Love Letters Left (Not Lost)

Notes left behind around campus by some careless lovers. I wonder if anyone will find them?

Dear Juan,

I feel as if you and I are racing toward one another like a train and a drunk man, stumbling along, counting the tracks in the dead of night.


Dear Anne,

Please, forgive me. I just can’t stop thinking about you. Honestly, I think I might be going crazy. (But—oh!—it’s a delightful sort of crazy! I never want to be sane, if this bliss is what it means to be mad.)

When I close my eyes, I see your face. Blushing, flushed, looking up at me with those thoughtful brown eyes of yours . . .

When you smile you look like a completely different woman.
(I know what you’re thinking: which Anne is the lovelier of
the two? Well, let me assure you, I’d sooner slice out my own
tongue than tell.

You think I’m being silly, I bet. No matter. Laugh at me all you like—I’d be lighted to be laughed at by the gorgeous and delectable Lady Anne. She has the most enlivening laugh. Whenever I hear it, I feel as if I could fly . . .

Forever and always your jester (that is, if you’ll have me?),


Dear M,

If you leave her, I’ll marry you, and we’ll have all the little genius babies your heart desires.

Until you do, however (unless you do?), I don’t feel like it would be right to keep the necklace.

Here’s hoping (for the both of us),
D. R.

Dear B:

These are some things which I love about you:

  • Your smile
  • Your laugh
  • The way you look, looking at me
  • How you always know the right thing to say to make my day a bit less god-awful
  • How you know the answer to any question you’re asked
  • Your confident demeanor (did I spell that correctly?)
  • Your superior spelling ability
  • The way you doodle whales in the margins of your notebooks
  • You always follow through on your commitments to the best of your ability
  • How you probably think that the fact I started this list with physical attributes, rather than personality traits, is just typical.
  • Your taste in British comedies
  • That thing you do with your toes when we’re at the beach
  • How you want to have kids someday
  • How you don’t believe in talking behind people’s backs, even if they’re assholes who deserve it.
  • How you could probably write a much, much better list than I ever could.

Love, Love, Love,

(There is a drawing of a whale at the top of the page, captioned: “My whales look like seals . . .”)


A few words from Vonnegut

(I would say he said it in a different time . . . but it was 2005.)

“Here is a lesson in creative writing.

First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.

And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I’m kidding.

For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy. I’m kidding.

We are about to be attacked by Al Qaeda. Wave flags if you have them. That always seems to scare them away. I’m kidding.

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

– Kurt Vonnegut



Good Ideas


Twenty Books

Twenty books I’d like to read (or finish, if I’ve already started them):

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Native Son by Richard Wright
  3. The Last Jew of Treblinka: A Memoir by Chil Rajchman
  4. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  5. China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston
  6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  7. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  8. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  9. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  10. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  11. Memoirs: All Rivers Run to the Sea by Elie Wiesel
  12. And the sea is never full by Elie Wiesel
  13. The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
  14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  15. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  16. God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens
  17. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  20. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt


Always Thinking About Creating