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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Arti’s Email

Category: Issue 21

I didn’t know Arti that well, so I was surprised when I received a posthumous email from her.  I was dancing in my room, in fact, aware that she was dead but not thinking about it, sliding across my bedroom floor in nude nylon socks and no pants on while my ipod shuffled when I thought to check my email.

The email was addressed to me and forty others I didn’t know.  It went like this:  Dearest Friends, Thank you for being with me throughout my illness.  But enough of that…my life was awesome and I want you to know you were loved and appreciated.  I have no regrets, so neither should you.  Thanks for giving me the best life of my life.  Make the most of yours.  Love, Arti.

I read it ten times and checked the recipients to make sure it wasn’t sent to me by some fluke email routing error.  To:  lani.mac81[at]interlink.com.  From:  arti.patel[at]emailjunkie.net.  Subject:  lasting words.

We were Facebook friends.  She requested me the day after we met on a stranger’s couch.  I was sitting on the right side and she was in the middle and we knew the couch belonged to some guy named Mark.  She found out that I was with a guy named Ethan who knew Mark and I learned that she came with a guy named Sanjay who knew Mark.  Ethan and Sanjay invited us there.  Neither of us knew where they were.

I commented on her rabbit ears.  They were long and fuzzy, pointing up and flopping down near the ends.  There was fake blood smeared all over the pink insides as if she had a bad ear infection.  I told her the ears looked real.  She told me she liked my headdress and asked me why it smelled so good.  I told her it was made from cilantro.

Ethan stopped by the couch to give me a sloppy kiss on the cheek and asked me if I was okay and I told him I was fine and he raised his plastic cup in cheers of the news then stumbled to where the whippersnappers were playing beer pong.  Sanjay never came by and when I asked Ethan who Mark was and told Arti who Mark was and Arti asked Mark where Sanjay was, Mark said Sanjay had left.

I drove Arti home.  Her poufy tail fell off when she slid into the front passenger seat.  Ethan fell asleep in the back.  It was starting to flurry, the first snow coming early.  Arti said she had a sun room at her apartment and she filled it with cheap supermarket flowers.  She said when it snowed it was like a summer snow globe.

I asked her about Sanjay and she told me he was a guy she liked.  She said he wasn’t her boyfriend, but he brought her take-out on her lunch breaks and called her in the middle of the night like a boyfriend would.  She said they were becoming really close, that she hoped I didn’t mind her telling me the next thing, that she felt comfortable around me, and I told her I didn’t mind even though I didn’t know what she was going to say, and she told me she lost her virginity to him.  I told her I hoped she didn’t mind me telling her that real boyfriends called in the morning.  Ethan snored once and I saw his head bob up in the rearview mirror then disappear again.  Arti told me that Sanjay called her the other day to tell her he missed her.  She said he was feeling down, and when she went over to his apartment he was counting his breaths and holding them when the numbers started to get too high and that she was there for him.  I told her how I want to be missed.  That I want my man to miss me when he is out having fun.  That lonely nights may trigger misses for some, heighten the awareness of an absence, but not for my man.  He will miss me when he is smiling and snapping pictures and clinking glasses.

We exchanged emails and that was the last time I saw Arti.  I found her rabbit tail on the floor of my car the next morning and threw it in the trash.  I accepted her Facebook friend request.  Occasionally, I would see Sanjay’s comments to Arti on my news feed.  She posted a video of a cat being attacked by a baby panda and Sanjay liked it and commented hahaha.  She posted a photo of herself posing with girlfriends against a brick wall and Sanjay commented sexy.  She posted that she broke down at work, had a shit day, and Sanjay didn’t post anything.  I commented she should stomp around her apartment and throw beef patties out the window.  One time I liked her status.  She was drinking margaritas by the fireside.  One time she liked my status.  I was hearting the 90s.  I found out she died because I saw her wall.

I wrote Arti back RE: lasting words.  I told her I was glad she made the most of her life and that I would miss her the next time I went out dancing.

Posted by alesiram on 01/15 at 01:20 PM | Permalink
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