The mysterious mail story

Shortly after John Lennon was killed I came in from school with an envelope from the mailbox.

It was for me, and the address was handwritten.

I gripped it in my little kid hand all the way to the kitchen. I wanted an audience, and found Mom making dinner. Dad was at the table with the paper. I sat across from him and opened my letter.

There was no letter.

It was a newspaper clipping. I didn’t know which side was relevant. It was either an announcement about a toy drive or a sketch of the late Lennon, who was four days gone.

I flipped the clipping over several times, looking for a clue.

The sketch was an elaborate line drawing of his face with tight spirals in the glasses lenses.

The bit had been cut out with pinking scissors and folded in half.

I didn’t think of anything other than puzzlement until my mom said, “Why would someone send you a picture of a dead man?”

Great. Now it’s threatening.

My dad gave her his you’re-so-dramatic-about-everything eye roll he had lots of opportunity to master. “He’s not dead in the picture.”

Well that’s some comfort.

I said, “Mom! Somebody sent me a picture of a dead guy!”

She rolled her eyes at me. Team switcher.

“He’s not dead in the picture,” she said, as if I were unreasonable.

I think she thought I couldn’t hear Dad, who I was actually closer to me than to her.

I never learned who sent it to me or why, or which side of the clipping I was meant to care about.

And I didn’t contribute anything to the toy drive.


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One Response to “The mysterious mail story”

  1. Jeremy A. Says:

    I have a several questions I’d like to ask…

    One, was it addressed to your current name or your mysterious birth name?
    (I bet it was addressed to Toni, otherwise it would have been quite mysterious for the sender to have known your birth name.)

    Two, do you still have it? (like somewhere in the attic, etc.)

    Three, does the newspaper clipping happen to have a page number, date, name of newspaper, or anything else? (every clue has some value of importance)

    Four, how big (approximately) is the drawing? 2 inches by 2 inches? 5 by 5?

    Five, was the drawing drawn on top of another story or was it on a blank area? (I don’t recall the last time I saw a space big enough for a detailed drawing. But also the drawing would have to be somewhat difficult to see if it was drawn over something else.)

    Six, was the sender’s name happen to be Mark David Chapman? (probably and hopefully not)

    Finally would the sender plan that you would go to the toy drive and meet you there? (Probably unreasonable, but possible.)

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