Thursday, January 7, 2010


So, I wrote some letters. And I learned something. I learned that I'm not very good at writing letters. The problem is the need to fill up space. See, with email, a sentence or two is sufficient, and a couple paragraphs is long. But with letters, there is some sort of expectation. After all, nobody wants to get a letter that's only a few sentences. So as I struggled to fill the paper, I felt inadequate. There's just not a whole lot going on in my life. If I were writing to people I haven't spoken with in years, it might have been different. But I was writing to people I haven't spoken to in months maybe, but they still know where I live, and mostly what I'm doing. So it just seemed like there wasn't much to say. What I liked about the letter writing experience was the thought I put into it. I planned my words, my sentences, and I liked that feeling.

When I was fifteen or sixteen I spent a summer at a research station in southeastern Arizona. I mostly worked with my dad, catching spiders, weighing and measuring them, blowing air on them to see how far they'd run. I did have a few memorable days trying to capture lizards with tiny lassos, and I'm still baffled at how anybody is able to do that (I eventually was given the task of clipping their toes because my lassoing skills were soon shown to be non-existent). I also spent some time slogging through puddles of water and cow shit to catch toads, and one afternoon coercing a rattlesnake into a pillowcase in the middle of a road. I also played a lot of ultimate frisbee, and had my first alcohol-induced vomiting event. Anyway, the point of this is that it was before email, or at least before my email. The only way to keep in touch with people was with a pay phone and letters. My father had been going to this research station for several years, spending about half the summer there, and I always looked forward to his phone calls and his letters.

At this point in my life, I was great friends with a group of girls. We would spend hours on the phone, having three-way conversations. It was strange being separated from them for so long. So I wrote. I wrote what now seems like a ridiculously long letter, about five pages (how in the world could I fill five pages with information about spiders and toads??). But here's the thing. I lied. Oh, I told them the truth, talked about what I was doing, about how I would capture ants and then place them on spider webs, how I would put a spider in the deep freeze and then quickly take measurements before it thawed, about the cute college boys who were there, and the fifty-ish professor I kind of had a crush on (a precursor to my adult dating life...). And I spent pages talking about this one guy, and how we really hit it off, and how one night, after a few beers, we ended up having sex. Yes, I lost my virginity out in the Arizona desert. But then at the very end of the letter, pages later, I revealed how my hymen was intact, and it was all a lie.

Maybe if I wrote letters like that it would be more fun. I'd certainly have more to talk about. But for now, since lying about my deflowering seems a little late, I apparently don't have much to say. I think I'll mostly stick to emails that can be short and imprecise.

This upcoming week, I have classic movies to look forward to. My car is still stuck in my driveway until we get some warmer temperatures, which hampers many of my goals. And I am still in sickness recovery mode, which hampers more of my goals. So movies it is. I am constrained by whatever is available on Netflix. Luckily, I haven't actually seen many of the so-called classics, so I should be able to come up with a few movies to watch. I'll be posting reviews and deep thoughts (or shallow ones) in the coming days.

1 comment:

  1. For movies, I was always a big fan of "12 Angry Men" if you haven't seen that one. Amazing dialogue, really moves through the film. Keep up the good work on the blog.