Letter from Tom to Laura

Márk Kovács

My dear sister,

Laura, I’m writing to let you know I’m fine, don’t worry and don’t cry for me. Please tell mom I didn’t want to disappoint her.

Well, I left Saint Louis. “I’m a member of the Union of Merchant Seamen.” I travel a lot, I go from city to city. I live for my dreams. Now you must be saying: Tom is like our father, he left us too. Laura, you should know, I could no longer live here in this confinement, with our mother’s illusions. Our mother’s constant concern, her eternal will and her particular world about life. I didn’t have to say things. It seemed unimportant to our mother what I was doing, what I wanted to do. I could no longer live detached from the world of reality.  That night when Jim came over for dinner, I shared my plans with him. I wanted to start a new life. I didn’t want to give up on my dreams, life is so short. I was planning for a change. I wasn’t patient, I didn’t want to wait. I wanted adventures. I couldn’t stay here. I didn’t want to work in the warehouse anymore for sixty-five dollars a month.

Laura, are you happy? What does life mean to you? You just sit at home in your own world. You have no friends, no goals, no desires and no dreams, you only have confinement, fear, and the glass menagerie.

My sister, I think I’m like our father. He was called by distance, and I was called by adventures. I liked going to the cinema in the evenings. I sat in the cinema and saw the real world around us on the movie screen: ocean, desert, mountains, people, cultures, countries, adventures. I couldn’t sit in the dark room and just watch and listen. I had to go live the adventures. Laura, I finally feel alive. I am no longer a young man from the warehouse. I walk my way, I make my dreams come true. “I traveled around a great deal. The cities swept about me like dead leaves. Leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise.”

“Oh Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but I am more faithful than I intended to be. Blow out your candles, Laura.”

I want to leave the past behind me.


Your brother, Tom