My Dear, Dear Micky,

Hello. How are you? Aside from missing you horribly, things are fine here. How is prison?

I’ve convinced that guy who’s strong as a telephone pole but dumb as wet dirt, the guy I mentioned in yesterday’s letter, Thuggie, to break you out of jail. Then we’ll be together, my love. Do you miss our moonlit nights dancing on the deck as much as I do?

I have full, abiding faith that “Spring 2000 Project” is coming together. Note my clever usage of “spring.” See, it’s spring all around us; the trees are in bloom and, if it were daytime, a bird would sing a pretty song in some tree outside. Also, because you, Micky, are in the slammer, I must “spring” you. Here I am, a young-ish man in spring and all that comes with that, and you, my Micky, where are you?

I do not have to say where.

Back to the “Spring 2001 Project”: I gave Thuggie a set of break-out tools to help him out. The tools include: chisel, shovel, brick mortar relaxer. I sealed it all in a tidy little box that I taped with that gaffer tape you love.

The cat misses you. I miss you like the wind misses its breeze. I miss you like a clock misses its arms when they’re removed.

I am sitting in a park along 17th Street and Mother Nature has started to rain. I apologize for any raindrops that may smudge my letter to you, my sweet crumb-cake lollipop. For you are my summertime in [smudge].

I am sorry.

. . . .

It’s the next day now. I am in our stationery store. I will mail this letter as soon as I hear news from Thuggie. When I got home last night, I told him the plan and gave him the sealed break-out package.

(Something important just occurred to me: from this point forward, I will put certain words in “quotes” because the quotes contain TOP SECRET CODE WORDS.) I will go ahead and mail this, although I imagine that by the time this letter arrives at your cell, you will be “out of jail.” Perhaps I shouldn’t “mail” it.

The next, crucial stage of the “Spring 2001 Project” involves Thuggie stopping by here on his way to prison. I must give him a special tool that will help him “cut” his way through the “tape” on the “break-out kit.” It’s a “razor knife.”

Unfortunately, Thuggie has missed his time to pick up the “razor knife.” That’s not like him. He’s a professional. Not a professional break-out artist, but a professional bowler. I’ve found bowlers to be very punctual.

I’m worried and hungry. I’m going to lunch, but I don’t know how much I will eat.

. . . .

A mix-up has occurred. Last night, I told Thuggie that the “razor knife” was in a package of postcards, but I didn’t specify which type of postcards. (Thuggie lives in a home with a secret address and without a telephone, so I couldn’t meet him again, for secret security reasons.)

Knowing Thuggie, I placed the “razor knife” in the box of postcards I assumed he’d purchase, the postcards featuring prominent women authors such as Emily Dickinson and George Sand.

Evidently, I’d chosen correctly, according to Gene, the new assistant whose jacket reeks of pot. But Gene told me that Thuggie opted for the Impressionist Painters Postcards at the last possible moment. It was a point-of-purchase decision no one could have anticipated. There is no one to blame here, aside from perhaps Thuggie and me.

Nonetheless, I pray that Thuggie will use the Impressionist Painters Postcards to free you, and we will be together, as fate intended everything in the cosmos.

Love to the nth degree Fahrenheit,


- - -

Dear, Dear Micky,

Well. I’m glad you escaped the prison riot Thuggie created, and the police dragnet. And it’s good, I suppose, that you have hit it off so well with Thuggie. From what you write, the Riviera sounds beautiful. And I’m glad you’ve gotten such use from the Impressionists Painters Postcards!

I’d join you soon, but, as you know, I’m locked up in prison. Soon after I finished my letter to you, a woman in her mid-50s decided to purchase the postcards featuring prominent women authors such as Emily Dickinson and George Sand. Knowing there was a “razor knife” in the box, I refused to sell them, then took the postcards from her.

She took a swing at me and hit me good. How could I have known the woman had such a powerful left jab? I looked around for Gene’s assistance. He was on a break, as he often is. You and I both know how difficult finding good help can be.

She was ready to clock me again. I ran away, smacked my head on the doorframe, then careened back to the floor, where I fell, knocked out cold.

A patrolling policeman heard the ruckus and arrested me, still unconscious, and the woman, who was very conscious: she surreptitiously kicked and punched me during our ride to the police station.

I came to soon after Thuggie sprung you, Micky, out of jail, because when I came to, the police were dangling the letter I had written to you in my face, then: boom! I’m in jail for seven years.

What puzzles me is how Thuggie got that box open without the razor knife. I suppose he’s smarter than I gave him credit for.

I’m sorry you didn’t personally receive my letter, Micky, but I am glad that the newspaper printed portions of it. I’m sorry they did not mention that you were my sweet crumb-cake lollipop. I’d shout that from the highest mountaintop if I could get anywhere near it.

Regardless, I’m glad you enjoyed my clever usage of “spring” and my effusive, although in retrospect perhaps too effusive, praise of the “Spring 2001 Project.” I have developed a new code for the next time we try a jailbreak: each sentence will be in reverse order.

Here of out be will I, soon.