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Nineteen: Return to Sender.

My dearest, sweetest Lyric:

I am ready to forgive you.

You may leave my father and return to me now, as I will permit such a thing should you be suitably remorseful. I have included in this missive a self-addressed stamped envelope, and five leaves of letter-sized, off-white stationery. I will expect your apology to fill each page, front and back, single-spaced and hand-written, with proper spelling and punctuation. The leaves will then be returned to me, and considered for approval on the critera of sincerity, elegance, use of metaphor, humility, and literary accomplishment.

I will be sending this package COD, in order that you may better demonstrate your contrition.


I have tried calling your new residence numerous times, but at the sound of my voice, the phone's reciever is immediately and quite unceremoniously thrust back into its cradle. Do you have an especially recalcitrant maid? I suggest she be fired. I formally request the privilege to do so.


These months without your presence in my home have been difficult ones, Lyric. I will not lie; I have gained weight. It was stress-related, and you will be expected to apologize for this blow to my personal well-being in your response to this letter. Preferably by page three.

I would weigh myself and tell you precisely how much damage you've done, but I'd rather not grant the misogynistic patriarchy that small victory. Suffice to say there is simply more of me to love. I would suggest that you take this opportunity to demonstrate a progressive approach to the insidious cult of the superficial and never mention it again outside the bounds of your apology.


It should be noted that I have always had very big bones. Surely you noticed, back in happier days. And many reliable studies and reports have been filed, shattering the myth of the gluttony of the obese. I can provide you with many educational URLs upon your return home that will quite elegantly prove this. Many of these same URLs also provide convenient links to graphic pornography featuring the overweight, so that you may learn to better appreciate me.


Have you considered the sort of presents you will provide me with as part of your apology? I prefer chocolates. Whitman's, if possible. And jelly beans, so long as you've taken the time to remove the licorice and coconut-flavored ones.

That is what love is all about.


So that you will have a better understanding of how things have changed since your departure, I will now update you on the state of the household. Part and parcel with this will be a healthy dose of rumor control. I know how prone you can be to swallowing gossip and innuendo whole without consideration. It is one of the deep, incorrectable flaws in you I have come to accept.

You may have heard I have procured the services of a certain gypsy matchmaker in an effort to win back your affections. This is wholly untrue. keep in mind, Lyric, that I am a scientist. Such foolishness is beneath me.

Besides, such ventures are expensive, and I am in no financial condition for such extravagences. Or so I have heard. I wouldn't know. How expensive it is, I mean. I wouldn't know that sort of thing.


The rumor mill may have also made you aware of Alexander's unusual moods, as of late. I assure you, the dead animals he may or may not have been leaving on your porch were dead when he found them, and the local authorities have taken them completely out of context. You know how very artistic he is. Rest assured, his impeccable grades continue to guarantee his place at Pleasantview Prep, and his future remains bright.

In preparation for your return, I have begun to insist he refer to you as "Mother." He has been resistant, however. We'll work on it.


Have you spoken with his gym teacher? I certainly hope not, as the woman is a shameless liar, desperate for attention and approval, with an inexplicable vendetta against me. I could never be attracted to such a person, so surely, how could she ever say she was in a position to sexually reject me? It's ludicrous, when you think about it. Consider how desperate I would have to be to even attempt such a thing. I'm considering legal action. Slander is a crime.

Alas. Homophobes are everywhere.

But despite my various troubles and aggravations, I do have good news: I have come out to my fiance, Don Lothario, and broken our engagement. We are finally free to be together, Lyric, in full public view. I know how that must excite you. Feel free to relay your flood of emotion in the previously mentioned letter of apology, but do not allow your excitement to detract from your overall penitency.


I finally removed this roadblock on the journey to our reconciliation only just last night. I invited him to dinner. I promise you, this was not done out of lonliness, nor attraction. As a strong, gay, homosexual lesbian woman, I feel nothing for the man, and came to realize this more and more clearly the longer I was alone and unloved. The yawning chasm of desolate, empty longing that was my heart following your emotional terrorism and uncompromising torment only strengthened my resolve, I'll have you know.


Don, of course, was very understanding. He accepted my invitation for a sumptuously quaint, proletarian macaroni and cheese dinner very readily, lounging on the couch as I prepared the meal in a calculated mockery of female subservience I am convinced he understood the subtle contempt of. His frequent comments on the unusual humbleness of my surroundings made for a convenient segue into the topic of my paternal disinheritance. You must remember, he was quite used to visiting me in my father's home, a rather tawdry monument to capitalist excess. I will have you know I do not miss it.


The break-up itself was quite amicable.

Upon discovery of my newfound Bohemian disenfranchisement, Don seemed more than willing to take the lead in the discontinuation of our relationship. Some unkind words were spoken in the heat of the moment, I will admit. But really and truly, "What good are you to me POOR?!" and "You bloated, wobbling obscentity!" were surely meant in jest. You know how playful he can be.


All in all, I am quite satified with the outcome. We will go our seperate ways. It is for the best. I handled the slight emotional stress of the situation in a fashion I am quite proud of. Perhaps Don will be willing to attend our commitment ceremony, should I decide you are worth the risk. With that firmly in mind, please be sure to have both a thesaurus and a dictionary at hand when you draft your required letter.


I will close now on a brighter note, wherin I assure you that I still love you, and all will be forgiven if you learn to behave in an appropriate fashion. When you leave my father and rejoin me, be sure to extract fifty percent of his bank account in the form of small bills, as would only be fair. I may have been written out of the will, but that hardly justifies Fig Newtons and oyster crackers for dinner three nights in a row. I mean, really.

Cordially Yours,

Cassandra Goth.

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(Hey, guys! If you like this ridiculous travesty, make sure to check out my actual comic, Templar, Arizona!)

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