you didn’t get upset when i fought with the waiter for not letting me smoke my electronic cigarette at beco (on 45 richardson st. between union and lorimer). – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

*

-a love letter-

*by someone who’s heard,

“even if doesn’t work out, it’s just another way of it working out.”*

(frankie leone, just a man)

*

*my dearest love *****…*

*

*i told you once that i spent three years of my adolescence in confinement. a few days before my birthday i was sent away. my birthday is in december so it was right before christmas.

the beginning of those three years i spent in a boot camp for juvenile delinquents. it was in the desert in idaho. we didn’t have tents or real food, and had to hike with very heavy backpacks miles and miles a day.

i tried to escape.

while i was lost in the frozen desert (it was winter) with no cold weather gear to speak of, no compass, and no way to find help i wandered. i wandered all day and night. soon, i realized help would not find me. thick fog was everywhere, which is why helicopters couldn’t be used to find me. i gave up on being rescued.

i realized i was going to die. i started to take off my clothes so i wouldn’t freeze to death slowly.

once i’d removed most of my coats and sweaters i laid down on the desert floor. it was in that moment i saw headlights through the fog. it was a rescue jeep.

the people in the jeep were surprised i was alive and took me to a medical compound. they were kind to me, and gave me chocolates and dorritos.

then they sent me back. two more years or reformatories came after that, but i lived. i survived.*

*

 

******, you are the jeep that came through the fog in the frozen desert that was my life.*

*

*years did pass. hard years.

i was the youngest in the homes for bad children. making friends was difficult. no one loved me or took care of me besides myself, and i could only do the latter because i hated myself. my family could only see me a handful of times a year.

i had to fight all the time and endure abuses. i never understood why i deserved what was happening to me. every morning i would wake up in my bed at the reformatory and realize i wasn’t home. every night i would pray i would die in my sleep.

eventually, i was selected to go on a trip with the other bad children. it was going to be the first real trip i’d taken in years. it was to bryce canyon. it is the most sublime place on earth.

when the setting sun hit the natural red rock of the canyon it changed my life. i watched it and was able to forget the years of pain and loneliness. i knew i wanted to enjoy it in a way that would make it even more memorable.

at the time i was dating my first girlfriend. her name was ******* *******. she was four years older than me, had just turned eighteen, and was the daughter of an internationally renowned chicago brain surgeon. she wasn’t very smart, but she was pretty and loved me. she said i was sweet and beautiful, and that i made her feel special and loved. she said this was more than enough to forget my age.

i knew how to make the sunset even more moving. i wanted to smoke a marlboro red (my brand too when i smoked) with her, watch the sun set, and kiss.

we did. it was almost the most beautiful moment of my life.*

*

******, you are my marlboro red and sunset, and you turned my poorly insulated loft filled with fellow weirdos into bryce canyon.*

*

*someone snitched on us for smoking. we were caught. we were punished. i lost everything, including my upcoming release date.

as one of my consequences they put me in a huge field in the back of the housing units. (the reformatory was in utah.) it was filled with acres of tall tough desert grass.

they stationed a guard and gave me a hand scythe. then they told me to start cutting, and not to stop until sunset. it was noon at the time.

i cut the grass with the scythe for hours. i was refused water. it was a hot summer day. i dehydrated badly and started to hallucinate. still, i kept cutting.

then i had the most beautiful moment of my life. an almost-fifteen-year-old me realized, looking up at the desert sun, that it was all worth it.*

*

******, this morning i realized it was worth it. no matter what happened or is going to happen. you gave me something no one has ever given me before, even if you didn’t know how to do it in a way i could consistently feel it.

you loved me, and i loved you, and i’ve never had that before. for that i will always be grateful.

i love you *****. thank you. i wish you all the best. no matter what i say or how angry and bitter i get i will always love you.*

*

*…your man,

frankie.*

*

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About Frankie Leone

Tries to write a version of his truth. Also a nightlife worker. Born at Beth Israel Hospital on 1st Ave between 16th and 17th St on December 15, 1984. Lives in Brooklyn. Bears a few scars, tattoos, and regrets. View all posts by Frankie Leone

4 responses to “you didn’t get upset when i fought with the waiter for not letting me smoke my electronic cigarette at beco (on 45 richardson st. between union and lorimer). – 27 (williamsburg, borough of lost boys)

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