Dear Mom: If I should die… An inadvertent love-letter to a mid-00s Portland.

I just came across the following email excerpt, which I had forgotten about entirely since the last time I stumbled upon it back in 2010. In the summer of 2005, my good friend Nathaniel Whittemore and I traveled through the Balkans and into the Palestinian Territories. There was only one occasion in which I felt unsafe, and it lasted for a couple of days, and I sent my mother the following email that evening. What strikes me now is how it serves as an inadvertent love letter to a mid-2000s Portland.

  1. If I for some reason piss off the wrong person over here (again, I’m not planning on it), here are a few good things to know:  Cremation
  2. No – I repeat: no – I repeat one more time: no religious ceremony. I would actually prefer to have whatever service at SPACE Gallery in Portland, Maine as this is where the largest group of people gathering would come from and it’s a-religious and it’s non-profit.
  3. Instead of flowers, suggest the money be donated to WMPG and Blunt Youth Radio Project (or youth radio projects in general). I feel pretty strongly about this.
  4. If it’s in Portland, I want Seekonk, headed by my great friend Sarah Ramey (Sarah’s number is in my phone and Annie [Tselikis] also has this number), to sing two songs: a) Deanna by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (it might not be by them originally but I love it and it mentions Jesus once which is really all that is necessary in the setting of death as far as I am concerned) and b) We’ll Meet Again, which is dad’s favorite song and which he wants performed at his funeral. Since Dad and I are always competing anyway, if I – for some reason – go before him, I’ll be grinning from beyond about the fact that I get to steal his song.

Note: While I did not die, my father did (a couple years ago), and Ramey, who now performs as Wolf Larsen, ended up singing “We’ll Meet Again” at his memorial and he would have loved it.

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.