining, painting,
sanding, clampingÖ Iím turning into my mother more with every day that
passes. Frankly, Iím a little concerned.
Once again Iíve imbibed way too much coffeeówhen will I learn? Tell
me something cool youíve done, Iím bored. Hopefully Iíll have some
stories myself when we finally reach our destinationóthe promise
landóPhiladelphia. I need some bizarre things to happen, Iíve fallen
behind. No doubt they will start once I reach Mecca.
Please send me shit, email is my only entertainment, except when I
pull pranks on Shane, heís so easy! Itís so discouraging when I check
and there is nothing sent from my contacts, considering I check on
average six times a day. Not likely, huh? Iíve become quite the
computer nerdóthought youíd never hear me type that in my lifetime.
Okay Iím done babbling, I guess Iíll smoke another cigaretteóoh yeah,
quitting is going real well. Send my love and hugsÖ
Oct. 15: Hey, tomorrow is the big day. Iím nervous as hell. Leave it
to me to worry about just about anything. Itís just getting from point
A to point B that worries me. Iím a loon. I need a Valium or a Vicodin
or something. How are things in your world? Iím not sure Iíll ever get
used to this time change thing. Someone shoot me clear into Tuesday or
something. I guess Iíll go grab another beer and pace around some more.
Do you know that feeling when youíre just tired of being you? When
you just need some time to breathe and realize how retarded you are,
then go back with a clear focus? This is one of those times, not to be
Debbie Rigatoni [an alias], but to be Jessica Livingston. Jessicaís got
her head on straight and is walking on a clear path to success. Jessica
is dressed to kill and her hair is not frizzy. She showers regularly
and smells of roses. I think that just creating her has somehow helpedÖ
nope, Iím back againódrats! Iím losing it. So I love you, I know that
for sure even if everything else is a little fuzzy. Have a blissful day
and pray that I make it through tomorrow in one piece (mind and body).
I bid you adieuÖ
Nov. 9: I got the job at BCBG, only part-time but whatever, itís
something for right now. Iím still working on beefing up my resume. Iím
going to start volunteering at the art museums. Just to get myself in a
productive atmosphere and to get out and meet people. Anything is
better than sitting alone and watching CSI for the umpteenth time.
My dad is taking the train in tomorrow and spending the day and then
my mom is coming down on Monday to have lunch. Those are the main
reasons I moved homeóday trips of that kind. Money is going to be real
tight for a while. Iím not used to living paycheck-to-paycheck, and not
a very big paycheck for that matter.
I donít feel like it was a mistake at all, but my self-esteem is
slipping. My confidence needs to build back up. All in due time I
suppose. Love and miss you lotsÖ
Nov. 13: Hey there, chica! I started my new job. It looks like I may
actually enjoy shopping for other people, especially with their money.
Shane just got a job with Chevy and no longer has to wait tables. Can
you believe it? Iím dating a car salesman! Who knew?
Itís constantly raining here and I am without rain gear. Itís next
on my list of things I need. Oh, the other day Shane and I went
shopping in the Italian Marketóyou know that street that Rocky [Balboa]
runs down when he is training? Well, it was too cool. We got all this
fresh fruit and veggies for way cheap and then we went to the butcherís
and they ground our meat right there.
The fish market was awesomeófresh everythingóone good thing about
living in a port city. I just got such a kick out of it, and itís
rather close to our apartment. Weíre learning to work the city for all
it has to offer. Itís just taking a little time. Still have to make it
to the museums. I just want to wait until it stops rainingótraveling in
that shit, especially by bus, is the pits. My umbrella has gotten
turned inside out I canít tell you how many times. Embarrassing. Ah,
Dec. 5: The weather is getting much colder and my apartment is
getting lonelier. Shaneís at work and itís me and Regis, Kelly and
Rachel Ray. Work in the commission world is dog-eat-dog. Iím not really
enjoying that aspect and, of course, I want more. Always. I forgot how
hard moving is until you get settled.
Everything is great between Shane and I. Itís just hard when you
have to be everything to one another. I donít know what I want or what
would make me feel better. Maybe a couple hours with you would do the
trick. Lunch, a cheeseburger, a beer and a cigaretteóah, the makings of
a good afternoon! Some conversation with a friend, a knowing and
understanding glance, a hug.
Iíve been painting, itís been nice. Iím sort of revisiting the
person I left behind in Pennsylvania. All the things that I used to do
here that made me happy and made me who I was; all the things I havenít
done since I left this state, I am revisiting.
Why did I leave them behind, why do I constantly feel the need to
reinvent myself? I feel like Iím just going in circles, running over
the same old ground, stupid. What is it that Iím looking for that I
havenít found? Or has it always been there and Iíve just refused to
notice it, accept it? I miss your smellÖ you forget the little things
like that until theyíre gone and maybe thatís why I moved back hereóI
missed the smell of the East.
Well, Iíve got to go back out into the cold and go home and get
ready for work. We dress in all black, like a funeral, isnít that
fitting. Sorry to be so sad, I just needed to tell someone who knew me
what I was feeling. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to turn
it all around. Love you terribly... Jennifer
Samantha Campos has only been incarcerated twice but all three times was absolutely innocent. MTW