A Random Image

This won’t make ary a bit of sense to most of you, but it usually doesn’t, so what’s the difference anyway?

Dear Friend:

You write these things to me, these things that mean such a great deal and so little and I’m left with one million (and perhaps plus one) things to say. Then I think: This is so much rubbish…who knows what on earth it is you need? Nothing, that’s what. You need nothing, least of all reams and reams of written word from me, and maybe then we are in luck because I think I have nothing to give. Not for lack of want, oh no, but you have me over a barrel, looking askance at the sunset, because nighttime is the righttime, hoo-wee. I am magical in the night and I always have been.

Yes, and I do ‘get’ things, but they are not typically the stuffs of which people would like to partake and if they do, they may complain that they are ‘not seasoned properly’. How can I help that I’ve spent my whole life growing salty? Or firebrand peppery? There’s nothing sexy about meat and potatoes, but so many people feed richly off of them and even chance to crave more.

The crave, that’s what I was getting at: You speak in such a way that I think you maybe have it and perhaps will run all over seeking the sweet muted things that life has to offer even though Divine Apathy (so you express) often catches you speaking with pith and vinegar. You’d like a warm bosom, as would we all….maybe it lies with someone else, maybe it lies in yourownself? That, I cannot surmise –not at this early a juncture–, nor would I hazard to. But I should warn you: A warm bosom is not a matter of convenience, oh no. It’s quite the opposite, but I think that maybe you already have that nugget of wisdom sewn up, even if you might disregard it a tad.

I have this cousin –one I’ve not spoken with in at least two decades, and last I heard he was off making his way learning a dozen some-odd languages and taking a gentle Japanese woman for a wife– with whom I had the occasion to lie in a ditch with one day from ten in the morning to far past dark; we stared at the sky blankly and spoke in impassioned monotones about dissatisfaction and worth(lessness) and drive and distinction and the mad way that life digs into your middle and sends you shriekless into the undertow. We lie in that ditch for all those hours wanting for nothing, not food, not drink, not salve for wayward bugs gnawing at our skin, save for the conversation at hand. It flowed and flowed and I remember thinking “FINALLY. Finally there is someone who is a walking blank, too.” I didn’t yet know that the trick to not falling over is to make friends with your insane bits so as not to be overtaken (or, at the very least –and what comfort this– frightened) by them. This really doesn’t apply to you. You have, quite clearly, shaken hands with your insane bits and bought them a drink, to boot. You’re quite alright in that department. Maybe that’s a big part of the reason we have this begrudging affection for one another. Like knows like.

So we lie there in that deep crevice of a ditch, God’s Own Recliner, not being seen by others, not even passing one glance between us, but being heard by one another in a way that I’d not experienced before and have not since. We chewed on the sweet stalks of grass and it was there I figured out that okay, just as if life were a Gigunda Magic Scrabble Board, blanks have the edge. Blanks complete other things, join things, are flexible enough to be just about anything at anytime, wherever needed. They truck no score, but they are invaluable in a clinch. The blanks don’t take a score, but they can absolutely make a score. And blanks are smooooth. They are fairly rare.

I’m a Blank, baby. You just might be one, too. We’ve yet to have the occasion to lie in a ditch, but I feel that some day we just might, if we can both put our egos (derived from different places, naturally, but one no more meager than the other) aside and sit there talking without so much as a glance at one another for a time. Yes, I feel quite strongly that you might be a fellow blank.

You ask in a roundabout way what I know, and what I know seems trite, but it gives me comfort: There is music, there are words and lots of times there’s an internal fire to warm me. There is thinking, and there is feeling, and the two don’t make perfect bedfellows, but they make mighty powerful lovers. So the list of things you don’t like is longer than the one that cites the things you do in fact care for. So what? The numbers are trivial, trite, without merit in this instance. Here is the thing that matters:

How passionate are you about the things on both lists?

And ye-esss, discontent is an aside. You’re missing the point…aren’t all beings that truly, truly immerse themselves in the folly of thought and emotion discontented? At least to some degree? Of course people aren’t forthcoming. Maybe you’ve not asked in the right way or even asked at all. Maybe you’ve not been still enough to grasp what it is they’re saying in word or in deed (I’m thinking that p’raps, just like me, you fill the periods between cavernous introspection with frenetic activity). Maybe, just maybe, they aren’t so vain as to imagine their truths to be universal. The breeze that blows their skirts up with gale force might not even stir your hem, you dig?

You asked for one thing, even one, and this is the one I can give you without flinching or turning away: ‘Blackbird’ is a Beatles song. All the rest is just ditch talk, and I look forward to that, as I hope you do.

Warmly (and I do mean that),


8 worked it out »

  1. The Dane 11.21.2003

    I knew you were talking about me from the having-you-over-a-barrel bit, but honestly, I just didn’t connect with the rest of it. Well, except for maybe the warm bosom part – but really, who wouldn’t connect to that?

  2. Sgt. Mac 11.21.2003

    Beautifully composed words, for all of us to read, But frankly my dear, I don’t have a Fuckin’ clue as to what it means.

    I know it was meant for someone else, and that is fine with me, but as I lie here in this hole, universe above, I wonder if I will ever rise, to the blank I dream to be.

  3. Gary 11.21.2003

    Good writing as usual. I agree meat and potatoes are not sexy. Every now and then I want to eat a taco.

  4. Gary 11.21.2003

    By the way, did you notice that Jim Bob Cooter played quarterback for Tennessee Saturday. I wish he could become a starter. Can you imagine the headlines: “Vols Secret Weapon: Too Much Cooter”

  5. Friend 11.21.2003

    you (and me) are rad.

    them are questionable

    (my brother is outside shooting hoops to Nat King Cole)

  6. A Friend of a Friend 11.23.2003

    Dear Jett,

    -MEAT AND POTATOES ARE THE SEXIEST THING NOT ALIVE! What the hell? Are you dumb? Unless they’re a metaphor for something, nothing can really beat literal meat and potatoes at all. AT ALL.

    -’Blackbird’ is the best call ever. It sums up a lot of stuff for me in my life too.

    -”You have, quite clearly, shaken hands with your insane bits and bought them a drink, to boot.” Hahaaaa! So so so true. Genius.

    -I was interested to see you analyzing yourself as a blank. Blanks have no score written on them. Perhaps that’s why you like it. It’s an interesting thought, albeit a thought where one sacrifices their own personal fame and wellbeing (in contrast with a Z or an X) for a greater good (the word’s total score). I always thought of Blanks as the kamikaze bombers of Scrabble, but I guess that’s a different interpretation.

    Lots of love,

    A Friend of a Friend.

    Dear Friend,

    Nat King Cole? I heard that she’s awesome…

    Lots of love too,

  7. MaC 11.23.2003

    “will work for words…”

  8. Jett 11.24.2003

    FOAF: I never said blanks were low-key, noooo not atall. They ARE pretty kamikaze.

    …and I dint say that meat and potatoes aren’t wonderful and satisfying; they’re just not inherently sexy, like say coconut creme brulee or broccoli flan or sommat.

    Friend: Your bro, he spiffy.


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