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Dec 3, 1980

  1. Chris [ last name redacted ]
  2. New York, going to
  3. Atlantic City
  4. Baby
  5. Egypt
  6. Marriage last December

Dear M.P.W.W.S.T.O.B.P.O.P.A.P.T.I.P.L.,

Well I said I that I must get motivated and write. Here I am folks! And am I motivated!

The above list is basically the points...

[ Yeah!!! Excuse me I just got a letter from a certain person ]

...brought up in our lunchtime discussion. All of them by themselves are true. I have been debating whether or not to spoon-feed you. That is, explain each of them and show you how we applied them to our story.

The original question (asked by you) was "Who's Chris?" (may I shake your hand again!) Well. Christopher Andrew [ redacted ] is the fellow who I just got this letter from. (Actually me acting so dang superior because I know who he is is just because —) – I was always too embarrassed to mention it to you. Because of you being a boy, and our unique relationship of not being boyfriend-girlfriend. But you could say he is my boyfriend – am I his girlfriend? I don't know......

Anyway there was this exchange program between the Atlantic City Friends and our Middle School. Guess who I met. It was kind of funny because I hadn't even noticed him while he was here and at the last minute he asked me for my address. At the time I wasn't flattered – just slightly amused. And to my surprise, he wrote. I still wish........

It's sort of a tradition or something to have a guy we liked in our group – and to sigh over. Yes we are girls, Nick, sorry to disappoint you – I read all the little house books, I wear dresses and I stare at myself in the mirror. That's getting a little personal but I want you to know that in some respects we are normal gals.

Any-a-hay, we have these "long-distance boyfriends" Cindy her "bum" in Florida, Ralph [ last name redacted ], Erika (she'll kill me if she finds out I told you) her guy in New Orleans, Salih (pronounced "Solly") whom she gets broody over. Remember Cindy's party? "I don't want a pickle, I just want to ride on my motorsickle" He has a motorbike and she's always afraid he's going to kill himself, and my Chris in Atlantic City (actually Clermont)

This was the sort of "girl talk" I was talking about in a previous note.

Oh yes no. 2 on the list on page one: New York, going to. There was an exchange program with the Brooklyn Friends. I was never in the big apple and I would like to keep it that way.

No. 3 I have already explained (Atlantic City)

No. 4, baby and No. 5, Egypt are closely related. They are related in that where you heard about it was in Egypt. Me sister, Kathy, has a half-mexican child.

No 6, Marriage last December, was Sandy & Rick in Boone.

Do you see now how we twisted fact into fiction?

You have imagination don't you? Or does everything that you say (concepts, ideas, theories) come from books? I am just being cruel – don't mind me.

Oh, on the deck I was fragment-talking (is that a good word for it?) about good ol' fat face (Dr. Zinn) I saw him in fifth grade and sixth grade. Because – I was doing bad in school I guess and my parents thought it would help me. I tried to tell you about it, my relationship with him – but it wasn't the place.

I have a reaction to Victor Zinn like I have to poison ivy (I am extremely allergic to the weed – almost to the point that I am paranoid of it – but that's not the point I am making. Anyway I break out something fierce.) Jane went to him – I don't know why – her parents recommended him to me parents. So they sent Sandy, who, at the time was having difficulty in school. I think she really likes him. At least she got along better than I did.

I was really hateful to him. The first time I resolved to myself that I would only tell him my name, grade, and social security number. Actually the first time I met him was at a family conference. Kathy didn't like him because he got too personal. I sat and played with a hairpin on the rug the whole time – I was terribly bored. I got one impression – he said the word "neat" too much. To me that meant he was trying to be identifying with the young. I had never met an adult who said stuff like that before.

The first appointment with him I had, as I said above, resolved not to say anything. But as you may have noticed I have a mouth and I tend to use it.*

*see my comments on the retreat, and if I didn't write any – ask me

I have always talked to him – unlike my reaction to Jean which causes me to clam up. But my way of talking, to say the least is/was obnoxious.

The second I would walk into his office I would get sarcastic. I really hate that man, and I don't know why. I have never been able to figure out why I act the way I do in front of him.

One thing for sure – I have always gotten my friends to hate him. (See my comments about psychologists in an earlier note.) I once wrote a whole bunch of nasty things about him on paper complete with pictures and put it on his desk among the papers while he wasn't looking. (I had pretty free reign over his office after I got bored of sitting in my chair and not talking to him. He loved to observe me. Or not observe me. The only thing he didn't let me do was read his comments on some inkblots, and throw his glasses across the room.)

When he found the paper two weeks later (his desk was a mess) he was very surprised. He said not one of his patients had ever tried that approach. "I pity his wife, she has to change his diapers every night" I now can imagine his feelings when he found it amongst his papers.

Actually he probably is a nice person, considering. He never told my parents anything I didn't want him to. He hated large technical words, and once he read a report about me from the place at Duke† and laughed at the garbledy-gook.

‡ Why am I having trouble when I remember I hate the idea

† Oh yes not only did they send me to a psychologist but before that they had me tested to see if I had a "learning disability"‡ Well what they couldn't see was what Henry diagnoses as, pure and simple, laziness. I am, unless I feel like it, or it's due, or if you push, I won't do anything.

← ugh! that sentence doesn't work

Anyway, about the testing. They tested my sight and coordination. And things like classroom conditions. How I work in silence, low constant noise, loud constant noise, erratic noise. Also things like "Make up a story about this picture." And "Hand me the green sphere after you put the blue circle on the table."

