The Fourth Note
The note said it all, but Starsky knew Hutch was entitled to an explanation. For a long time he stared at the typewriter before he put his fingers on the keys. Slowly he began to type but more rapidly as his fingers spilled the words that rushed around in his mind. There was no structure in the letter - it was exactly how he felt, confused and upset, and with all sense of direction gone. The letter was a perfect reflection of himself.
Dear Hutch,You canít begin to understand how difficult this is. Iím jumpy, edgy, suspicious of everybody Ė are they talking about me? Why are they laughing? Why are they looking at me the way they do? Why didnít I just break my leg or have some horrible facial injury? At least then people could SEE thereís something wrong with me.
I see them, staring at me, thinking Iím either a nutcase or a drunk. Thatís why I stopped talking. I canít hear myself. Suppose I talk too loud or unclear. Whatever. I donít want to talk like that.
I hate the pitying, wary looks I get from people.
Iím scared by little things.
I canít hear people approaching, they startle me when they suddenly pop up. You included. I was never scared of you, but now I dread the moments that youíre near me.
I see movies on TV. Whatís a movie without a sound? How can I get the gist of a show if I canít hear the atmosphere?
How can I feel at ease in a room full of people who all laugh and chit-chat and make me feel like an outsider?
I canít read. Itís too quiet to read. Iím scared to read because Iíll be startled again when something happens that I canít hear coming.
Hutch, Iíd give anything to hear your voice. But itís all gone. I canít hear you. I canít look at your guitar without feeling my heart bleeding.
Iím jealous. I want to hear music. Music, Hutch. Your guitar, your voice - the very heart of your existence. And it's NOT there. There's just a void and it's making me crazy.
Iím so goddamned alone, Hutch, you canít even imagine.
Itís in the little things.
Iím scared shitless to close my eyes. Iím scared to sleep, now that the dizziness and the nausea are almost gone. Itís like someone turns off the lights and the sounds and leaves me alone in a vacuum that chokes me.
Iím scared to leave the kitchen. What happens if something boils or burns and I canít hear it?
I canít hear the doorbell, I can't hear the weather forecast, the radio, music, singing, warnings, laughter, cries... I can't hear a bloody thing.
I canít hear my car. I feel it roaring, but I canít hear it. I canít drive because I canít hear traffic. I canít hear the cherry even if it sat inside my ear.
I canít hear you when you talk to me. I know you try, but Hutch Ė itís just too much.
Thanks for your help. As ever, youíre a great friend, but right now, youíre further away from me than ever.
Itís one big trap. Iím trapped in my own isolation and itís driving me crazy.
Starsky didnít take the paper from the typewriter. He closed his eyes, slightly disoriented and quickly opened them again. He left the sheet where it was, fetched his jacket and left, the keys to his car and his apartment on the kitchen table, next to the typewriter.
To The Fifth Note