You’re teenage now. I need you to know that your family is important. Need you to know how to make money off your family. I know telling you about making money off your family is not how I want you to know or get to know your family. But I need you to know your family, and maybe the only way you’ll know them right now is with the temptation of this money.

Your family, your grandparents, they need to come to the graduation. You need to invite them. I need you to invite them. I know you don’t know how. But it’s very simple. There’s money in it. It shames me to tell you this. I also consider myself a deeply moral person. You should know that. I need you to know your grandparents aren’t going to know your motivation is money.

Well, maybe they will know. They raised me. I’m dangling this in front of you. Maybe they’re dangling it in my subconscious. Maybe they’re telling me to tell you, it’s ok, there’s money to be made here, off the ones that came before, off of the tradition of where money comes from. Maybe they’ve already told me all of this. It comes from the places, the mouths of the people, that tell you where it doesn’t come from: trees, lethargy, ungardened gardens.

You have to write them and tell them that you want them to be where you will be on the day of your graduation. They are already expecting it, this invitation. They’re inwardly demanding it, have been, since the moment you slid into this world, onto their lap, off the slide, into a locker. You are theirs, you see, as you are mine, and you are yours. But they are yours too, as I am yours and you are yours. We all share these commonalities, we’re on this ship, yes, this metaphoric vessel, this dwelling place where we traverse the seas that quake and shake things up in our individual and collected experiences. You have to write them, old fashioned, with a pen to paper, to make them know you’ve taken the time to dot and cross the t’s and i’s.

Give me your hand. Let me show you something physical. I can’t believe you’ve never done this. First take a blank white envelope. This is the holding place that brings your request from them to you. I know you’ve seen it, handled it. This is how it was done. Always. Forever, passed between people to people. This is it. Fill it. Place that which you’ve written into the envelope and seal it. Yes, with your tongue. But not the whole of your tongue. Just lightly dab it, dab it just along the dried paste. When you moisten the paste it reanimates as adhesive. So, you’ve only got one shot. Once you’ve licked it and it dries you won’t have another chance at this.

So take it and dab it and seal it.

This paper has their address. No, it goes in the center, and it should be larger than your address. Yes, your address also goes on the envelope. So there’s a place to return the letter should it be lost. No, they aren’t going to send the letter back. The address is in case the carrier has a reason to return it, in case your grandparents have moved.  No, they haven’t moved. But, yes, you still need the address - in case something goes wrong. What can go wrong? Anything can go wrong. Everything often does. You know this.

Dogs can go wrong. Snow can go wrong. A letter can get wet and the ink may confuse the words and thus the direction of the envelope. Maybe the envelope ends up with someone who denies it. Maybe it has to find you again because a number you’ve written is illegible. Maybe there are new addresses that we didn’t know about when we sent the letter. Maybe time has forgotten all things as I have forgotten to show you this very basic thing: your address, at the top of an envelope. Jesus, what a fool I am.

You are not a fool. I have definitely not shown you enough. We paid extra for fancy kindergarten and now I have to teach you about primal technology. Technology before technology. Volcanic ash on walls. This isn’t your fault. It’s my own. Time certainly has caught up.

No, not there, to the left, like in a letter. Yes, you also put it to the left in the letter so people know who is responsible for the message below the greeting. The greeting is the Dear Whoever, part. They’ll be expecting that as well.  You haven’t written the letter? You’ve never written a letter? Surely we must have talked this through. An email is like a letter. A letter has more rules. No, they will not respond to an email. It has to be this way. You start with Dear and then the name, in this case: Grandma & Grandpa. That’s an ampersand. It’s the same as saying and.

What's that? Is that an email from mom? My mom? No. That can’t be right. They don’t know anything about this modern.

Oh. I see. They’ve sent me an email as well. Yes, there are lots of ways to make money. Yes, I see. You can go.