Dear Katy Kindheart,
I’m just a lonely and frustrated barley bucker with a lot of problems.
My name’s George and I’m a migrant ranch hand going from place to place in California with nothing to look forward to. I’ve been on the move now for nigh on five years with next to nothing to my name.
My problem is made worse because I’ve got this dumb ass to after alla time. I’ll just call this son-of-a-bitch Chuck cos I would hate to get this guy into real trouble but Chuck ain’t got no other relatives.
He can’t be trusted on his own for a few minutes on account of his killing little furry animals. You see, this crazy bastard likes the feel of soft fur and once he feels it he can’t let go and gets all mixed up.
For example, he’ll be squeezing a mouse and it will bite him so he pinches its head and squashes it flat as a pancake. I’ve bashed him on the head with a fence picket to make him stop but he’s so goddamn strong and he has no self control.
He alla time does something stupid on a ranch and gets canned which means I gotta scram too. At the last place in Weed, he used the ranch owner’s favourite kitten as a pillow and squashed its intestines all over the place. The thing is, he can’t remember what he does, a few minutes later after he does it and I gotta remind him so often I go nuts.
He treats me like a dad and tries to copy every damn thing I do. If I pull down my hat, he does the same. If I pick my nose, he does the same, only the dumbass eats it aswell. I can’t desert him cos we’ve got this plan of one day raising enough stake to get our own place and live off the fatta the land.
Anyways, we kinda look after each other and we’ve been buddies ever since we were kids. We kinda need each other. Without him, I’d be real lonely and that ain’t no good cos it leads to bitterness and hatred of everyone.
Please Katy, what does our future hold? Give me some hope.
A lonely, frustrated and tormented soul!
Candy’s Agony Aunt Letter
Dear Katy Kindheart,
I just thought I’d write to ya, but you must not look too closely at my English as I am not educated. I’ve heard that you are the best agony aunt around. I’ve gotta few problems on my mind and I really can’t share them with anybody.
You see, I’m nothin’ but a ranch worker and a cripple too. I’ve been workin’ on a ranch up near Soledad for the best part of twenty years and I can’t move anywhere as I got my hand cut off driving a cultivator. I’ve only got another eighteen months left and then they’ll put me out on the county.
I’m so scared about this. I feel awful lonely and unwanted. I can’t really talk to the other workers as they are out in the fields all day buckin’ barley and I’m stuck in this hell hole of a bunkhouse swampin’ out the floors. The other workers even took my dog out and shot him at the back of the head. I never made no real fuss about it at the time but I feel that my life has come to a dead-end, a bit like the goddamn wall I face everyday in the bunk.
You see, a guy gets awful lonely when he ain’t got no-one he can relate to. The other guys can scram into town and visit Ol’ Suzy’s cathouse and get it all out of the system. I can’t go out with them guys as I ain’t got the poop no more.
Please tell me Katy how I can best use what little life I have left to the full. I got a dream of getting’ my own place and eatin’ what comes out of the ground but I don’t have the confidence to visit a real estate and choose somewhere.
Ya see, I got some stake saved up and I bet I could do her if I really wanted, but them other guys won’t help me and they just laugh at me. My confidence has been totally destroyed.
I want your words of wisdom, Katy!! Please help me!
A crippled ol’ swamper
Curley’s Wife’s Agony Aunt Letter
Dear Katy Kindheart,
I’m just a worthless piece of property.
My real name’s Beatrice, stuck on this ranch with a bunch of fellas. There’s this one guy, his names Robert but he has been living his life with this nickname Curley so no-one else knows his real name except me and his pops, the guy in charge of this whole place.
You see, Curley’s my husband but he uses me like one of his “vintage” hats, mostly on for show and never used the way it should. Even though I’m the only woman dumb and desperate enough to stay with this crazy bastard, he acts like he can get any girl he can think of.
Curley’s always thinking he’s the hardest guy on the ranch and if he loses in a fight, he’ll take it out on me and he loses fights a lot. This one time, he and Slim rambled on ’bout who loosened the wheels on the boss’ carriage but when Slim socked Curley he scrammed back to the house and took it out on me. He may have been winded but he still had enough energy to throw me into the wall.
I’ve only been on this ranch for nigh on two weeks and I’ve got more scars than a cat’s scratch post. I’ve been living in the boss’ house with him and Curley and I don’t get a look-in for nothing interesting, I work while they play and sometimes they’re too lazy to play. Curley’s dad ain’t got anything against me but he still thinks I should be kept from everything and everyone, not because he wants to protect me but because he doesn’t trust me. It’s like I’m a bird in a cage and they’re just enjoying watching me squawk.
I’m not supposed to be stuck in this hell-hole, I wanted to be living the life of a Hollywood star. I was the greatest actress of my time and I was gonna get the chance to leave my mark of fame on the world when I was told I was gonna receive a letter to take me there but my mother took it before I got a chance to see it in the post, she never admitted to it but I knew she came home early especially to get that letter and she couldn’t even use it anyways ’cause it was under my name.
Well I took my revenge out on her when Curley arrived in our town, he seemed nice but a little troubled so I took him back to my house and introduced him to my mother. She didn’t enjoy it one bit when she found out he worked outta town so when he offered to take me with him I couldn’t refuse. I hope she’s suffering without me but knowing her she’s probably got her feet up, enjoying the peace and quiet.
Well, I certainly ain’t got any peace and quiet cause no-one treats me the way I deserve; I never get called my real name, everyone’s scared of me cause of Curley, they’re insulting me behind my back and I can’t talk to none of them to explain how I feel. I’m always trying to tap into their male instincts by showing off my body because I think it’s the only way to grab their attention. I really need to actually get into a conversation with somebody and tell them all this.
Well, I have met this one fella who’s new on the ranch but he’s a little messed up in the head. He hardly ever talks but when I can get him to speak it’s the most communication I’ve ever had between anyone except Curley and his Pops. I hope that maybe we could spend a little more time together but he’s either working or dragging his heels behind this scrawny little bastard. He never leaves his side but I will get him on his own some day and explain to him everything about me just for the hell of it. It’s not his fault that he can’t explore on his own, it’s just the little guy acts like his father and tells him to leave everything alone or he’ll get in trouble. I also got a bastard breathing down my neck, watching my every step, but I will get him on his own with no one to interrupt us.
Curley better not find out about my plan for my sake ’cause he just gets mad about nothing but if he sniffed out a chance that I was flirting with other men behind his back then I would either have to take the beating of my life or run away and have nowhere else to go.
Please help me survive this terrible horror of a life.
A lonely, mistreated victim of abuse.