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Dear man whom I ran over last summer, whose body (that I assumed was lifeless) I dumped in the water and is now terrorizing me,

Wow, what a crazy week it’s been!

Like, in the brief history of my 19 years, this one is up there! In fact, the only other week that springs to mind that might equal this is, well, last year. Yep, when I ran over you!

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: I am not writing this letter because you have violently murdered the three other passengers that were in my car that night, leaving me to try to escape that same grisly fate. I mean, I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t on my mind a little, but these words were long overdue, and I’m honestly thankful you gave me the nudge I needed to write them.

Because what I did to you last year? Unbelievably not cool. I know that now.

You’re probably thinking “Hindsight is 20/20, pal.” And you’re absolutely right: I should have known what I was doing was stupid, even when I was 18. For starters, we weren’t even driving anywhere we had to be all that quickly. Like, Denny’s is open 24 hours, you know? We could have sat and waited a bit to see if you’d come around. Maybe even just taken you to the ER ourselves. Guess we had that Grand Slamwich tunnel vision, and you paid the price. Again, looking back at how immature I was last year, honestly, I’m embarrassed.

So what has caused this seismic shift in my thinking, this leaps-and-bounds growth in my maturity? Well, college! There’s just so much responsibility, you know? I have to get up for class on my own, make my bed, do my laundry. Really, I think it would be pretty difficult for you to even see me as the same person I was last year, given what an upstanding adult I’ve grown into.

But it’s not just all of the little things I have to take care of: I’ve been feeding my mind, too.

The last few months, I’ve totally discovered philosophy. My roommate gave me a copy of Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, in which he says, and I quote, “Whatever happens, take responsibility.” That can’t be a coincidence, right?! I absolutely never took responsibility for running you over. And maybe running someone over and flinging their corpse off a cliff into the murky depths below is okay for an 18 year-old, but as a 19 year-old, I’m way better than that.

Also, have you ever heard Bob Marley’s Legend album? If you haven’t, I’ve spent this past semester exploring it, and I highly recommend you do likewise. “Redemption Song” has some lyrics that I believe spot-on apply to our situation: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our minds.” Again, wow. I’ve been a slave to the guilt I’ve been feeling about running you over, and you’ve been a slave to wrecking your bloody vengeance upon me and my friends.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could both emancipate ourselves from our mental bonds?

In summation, while I would like to remind you that we all thought you were dead when we lobbed you into the briny abyss, we should not have assumed as much. I hope you accept this apology in lieu of my grisly death, and maybe we can get together to laugh about it over beers someday soon. My treat. I insist!

John Papageorgiou

John hosts a long running comedy radio show titled Papa's Basement. He also performs standup and improv and drummed once for a Unitarian church.

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