Week of letters: Afterword

May 27, 2001

one person called this a “grand artistic endeavor,” and while that sounds nice and lofty, i don’t think it was all too grand or artistic at all. it was just an experiment to see how i express myself to the people i love and how it feels to share that with a larger audience. it was also a challenge to make myself write every single day.

what did i learn? that letter writing is very comforting and relaxing, and it feels so nice to connect with someone from heart to head to pen to paper. that i may express myself in different ways to different people, but it doesn’t make me any less real or genuine. it’s just the nature of relationships. that some things are better left unsaid, and while it is a very grand and artistic thing to tell true stories, i don’t owe explanations to anyone — not you, not them, not even myself.

this is a website. these are stories. that is all.

here are notes kept this week — just like a writer to keep notes about the notes i write.

day one
there has been no editing for style or content whatsoever. this is the actual letter i sent ani today. i tried as best i could to write this with only her in mind, but the idea of another audience reading this sometimes slipped into my head. still, i tried to maintain a level of intimacy and honesty, even if it made me cringe mentioning certain things i normally wouldn’t mention on the site.


also: we did not end up having bacon, because marmalade cafe stopped serving breakfast at 1pm and we got there at 1:30pm. drats, foiled again! still, the food was delish and i would highly recommend it to anyone in the los angeles area.

day two
i feel all silly about saying what i said about feeling lonely in my last letter to ani, because today i truly felt at home and like myself, hanging out with the st. monica’s crew. old friends and new friends, alike — loneliness didn’t come into my head once.

when writing to my grandma, i am always careful what i say, because she is a chronic worrier, and it is so bad that it affects her health. my letters are always good news and good feelings, and that’s perfectly okay, because why would i want to send anything else to her across all those thousands of miles? also: i pay close attention to my handwriting, because she would scowl at me if it were less than lovely. she was a teacher, you know.

the great thing about my grandma is she never writes me letters, yet she constantly complains that i don’t write her enough. i love that. also: she keeps everything. the last time i was in the philippines, we pored over letters that my mother had written her when she was just a little girl.

day three
these notes, i’m realizing, are becoming just as interesting to me as the letters themselves. it’s what’s going through my head at the time that is so fascinating.

last night, before writing that letter to michelle, i sat staring into nothing trying to figure out who to write next.

confession: i felt myself cringing at the idea of writing certain people because of certain items of conversation i’d have to bring up (i.e. if i wrote tonia, i would have to talk boy-talk and i just didn’t want to get into that on the site, knowing that certain boys read this).

but you know what? that’s ok, because you reach a certain point where you decide what you want to share and what you don’t want to share. no apologies necessary. this is what it is.

by the way, i really am mailing these letters. it’s a good thing i bought stamps the other day.

day four
next verse, same as the first.

day five
this is a postcard i wish i could send to my friend greg fox but can’t, because i don’t know where exactly he is right now (somewhere in alaska, i think).

he is the only person i wanted to talk to last night. i can write one sentence to him and he knows just what i mean.

last night, i lay in bed, scribbled a few words and fell asleep, sad.

day six
this writing-every-single-day-no-matter-what business is exhausting.


day seven
rusty was one of the first people to whom i’d write long, narrative letters, inserting photographs and decorating envelopes, making observations on the world and sharing my dreams and secrets on slices of paper.

i miss that. not just his letters — although his were especially cherished — but all letters, that feeling of opening your mailbox and seeing a piece of someone you love waiting to be opened. whether it was a love letter or a rushed note from a friend, it was always just so nice to get it.

certainly, there should be more letters to the people we love.


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    I consumed more bacon than any human should and lived to tell the tales.

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