Correspondence: 12.07.16

From: Gordon Flanders <>
To: Babe <>
Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 10:16 AM
Subject: Chocolate Raspberry Cake


How are the rains these days?

Madness hits you like a bar of soap. That’s funny. Certainly more accurate than washing over you like a beautiful wave. Yes you really have to be a buddhist about it, or a stoic, or what you think is a stoic, since I tried to learn about stoics and I got bored.

I’m glad you posted your story dead things. I enjoyed reading it. That mother is a piece of work. And that bird! What possessed you to write that way about an eagle! Ha! You’re something else. Shitting all over the dresser. Woo! Shit Christ that’s some kind of image.

I have been writing more by hand in my brown leather book. I’ve been writing in it since 2012. No one sees that and tries to peel away the layers. There wouldn’t be anything to peel if they did. It’s barenaked and shows straight through to the bone like a leper dead six hours in a pool with a distracted piranha. But nah it’s not privacy or the lack thereof is it. You wish the work could stand on it’s own but everyone gets psychoanalyzed from Blake to Didion. But that’s half the point. Fuck it. If they think you were sexually abused as a child based on the story well shit I guess you’ve crafted a reality for someone and I guess that’s what it’s all about. Writing fiction, I mean. But anyway shit I’m not deriding you for having to get up your courage to post it. Gertrude Stein never had to read blog comments.

Limn is a great word but I don’t know how to use it. Please demonstrate.

I like the man in that painting and I would like to be him, at least for a time, because alcohol soothes the boredom. On the rare occasion I get to drink these days, with the working all the time and having the same days off as my wife, on half of those rare occasions things really work out well. As it stands I drink an average of two beers three times a week, which is just enough to not be able to say that you haven’t drank anything at all. Ha! Well. Anyway. Doesn’t matter. The worst is over for now.

I’m reading Moby Dick, did I tell you that already? I’m two thirds of the way through. The first third was great. I feel like I’ve written this already but I am too damn lazy to look. You know what I hate? Clicking all around the screen to check things. That’s why I don’t post links, too. I would like to link my posts together more but I’m just too damn lazy for that. Moby Dick has a lot of really killer lines. Like one every other paragraph. This mother fucker knew how to handle English. I never seen a whale up close, but I can’t imagine the dimensions he gives are real. Probably the whales were bigger back then before garbage islands and ozone depletion or whatever else. Probably he’s taking some dramatic license. He says it’s eight feet from the top of the sperm whale’s head to where his mouth is at the bottom of his head. I guess that’s reasonable if you think about. But you don’t know what eight feet is anyway. Two point something meters. Can you conceive of distances? I can’t. A meter is about the limit of my ability to accurately imagine the size of something.

I’m writing in my brown leather diary because I needed to know that the way I write on my blog was the same way I would write if no one was reading. It’s not at all. Every communication is artifice.

Don’t underestimate the value of entertainment. All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl. That’s what I learned a few weeks ago. It has helped a little bit.

In the city you can’t walk around with your ears open. There’s too much pollution. Much too much pollution and unsolicited bullshit. I used to think I should walk around and experience the moment. We all need a place in the sun and we’re all trying to get it in the same place like a bunch of dumb-fuck assholes. So keep the ears plugged up with house music and remember that everyone else is living their own dream and you don’t want to interrupt. Here even the destitute and the pick-pockets don’t want your kindness. Plug up the ears, grope around in the dark if you have to and turn up the music and find your way to the punch-clock. It’s a stupid thing. But as you can see, the rotten fish in Chinatown and the working models in Soho find a way inside through your pores and that’s more than enough experience and living in the moment for one human animal without leaving the larger orifices unguarded.

I miss those times we would comment on each other’s posts in real time, and I made you laugh and you made me think. The whole world is a wheel so I won’t despair, not because I don’t think it’s a good idea…but because…well I don’t know, maybe I will despair after all.

Best of luck out there in the wilderness of civilization.


From: Babe <>
To: Gordon Flanders <>
Date: Friday, June 17 2016 at 9:39 AM
Subject: the way the rain smells

Dear G

I’ve been waiting for the rains to come since early May. The locals say that this was the worst summer yet. They said this last year too, and I remember that it was vicious. They don’t remember what that was like anymore, but I do. I logged the number of migraines I had last year.

It finally rained last night. I was happy for the 27 minutes it did.

I think a madness that feels like sadness afflicts us sometimes and there is no cure. The only thing is to be Buddhist about it and let it go through you. But it doesn’t happen the way they write it in books– it isn’t a gentle wave that you dive under and perhaps if you can hold your breath, you look up and watch it roll past. It’s not a wave at all, but a bar of soap that hits you.

I wrote a story, dead things, it sat in my brain for a while. It took a bit of courage to post it. It wasn’t the narrative or its subject matter that worried me, it was that people would read it and think, ah so this happened to her. There is no privacy in being a writer. Everything you write is parsed to see if it might reveal you, peel another layer of your self imposed anonymity. Ah, but what did you think of dead things? Was it too risqué?

I’ve discovered a lovely new word: limn.



I thought the man in Hope Gangloff’s painting might be you. As you will never send me a picture (nor I to you), I have given you this face and the lackadaisical posture to match the mood that you say has taken you. I hope the boredom has passed, because really there isn’t anything worse than being bored. It’s fucking worse than pain. I know this.

2 thoughts on “Correspondence: 12.07.16

  1. Pingback: correspondence 9.9.16 | listentothebabe

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