I received an envelope in the mail. No return address. Portland post mark. I opened the envelope and found a note—if note is the word—handwritten on green science/graph paper.
For Rain, and you
Okay, a mystery. I’ve been reading mysteries, taking notes on writing one myself, teaching mystery writing, and becoming a mystery to myself these days, so why not engage with this one?
I looked up the URL. It was Skid Row’s 1989 smash hair metal power ballad, “I Remember You.” It has over 86 million views. I had never heard the song before. I played it. Some of the lyrics are:
Woke up to the sound of pouring rain
Washed away a dream of you
But nothing else could ever take you away
‘Cause you’ll always be my dream come true
Oh my darling, I love you
Remember yesterday, walking hand in hand
Love letters in the sand, I remember you
Through the sleepless nights through every endless day
I’d want to hear you say, I remember you
What follows are my comments/questions/observations on the note and the song. I am summoning the detective within.
Why anonymous? The sender expected me to follow the URL. Did they know I would? Why old graph paper? Why that neat script? I did not recognize the handwriting. Was it disguised? Why capitalize Rain? Who does that? Why not declare what you need to declare? I can take it. Is the rain reference in the note and the song a clue to our previous relationship? I have a lot of special ones connected to rain and I wrote a book about rain that references the fake rain in the hair metal power ballad music videos from the 80s. Did the sender read the rain book? Is there an agenda at work in this note and expectation? Or merely a cryptic way of someone caring about me? Skid Row! Hair metal! A power ballad! Anyone who knows me knows I never listen to this genre of music—then or now. Is there irony at work here? Am I wasting my time writing this when I should be writing something to save my life? Why aren’t people direct in their caring, if indeed this is caring? Is someone really remembering me? I like that the song is in the present tense. I actually like the song. Should I thank the sender of the note? Yes. Thank you. I did feel better after listening to the song and I can’t exactly explain why. Eighty-six million people get it. Send me more notes like this, whoever you are, assuming you are reading this. This could end up in a detective novel.
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