Dear Stephen King #1

Dear Stephen King,

It’s November, 1980. I’m 10 years old, my grandfather is dead. I wore a green dress with black polka dots to his funeral and I didn’t like that dress, but my father bought it for me, and he’d left for good the summer before. I wore that damn dress because I believed that man would sense the loss and magically show up at the cemetery and steal me away. He didn’t. Something better happened. See, I’d gone through his things, (my father’s, not my grandfather’s) and found a paperback copy of Carrie.

After the funeral, all the clattering people came back to the house. There was a lot of food, but all I remember was the ambrosia salad. So I sat on a step stool in the kitchen, with my ugly dress pulled down around my too small tights, eating ambrosia out of the serving bowl (with the serving spoon so no one else would want any…) and read your novel.

I tried to explode the world with my mind for at least a year after that. Okay, fine. I still do. But whatever, that’s not the point. The point is, I started my journey with you that day, in that kitchen. And then, read every single book you wrote. Many of them twice or three or four times.

Last week, my 12 year old daughter lost a little piece of her soul. Nothing too serious, 12 year old girls shed pieces of themselves all the time… but as she cried, all I could do was pull a dogeared copy of Everything’s Eventual down off my bookshelf and place it, tenderly in her hands.

“He fixes things in your brain.” I said.

“How?” she said.

“Magic.”

Thank you,

Suzanne Marie Palmieri. Used to be Cooper before I got married. Now I have all the VOWELS. Oh well.