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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
& other curiosities :: elsewhere :: profile


06.23.02

Dear Dipti,

Remember when you told me sometimes you couldnít glean much about my life from my journal? Well, Iíve considered that remark very seriously: how can a writer improve if she can't communicate even the vagaries of her life to her friends? You see, Iíve gotten away with writing the way I do sometimes because it sounds pretty. But that doesnít mean my prose communicated anything of substance. Or at least anything real enough to hold, its meanings understood. In order to be a better writer, I want to communicate what I mean to you Ė but without losing the poetic, without becoming too accessible, without ceasing to develop the more complex understandings that happens when the act of writing gains momentum.

Probably thatís why I donít want to go to graduate school in creative writing; I shudder at the thought of being surrounded by people with similar needs at hand. You can only develop so much, before becoming rather minor. Iíd rather experience. Iím a writer, but thatís shorthand for someone who not only thinks about language and storytelling but also about people and the needs, concerns, desires, histories, contradictions, etc. that attend them.

Lately, Iíve been writing a lot, abetted by such factors like being in transition, meeting new people, working for two magazines, or even today, grey and Sunday, Can spinning on the record player. I havenít spoken to anyone 'cuz my phone is temporarily disconnected and the place I'm staying at alone has DSL. (Where are all the bookstores with the best magazine racks, huh?) On days like this, Dipti, without the to-do-packed schedule of ďworkingĒ for two magazines, I tend to unravel. Sleep til late and when I wake, feed the animals, and meander from sofa to computer to kitchen sink until, finally, I leave the house, in search for humans.

Like me, the cats get restless, batty, too, since they never leave the house. No surprise that they're always knocking over plants, eating clothes, hunting each other so ferociously. Sometimes I take each of them out unto the deck, cradling them carefully in my lap. Stunned, they sniff, afraid and curious, excited by wind and the unfamiliar scents of park and car exhaust and flowers and neighbor bbqs.

That's me, afraid and curious, both the agoraphobe sneaking glances behind newspaper and the child who wants to run into it, eyes open and hands stretched out to fondle everything that beckons. I want to initiate conversation but donít, sometimes, because Iím neither tipsy nor playing Editor, the dare-devil without a care because sheís just spent hours walking in sunlight. Itís no surprise that summerís my favorite season.

Today, I didn't talk to anyone except to Coffeeshop Girl, who mumbled something about my pointy black patent leather Marc Jacob heels.

Which I find rather funny. That I have Marc Jacob shoes. I mean, I hafta worry about the prices of apricots and plums, because I might not have an extra dollar for tomorrow's coffee. But then again, I got them 'cuz I had lotsa credit from selling the remnants of my closet when I moved. And they are pointy and patent-leather, shoes fit for a witch. Sexy librarian shoes.

When I "bought" them, Rini commented, "Will they be practical? As long as they last . . ." To which the clerk had sniffed, "Well, they're Marc Jacob. Theyíll last." Rini rolled her eyes. That name has no currency for her; she's bound by the names of unimaginable body parts and dys/functions. Thatís partly why I love her. She knows the name for when your tummy rumbles.

And itís funny that youíll learn that too, in Chicago. Med-school, Dipi! Give Ďem hell with your bad-ass poet-self, Ďkay?

Love,
Phil

p.s. You will probably see more letters addressed to you here, since it's a medium apt for digression and ephemera.






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