My dad kept notes. Files of anything and everything he ever wrote. Especially correspondence. Obsessive, sort of crazy files. I mean. He printed out emails, wrote the date at the top of the page, highlighted the date, and then filed the correspondence in the appropriate red rope in reverse chronological order.
I look through these files about once a month…in no particular order. They are a record of his life, yes. But they are also a record of his disease — of the obsessive, crazy parts of his disease. They are a record of startling insight and utter obliviousness, often coexisting in the same piece of writing.
I’m going to ease my way into this new blog feature with something more lighthearted.
From The Mixed Up Files Of Russell P. Reach, J.D.
From: Russell P. Reach
To: Marjorie Reach
Handwritten Letter Dated October 7, 2006
(My words in italics in parentheses)
Thanks for the use of the enclosed Union City Map, but I figured it would be more use to you, so I am returning it.
This school year is off to a great start. Emily has settled in as a sorta “super star” teacher — especially among the guys. (What?! Oh, no, Dad. No, no, no.) All the kids, male and female, however, seem to be on a crusade to match her with some of the single guy teachers. (Not…not true. Where are you getting your information?) Em is doing her usual taking on of too much. In addition to teaching 5 classes she is the Yearbook Advisor (Nope), Newspaper Advisor (True), and now…soccer coach! (Also true. But that was my exercise.) After school, she teaches at Southern Wesleyan University and works at Kohl’s. (I did both of these jobs…in entirely different years, Dad. I was doing neither when you wrote this letter.) We worry for her health, as well as for her future matrimonial prospects. (Mortification upon mortification)
The rest of the letter chronicles the various adventures of my five siblings — I don’t know how accurately. I don’t have their permission to share these portions with you, so our file ends here.
And so I remain.
Emily Reach White.