Ch. 15: From Alice to her Mom. August 3, 2005.

Ch. 15: From Alice to her Mom. August 3, 2005.

A Chapter by Gee Roughin

Dear Mom,


I'm writing from prison. I'm sure despite our shall we say "conflictual" relationship? you have got to be worried by now! I wish so much that I thought this letter would reach you, but small chance of that. We try to be, and make one million truths, but we can't always empty the sea.

Never mind what country I'm in, the letter will never reach you if I divulge... some "diplomats" are trying to negotiate but the constraints are overwhelming, and to be honest they don't have much motivation to help. It's no secret that I'm a public prosecutor of the only people who can do anything for me now, so if my hair falls out here I've asked for it!


For all these reasons I really just want to talk about you and me. It's not that I've lost hope, it's that you can feel when it's stacked one way and not another. The game isn't up; if they put me in here it's cause I already won my bet. Anyway, they can muzzle me there are millions of us. Too bad the Americans are 80% unilingual! It keeps them dumb.

I know I sound like I'm having a cup of coffee. I swear they're not treating me so bad. They're scared of my pen, scared of my passport. Scared as hell (sorry) of my allies, who could get me out tomorrow if it were really their priority and pass me over the borders like thousands of others it's in their interest to get off their land. Nevermind, they have better things to do.


Speaking of which, I wouldn't want you to be confused. If you do your research or read just what I've already posted, you will know that the prisons here and in so many other places I've haunted are hell-holes of terror. Please, if you can't do anything else, just do that. Just read what I've written, and trust your own brain and verify that everything I've said is true. Proven, confirmed, leaked and even validated by my enemies. But enough of politics. I need to speak to you as my mother.


Mom, we've fought so much. I should say, we fought so much before I gave up on you and decided I needed to put my energies into this mess of a world. I don't even care about the gay thing! I mean, for me I care, it always mattered just because it was true, but I don't care if you can ever really accept that or not. I just want you to know it's not the only defining thing about me, and it's not the only thing about you either. I think that's all I wanted, that we could meet on another plane, and be and discuss with our whole selves, not just one exaggerated uncircumventable issue. We all have the right to love, and not just in a sexual way.


You taught me many things. You taught me standards, and simplicity, and ethical rigor. You taught me to love my neighbor as myself, to treat other people with kindness, even when I don't like them or they're mean to me, you taught me not to care about appearance or material accumulation. You taught me to be patient in suffering, not to whine, not to place all my problems on other people. You taught me to hope when it wasn't logical. I only realized when I was standing on the other side of the world, standing before the devastation of war and witnessing pain with no gloves on how courageous you had been with your illness. I wish you could have been able to share some of your suffering and scream and cry and be real with your feelings! but your example held me up and gave me just the dose of austerity I needed to survive the trauma of my eyes, to give myself permission to smile and laugh and joke sometimes while living constantly surrounded by chaos and destruction. So I thank you for that.


And you taught me that God is love. I don't think you were entirely consistent with that tenet, and I don't want to talk about religion. For me, it's something private. But still, this seed you planted for me from my youngest memory, and it has carried me through all these years, and even through our struggles.


I have this sneaking suspicion I won't make it out of here. Don't panic--if you get this letter and I'm still in here you can just focus on trying to get me out. I don't think there's really anyone else on the task! You are a very strong woman, so I know you can take this reality along with everything else. But we haven't spoken for years, and I miss you. If this is goodbye, you have the right to know.

Love and kisses from prison,
P.S. If you can do anything for me besides reading my articles and moving heaven, earth and the U.S. government on my behalf, please visit Suzie-Q.

© 2011 Gee Roughin

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Added on November 6, 2011
Last Updated on November 6, 2011
Tags: fear, paranoia, America, 80s, prison, war journalism, paranoid wasp


Gee Roughin
Gee Roughin

Cairo, Egypt

Before spending seven years writing Paranoid Wasp, I studied literature at Wheaton College (IL), Yale University and the University of Chicago. I moved to Paris in 1999. In addition to ten years in Fr.. more..