duck-shaped pain

2000-10-25
Where I Rocketh

This is going to sound like an odd, greeting-card sort of sentiment coming out of me, but I really like writing letters. I never get to do it much these days this has sort of taken its place, more or less. Of course, that's not exactly an accurate statement it implies that up until the moment I started this journal, I was writing letters all the time. This is not true. I was not writing letters at all, and haven't for some time. I

I like to think that I write really good letters. I don't know if it's true I've never really gotten any feedback on any of them, save for one, which got some sort of smart-assy reviews. As few and far between as they are, I try to make each of them as interesting as possible.

I usually start with a description of where I am. This is important, as I rarely write letters at home. Interesting surroundings make for more interesting letters. Good places to write letters are any place that serves hot beverages at odd hours, or, if absolutely necessary, your nearest college/university library, preferably in a carrel or other secret, enclosed spot.

Some places I have written interesting letters:

  • Two different Denny's: the one in my hometown and the Evans and Colorado location in Denver

  • Random spots, Norlin Library, University of Colorado at Boulder [1]

  • Various tables both indoors and outdoors, St. Mark's Coffeehouse, Denver

  • On the bus (this one is rare it tends to produce letters that are much more annoying than interesting, except when something weird happens on the ride, allowing you to tell the recipient that the reason your handwriting is so shaky is that you were attempting to fight off a six-and-a-half foot transvestite who was trying to throw a plastic cigarette lighter at your head [2] )

I write the best ones to people I just barely know. That way, I have a whole hoard of stories on which to draw. Assuming that the recipient knows as little about me as I do about them, there are lots of routes one letter could take. I get to create a new version of myself with each letter.

The second best ones are to people I know really well. I don't have to explain things a lot or provide much background I can just get right into the meat of what I have to say.

While I love to write letters, I am terrible with correspondence. I am so lame at keeping up an exchange with someone else on a regular basis (this applies to email, too). Letters work best for me when they're completely unexpected by the recipient.

When I plan to write someone a letter, I go all out. I usually buy nice new paper, find some spectacular envelope or other mailing device, decorate it, include interesting little pictures and scraps of paper I find, and sometimes you know you're special if you get one of these from me a mix tape. I try to make it interesting.

I've never gone so far as to mail interesting objects to someone in the mail, even though I've certainly thought about it. Some people I know from Denver spent many months mailing objects back and forth with some friends of theirs in New York: candles, enormous flat pieces of cardboard, bags of sand, an eggplant none with packaging of any sort, just a label stuck on them somewhere. The eggplant always kills me. I always liked to image that it brought a lot of joy to the postal employees it visited: being passed around with care from one mail station to the next, riding proudly on the seat next to the mail carrier in his or her truck, things like that. [3] I just stick to letters, though.


I made black bean and squash soup for dinner. It was great. I rocketh.


[1] Even though I did not actually go to school there.

[2] Which actually happened to me, except it was on light rail, not the bus.

[3] Last time I mentioned the eggplant story to someone, they pointed out what an incredible pain in the ass it must have been to ferry that eggplant safely through the mail system. The postal employees probably didn't think it was neat at all.

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