Once I was even spied on in school. (at that time Immaculata) I don't know what conclusion they came to, but after that, I think, I went to good ol' fat face.

I have been writing for quite a time now.... You've kept me from writing Chris.

Your letter...

Yes, the best way to drive a person insane is to act like they are. I have also already figured this out. The human resistance is great to labeling of this sort. I am writing a story about circumstances driving a person mad.

No, don't smile I was being sarcastic

I am so proud of you being able to say something in a tenth of the time it takes me.* I can be factual if I want to, but I am too much of a writer to enjoy it. The purpose of such writing is to avoid an unpleasant subject which I much wanted to do after the Sevier/Marion. I suppose it is a type of cop-out. But it looks pretty.

After Egypt do I still feel that "But when faced with reality we back away, Hiding inward. We then wish the thoughts on the page and the thinker elsewhere."? (Firstly – Gosh, what truth! Did I write that? It's the type of thing Ann Simon would write – gut tearing.) Yes but no. No longer. After Egypt I felt real good except for that block at the end w/ the bike – that hurts still and now I wonder why I acted the way I did.

I feel real good about us. I had a dream. They say that dreams sometimes help you deal with things – by easing tension I guess. Let's be friends.

As for telling you I was "anti-bicycle" that goes against my way of saying things that I don't like to deal with. You forced me to say that I was. (and I did, verbally and I believe literally)

(A) Go look up Kaspar in your Deutsch-wörterbuch. If you can't find it look for Kasper or Kasperle.

(B) What do you mean by "conversation or the attempt thereof can get like that." ?!? What are you referring to? I have no memory for what I have written.

"There is so much to read, so much to write, so much to keep the telephone wire busy."

Writing is so much easier as you pointed out in an earlier note. You can choose words carefully – then erase them. The words are usually catchable, but there is a bit of permanence in it. Is this good or bad. If you write in CAPITAL Letters always you can't write in capital letters. MOST annoying. See what I mean? They don't have impact. It's the same with swearing (cursing) if you do it too much it loses its importance. (Incidentally I found myself swearing potently during sign-up. The pressure? I don't really mind sign-up. In U.S. it's easier than in M.S.)

GUTE Bitte!

In "Logan's Run" the series they took the story from the middle. Logan, a sandman, has run with Jessica to find sanctuary. They are pursued by Francis who has permission to go outside the city in these car-like things. Logan & company have all sorts of adventures. They also have this android who looks like a human who tags along – I forgot his name. Something simple like Rex. No relation to Box or whatever his name was.

Oh ja, another thing that parallels Brave New World in Logan's Run – the most important parallel – is them all being young. In B.N.W. they were genetically fixed (no, not that kind) so that they would die quickly when they were about 30 or so.

Puff – sad.

Oh, on the bus on Wednesday – Ellen didn't come to school – your prophecy came true. "What would happen if Ellen was sick one day!"

Conversations? Last year? More like snappy answers with no questions to go in front of them.

Quaker Lake was the magnet.

Nick, put it in your pantry with your cupcakes!

What do Cindy's and Erika's parents do?

Cindy's dad is a mathematician at Duke. He isn't a full professor though he should be. Cindy's mom is a R.N. (Registered Nurse) at County General.

Erika's dad used to work at Duke but now he works at Durham Tech. He is a computer man – I don't know quite what he does. (I guess Cin's pa teaches and stuff.) Erika's mom teaches kindergarten at their house. Haven't you heard her go on about the kindy-creeps?

Mom sits on her butt and plays bridge. (You wanted to know what she "DO".) But seriously, she's a housewife. In the full sense of the term. My family is the oldest in our group. Remember Peter is 25, they've been married for 26 years now. So they married in 1954. Mom had kids and kept house. "She do th' laundry ya' know, real helpf'l like."

You know what my dad does. Dinner-time conversation: "My patient short-circuited." And he really did.

Nick, I always feel as though I have more to say. It frustrates me greatly that I can never pin down all my thoughts. "How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?" But it's not good to pin down all your thoughts. Dreams turn yellow and crack when they've been pinned down too long. If you pin down the clouds, you have none to float free. Let your dreams rule you, touch your fancy, delight you, tingle your imagination.

Why are you so out and out against religion? Is there a logical reason for your dislike of it? You sick of it? Think it's not the answer? I'm sometimes against the religion we have – the practical stuff. The spiritual stuff wasn't meant for us to talk about anyway.

Chris told me to tell Cindy to go to hell "She has no right to even question your actions." I've got to calm him down a bit. He doesn't know Cindy. Confirmation is a fading subject – it wasn't terrible exciting to begin with.

Sometimes I think that it would be good if you got hold of my note book and read it. Though I would probably kill you.

Here I am writing a guy I can talk to in school or call on the phone, while a letter from a guy 400 miles away goes unanswered! Nick!


I have spent all my time writing this after school..... Do something productive.....

[ line-art that looks vaguely like "LOVE" ]
Bye for now,
letter transits cursive*:
sorry I kept slipping
into cursive – when
I am not used to
writing in print

they're all that's left you....__

*postscript you idiot!


PDF of all 14 pages: lower-resolution, but may be more convenient to read

Slideshow (which refuses to render at a decent size after saving, no matter what numbers I try):