A letter

I got this nice letter from a reader of my zine, and I thought I’d post it here. This letter helps remind me of the universality of our experiences, even across great chunks of space and between far-flung acquaintances.


[letter] Dear Carrot,

I’m in the front room of the weird house where I’m living, where we have
to leave all the faucets running at night if we want to have running water
in the morning. I’m writing while our three foster cats and one foster
rabbit do their strange late-night animal things. The cats are tearing
around the house and the rabbit is pogoing around his cage like it’s…
whenever people pogoed, and attacking the food bowl, which had been full
of the most infantile of baby carrots from our friend’s farm.

It’s late and theoretically I’m getting up early tomorrow so I can Work On
My Writing, and then staying up till 3 in the morning (the NEXT morning)
to do the radio show with T, but I really live in a shed. And even
though I’ve slept through colder nights out there– when I think about the
process of brushing my teeth and walking out there across the yard, making
a warm space under the heavy pile of blankets and sleeping bags, falling
asleep– I think again.

It just seems unappealing, and the heavy dry heat from the blue flames of
the propane heater seems like a much better idea. The heat in my house is
like a big ethereal hug for your whole body, the kind you never want to
let go. Like being on the inside of the spoon, like a cup of hot chocolate
someone made for you without you even mentioning you were cold and maybe a
little sad. So you can see why I’m still awake. Not to mention the
enticing glow of the computer screen…

Yes, I still live in C–. But I sent all my books back to G–,
I packed my things into four boxes plus a sleeping bag and a typewriter
and moved into a shed on eighty acres of land, five miles outside town. A
step taken in some kind of direction; I don’t know where this will lead me
but it’s not to a safe and well-ordered life of violin lessons and
graduate programs and teaching and whatever version of white picket fences
everyone thought I was sold on. Everyone thought was in store for me. In
springtime I’m quitting my job.

But, you know, this was always waiting for me, this shed where I wake up
after having slept through another cold night, stick my face out of the
blankets into the sharp air, and discover that I’m still alive and glad of
it. Glad of it. I’ve woken up happy before, but this is different.

And it works even when I’m not happy, which is most of the time these days
since it is February. It’s February, and so even in North Carolina, even
in C—, even in Fort Fortitude (my shed), everything sucks. I don’t
believe in astrology or a Christian-type god, but I have full faith in the
destructive powers of the month of February. The only thing to be done is
get through it. If that means giving up on your plans to be out of bed by
7:15 to stretch and make quinoa and drink coffee and write, and instead
waking up when you’re done sleeping, eating a pack of sugar wafers a day,
and listening exclusively to death metal, so fucking be it. Once March
rolls around…


these dreams will be my anchor
these dreams will be the death of me

4 thoughts on “A letter

  1. Sloth- you love it! You love zines! Make one! Hurrah!

    ShanaRose- do it! It’s not my quote, it’s from the letter, and they’re actually lyrics to a hardcore song- I don’t listen to hardcore, but I appreciate the sentiment.

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