A Letter to Tom Waits, circa 1999

Dear Tom,

I thought I’d just let you know that I’ll be moving out. I’m not sure where I’m going yet. Maybe I’ll head back to Mayor’s Income for a couple of weeks while I work out my next move. There’s some business to take of back in Indonesia, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to take care of that over the phone.

I have to say, though, that wherever I end up, I hope they’ll be more welcoming to newcomers. If my home improvement projects were such a problem, I really wish you’d done the neighbourly thing and come and talked to me about it. Hell, even a brief note like this one would have sufficed. Instead, you chose to spread all sorts of unfounded rumours and drip-fed a constant stream of suspicion in the neighborhood. I’m not saying that’s why I’m leaving, but it sure as heck didn’t make the decision to leave a hard one. I guess I hope whoever moves into the house after I’m gone is more ‘your kind of person’.

I trust that you’ll do the right thing and keep the local children away from the lawn. I was hoping to make a fresh start on the garden and used some pretty strong defoliants. (For the record that – and only that – is the reason I took down the tire swing from the pepper tree, as if worrying about infant safety were a crime or something.)

Tell the new neighbours that I’ll be in touch with a forwarding address for my magazine subscriptions.

Yours truly,

PS – a four-poster bed, if it makes any difference.


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