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by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

I got a letter from Grandma today. She's making butterflies on commission. The cafeteria is free, she says, but she can buy great ethnic food with the money she earns. She likes Jamaican meat pies. She says the ones she gets now are much better than those we used to buy in Toronto. She thinks they are more traditional. I said it stands to reason.

I told her about you. She doesn't really understand the Internet. I explained it is like a combination of writing letters and making telephone calls. Then she said she worried I was spending too much money on it. I told her money can't buy me love. But then I reminded her I just pay a flat fee every month. She was cool with you being so much younger. When she was coming up it was commonplace for women to marry much older men. Of course, then, they often had no choice in the matter. I didn't tell her you were bi, but I did say we hoped to meet someday.

She said she saw Elvis last week. He was singing at some kind of impromptu outdoor performance. I don't understand how they plan those without cell phones. Anyway, she said he sang Stairway to Heaven. Wish I'd been there. Not really, but I would have loved to see that concert.

It's so nice they can write us now. Heaven isn't what she expected, but she says her cousin Thelma shouldn't call it a sweatshop. Grandma worked in one before the Depression. The real one. She made shirts. Up there, they don't have to work at all, and of course they don't sweat. It's just that they need money if they want luxuries. I guess it's His way of making sure souls maintain a good work ethic even after death. Or maybe he just needs the help. She said she's made a lot of black swallowtails, so the next time you see one, it could be one of hers.

No, she could not get His autograph for you. All three of Them are working, like, 24/7. I know you were joking, but I asked anyway. The best she could do was Voltaire. She said he is easy to talk to, if you know French. I believe he thinks she's hot.

To answer your other question, you definitely should write your sister. Even though it's been years, I bet she misses you as much as you've missed her. Why wait?

The End

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