Dear Adeline and River,

I am ridiculously good at Street Fighter II. I have yet to find another human being who can consistently beat me. The computer-controlled fighters present the only consistent challenge.

In Street Fighter II, you can raise and lower the difficulty. One difficulty star means the challenger stands there and picks his nose. Eight stars means a trip to Best Buy to replace the cracked television. I own a particularly insidious version of the game called Street Fighter II Turbo. Apparently, Capcom decided more cracked television screens were in order. With the “Turbo” setting, everything speeds up. This means you can set the game to eight difficulty stars and four turbo stars, effectively making everything hate you.

And this, my two little girls, is the best I can do to describe life right now at 10:38pm on October 21, 2014. I am fighting Major Bison on seven difficulty stars and four turbo stars.

You girls won’t remember this period of life, but for some reason I want to time-stamp it with a letter.

I hope some day, when your life cranks up the speed, that you will read this, if for no other reason then to remember that I understand. I know what it’s like to feel everything hit at once. I understand the feeling of slowly drowning. I get the insidious gnawing at your resolve to press on.

I am not going to give you banal platitudes about how to get through tough times. God knows that they don’t sit well with me.

In this moment, the best I can offer is empathy. I’ve been there too.

I love you both.




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