In Memoriam by Anthony J. Langford

Hi, my name is Matthew. They asked me if I could say a few words about my Uncle. I wrote this. … Okay…

My uncle was a really nice guy. Every time I saw him he was always smiling. And he was always making me laugh. He liked to tell jokes. Some of them were a bit weird but I still thought they were funny. Lots of people were always laughing. He never said anything bad to me, he was always nice to me. Sometimes he might go quiet but he never was rude or anything like that. He also liked to play baseball with me. He said he was a good player when he was young. He could still throw a ball but he wasn’t too good at batting. I could get one past him easy. But I’m pretty good though. He didn’t care that much. He went quiet so I knew he was happy but he never got angry like my brother, coz he doesn’t like going out.

Um, that’s all I wrote. He was a really nice guy and he was good to me. I will miss him.  And I promise to help my cousin Katy. She can come over to play whenever she wants. Yeah. That’s it. Thanks. 


       Dear Mrs Algernon, (Margaret),

My name is Peter. Claude was one of my best buddies. I hope you don’t mind me contacting you. I got your email from Claude’s page. I have been overseas for the past six years and I am currently based in Delhi. I’m afraid I will be unable to attend the funeral, but I wanted to pass on my sincere condolences. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn when I say that I’m surprised that this has happened. Even though it’s been some years since I saw Claude, I did remain in contact with him and that is why this has come as such a shock. I’m sure this is hardest on you more than anyone. I just wanted you to know that my thoughts are with you at this difficult time. If there’s anything I can do, please ask.

Claude and I used to work together back on the resort. Boy, we had some crazy times there. Lots of wild nights, partying with the tourists. I know he met you during one such night. I am sorry though, that I never got to meet you. I had only just left to pursue a better offer overseas. But he spoke about you a lot. Particularly in the early days. I don’t mean to say that he still didn’t talk about you, he did, but he was crazy for you then. He was so excited about getting married, almost too excited, but you know Claude. He could really whip everyone up. Sometimes he would be down too, I’m sure you know what I mean, but his presence was always felt. Claude was nothing if not noticeable. He left an impression on everyone who met him.

Please pass on my condolences to your daughter Katy. I know Claude was a doting father.

Anyway, I don’t wish to trouble you but I know Claude would have wanted me to help out if I can. It might seem a little forward but that’s the type of guy I am. Even if you just want to talk, please contact me. I am very open but also private. I will be here for you Margaret, if you need a friend.

This is sudden for us all.

Sincerely yours,

Peter Coffey. 


Hi sara. did u hear abut Claude 

yeah. Wat a shock huh. cant say im sad tho.

Wat do u thnk? Got wat he desrved?

Thts a bit mean. No one deserves 2 die. But he was a real asshole. Every1 in our deprtmnt hated him. 

Same. He made every1s life a misery.

Didn’t pik him 4 a suicide tho.

Mybe he was sick of himself too. Lol. I thnk he was a depressive.

Made me deprssd.

Lol. Why u thnk our bosses are such pricks?

Coz most of them are male. Lol 

Yr sexist. May be right tho. Might finally get sum peace around here. Lunch? 

If yr buying – im eating. 


Dear Mom

I’ve sent you this letter via old fashioned post for a good reason. I didn’t want any phone record or email. Too easy to trace. I don’t want you dragged into this. Also, by the time you get it, Katy and I will be overseas.

I just can’t bear it. The truth will come out. You know the truth don’t you? I couldn’t bear the mind games anymore, the intimidation, the threats. I know you told me to leave many times but it just wasn’t that easy. I wanted to, believe me, but it just seemed like I couldn’t do it. I suppose I had no confidence left. Claude took that away. But I didn’t plan for it to turn out this way either. Please believe me Mom. It was just a spur of the moment thing. I didn’t mean it. I was shocked to realize he was dead. I went and threw up. I totally freaked out as you can imagine. But then when I was considering what I was going to do next, I realized that it kinda looked like an accident. That he may have even done it to himself.

It doesn’t matter now. The police keep asking questions. I can’t deal with it. I’m not strong enough. I’m not the person I was. You can blame that bastard for that. He made me forget myself. I know this isn’t the best decision, but I have to think of Katy now. I’m hoping we can start again somewhere. I don’t want to tell you where. I won’t be able to contact you for a while. I’m sure you understand. I have to protect my daughter. I just want to know how much I love you. You were always there for me and I know how difficult it was for you as a mother not being able to protect me. Now it’s my turn. I want to make sure I’m there for Katy. And I can’t do that inside a prison.

Your loving daughter always

Margaret 


Postscript 

The Riviera Chronicle

The English language newspaper for the French-Italian Riviera

Weddings

Margaret Bell and Peter Coffey, both formerly of the United States are pleased to announce the happy occasion of their marriage which took place on the Summer Solstice, June 21st in Turkey. The ceremony was performed by the Justice of the Peace in the garden outside the Town Hall.

The wedding was attended by friends and family and Margaret’s daughter, Katy. The honeymooners visited Southern France for a splendid holiday, though to the surprise of many, toured by RV rather than stay in a resort. 


Anthony J. Langford lives in Sydney and writes novels, stories, poetry and also produces video poems. Some of his recent publications include Ink, Sweat & Tears, Microliterature, Otoliths and bluestem. A novella, Bottomless River (2012) and a poetry collection, Caged without Walls (2013) are out through Ginninderra Press. www.anthonyjlangford.com