YOU’RE A HISTORIC LANDMARK
CRIS A. SCHAYER
I’ve made so many mistakes and I’m really ashamed at the way I’ve behaved and mistreated you.
You’ve shown me nothing but kindness, and it truly breaks my heart that I have ever been selfish, mean, and reckless in your presence.
I love you so much and I really don’t deserve the answered prayer you’ve been. I’m just so bent out of shape that I didn’t meet you sooner, when I could have given you the total support and love you have somehow astonishingly been deprived of.
Call yourself a fixer upper, but goddamit you have a sturdy foundation, and as far as compassion goes, I say you are a historic landmark. You will be cherished and remembered, and should be photographed and restored to preserve the lovely image that you are. Perhaps I am exhausting the metaphor, but I do sincerely feel home in your arms.
-Jeremy Randolph Shaffer (October 6, 1981-February 5, 2016)
Laying on these written words, I read out loud the letter from a partner no longer living. The cassette player recorded my voice. I repeated the letter through recollection, recording each memory one on top of another. The sounds and words merged, forming a single sound. In the recollection, words were misremembered, changing the tone, meaning, and nature of the letter. The shifting memories spoke to the reality and fantasy of what we remember and what we choose to forget. The recorded, overlapping sounds are the only residue remaining from the performance.