Ch. 16: From Alice to Suzie-Q. August 10, 2005.

Ch. 16: From Alice to Suzie-Q. August 10, 2005.

A Chapter by Gee Roughin

Dear Suzie-Q,


I'm starting to get depressed. I guess that's not as bad as going crazy! but I do have daily contact with the prison staff. At first they were much more careful, but I think they know by now I'm not qualified to make a break and I have no experience with explosives. They're much more relaxed.


I wish I could describe this scene to you. I'm in a rural place, very removed. The staff are just poor people who needed to eat. When I came they thought I was a big fish, they were all so nervous! There are many things I'd like to explain, about their daily interactions with me--cultural details that would blow you away! But if there's one thing the "negotiators" keep repeating to me, it's that if I want to make it out I will have to promise absolute secrecy about everything, including where I am, so I can't really tell you what my world is like.


It's only been three months, but I feel like it's been a lifetime. Like I got dropped into a hole. Like I got dropped down into the bottom of a well. Makes me think of your first three months, and how you kept talking about them all these years.


Suzie-Q, the exclamation points have almost dropped out of my brain. It feels strange, after watching and telling so much disaster over time, I was never so low as now. I wrote a really upbeat letter to my mother a week ago--I told her I was sure I was going to die--I still am. I think this last week maybe the words I put down on paper are starting to sink in. That I don't think the letter will reach her. That I never got to say goodbye--that I never told her what she meant to me--that I really do believe--with fervency, like her sect that wallowed in uncanny powers--I know this is the end--I know. With no evidence, but no doubt. Suzie-Q, I will never see her or you again. And maybe you will never know what happened to me.


I can't write another goodbye. It's different--we've said everything to each other over the years--you don't need me to tell you what you already know.

I hope you're strong! One last exclamation point for you, my friend--since the answer is deep in my soul, and the source of all my courage.
Love to my love,

© 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..