www.martinnaef.ch / 3: Briefe > To Jeffry M., Basel, January 14th 1998
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To Jeffry M., Basel, January 14th 1998

Dear Jeff! You brave man!!! and good soul and heart!!!! I got your tape at last! Thanks very very much for having made it and for having sent it! It really helps to know more about your life and about what you're thinking about things and what you are going through! There is of course still a lot, which I do not know - of course! I have no idea, what your life in the south was like. I mean: You've spent the bigger part of your life down there, so you must have done some things and you must have seen some things ... So if you ever get around to making me another tape, this is something I am really interested in. How did this man Jeffrey Matthews live, when he was 10 and 14 or 18 years old. And what did he do, when he was 25; how did he spend his days? Hat became of his brothers and sisters ...???

Jeff, I am afraid, this is not the time for this kind of story telling! For when you made this tape, Malvina was still alive! And now she is dead and you have again so much on your mind, so many worries and difficult emotions and problems to deal with. Yes, I am sure, that under these circumstances, talking about things, which have happened 20 or even 30 years ago, doesn't make much sense! Well, man. As far as this kind of story telling is concerned, I hope, that we will eventually have time for it! Maybe  when I visit or when you visit me ...

O, Jeff! Malvina is dead. This is so sad - sad for Erica and for you! The baby I hope will be alright, but for the two of you - well. I don't have to tell you this, you are in the middle of it! Just want to let you know, that I care! I care about you and your very difficult situation and I admire  the way you are dealing with all this, trying to not give up, to not lose hope and courage and dignity  and honesty! I admire you for this kind of energy and will and I love you for it! It also makes me very much want to help you, for - yes man, - you need help, I can see (or hear or smell) this and you should get it!!!

But, man. There is a problem: Since I have left the US, most conversations we had, were urgeant calls for money on your side. You know, how I feel and felt about this: I understand your situation, and I think, you're right to call me and tell what you need! I really feel, that this is o.k. and you should not stop doing this and give some bullshit just to make me feel good. Hat I don't like, is the fact, that we never have time to just talk. I know, that I told you all this on the phone allready and I am pretty sure, that you didn't forget. But I want to say it here once more anyway: I would love to have some time every now and then to talk with you - talk about how things are going and all this and maybe also talk about practical questions concerning your struggles to get on your feet - question about housing or paying bills or budgeting or clothing or what have you! But - as I said - when ever you called, all decisions were pretty much mae  and things were so pressing, that I never really could participate in the thinking about things! This is not just your fault - in the case of Malvinas death for instance -  it just was an ammurgiancy. But  in general you could call more often and regularly. If I am not at home, you just keep trying: There are days, where I am hard to get a hold of, but most of the times I am at home and it would not be too difficult to reach me. You know this. It may just be, that if there is no pressing issue, you do not feel  like calling or you have other things on your mind etc., I don't know. Then something happens and ... boom: I get this alarm phone call again! And you know how I dislike this type of thing and I dislike even more, because I have told you this before and somehow things did not change. So this has to change! I want to support you with money, advice, friendship and love - and I do love you, man! - but as long as you don't have a phone nor an address, you have to stay in contact with me! This may not be completely eas< (especially with the 1 800 number not working any more), but it is possible!!!

See, right now, it is sort of  strange to write to you, because I don't really know, where to send this letter to! I will send it to Malvinas old address, thinking that you're still there. But - somehow - I am talking into open space, into the void!

I tried Malvina old number, allthough you told me, that her phone had been disconnected. Well, of course, there was nobody. Now I just tried Thelma, but she seems to be at work,for - man - I don't know, where you are and why you haven't called me again after Malvina funeral. I was waiting all day for your call ... I hope, that nothing bad has happened, although I'd be pissed to hear, that everything is allright and you were just to tired or depressed to call! Yes - this  would be good news, for then I would at least know, that you're still alife! But then again: Man, why don't you call. Well - I am affraid, that something more serious has happened!

We have to talk, if this letter finds ist way to you! Call me! I do not want you to sink! I want to help! We just have to find ways to do it! Ways, which are less chaotic and stressful and more realistic for you, too! - Man, I am really worried, and I love you a lot! You are a great person. Very courageous in your heart ...  I pray that you are able to keep up this good spirit in you inspite of all the misfortune and bad luck, that you are in! Man, do not give up!

I am going to bring this letter to the post office tomorrow. I hope, that we have talked, beofre you even get it, if you ever get it! If not, please call me, man, in whatever situation you're in! If you see Ericia, if you're still taking care of her or helping her the way you did two weeks ago,  tell her, that I am thinking about her and her mam! - I send you much much love, you brave and (understandably!) tired  soul! Martin