The other day I was behind iO Theater. It’s an alleyway with garbage and homeless people walking by when there aren’t improv groups warming up. I found a book. It was badly water-damaged, still readable but with black watermarks. It was a hardcover copy of a Kurt Vonnegut book. When I opened it up I noticed that someone had written a fairly long message in it. I skimmed it and took some photos. I did not take the book; it was too badly damaged. I’ve taken the liberty of transcribing the message within… it’s sad and has an interesting message.
The day after my birthday
Hello, person who found this. Thanks for opening it. This was a borrowed book that got destroyed years ago when I moved with it and our truck got soaked. I had recently had a falling out with its owner. It was a thorn in my side, careless of me and I never righted the wrong. I guess I kept it for years, since college, as a reminder not be a douche.
Only recently have I realized that this was too long a penance to pay. It was a book. An expensive one at the time, and I was poor, so instead I used it as a way to flog myself forever even wronging someone who broke my heart. She was a friend, but not a terribly good one. She is now married to the boy I was in love with, although he would never loved me like her. She liked to taunt and belittle me and I guess that’s what really bothered me. I knew her future husband wasn’t really mine, and I’ve been in that scenario with others but the way she went about it, using comedy performance to continually poke jabs at my open sores, so to speak. You know those folks. And I responded poorly. I took it and kept my mouth shout around her. When others complained of her, though, I jumped in. I became the worst version of myself, bitter and cowardly.
And the worst part? I never even finished this book.
I hope to you and yours, you can read any part of this message or this book and do the following:
1- Find the best version of yourself + try it out consciously, often
2- Avoid people who make you your worst or make you feel small (as much as possible)
3- Let go. Let go. Right wrongs if you must but let go.
4- Continue to not be a douche.