I’m sharing a funny tidbit from an email letter I sent my writer friend Craig this year, with whom, sadly, I haven’t corresponded in a long time.
Good morning Kraygue,
I am in a weird mood this morning. It’s not melacholic, but it’s a little weary. I dropped the girls (M – my strawberry blond, blue-eyed 8.5 year old, K – my chestnut-haired, brown-eyed newly 7 year old, and E – my golden-haired, brown-eyed 5.5 year old) off to school, then I went to pick up cupcakes for K’s birthday from the grocery store, then to get little goodies for the kids in her class. Then I sat in the parking lot filling up the treat bags for those 20 little boogers, dropped them and the cupcakes all back at school, then went to McDonald’s for an egg McMartian, OJay, java and crispy krunchy, greasy hash brownies (I like the salty crunchy texture, could do without the grease and empty calories).
I brought Jack’s letters with me and my notebook and thoughts of you.
I’m beginning to think Jack’s a spaz, and not unlike me in my hyper moments (trust me, right now I’m not hyper). The mornings ALWAYS drag on me….I rev up towards the afternoon, usually after my second cup of koffee. I’m quite the three-toed sloth in the mornings.
Jack’s pretty kool because he reminds me of me when I let myself be silly. That’s not all that often, as you may have noticed. He signs off some of his letters like this –
“Jean, Baron De Bretagne”
I’ve only just started reading the letters, but already noticed it was a good book to pick up.
To Sebastian Sampas –
“I speak to you from the hearts of all the lonely young writers that ever lived on the earth. I speak to you now because I am one of them…suddenly, quickly, without a warning, I am one of them.”
To Allen Ginsberg –
“Dear Allen – I feel an indescribable need to talk to you…not because I’m high on Benny and alone in the cursed kitchen
…Bill, whom I love dementedly – he has to be the grandest mirror in which I can stare at myself – “
To Norma Blickfelt –
“Those long nights below – I should like very much to brood over your letter and picture. You have the mind of a man, and the heart and body of a woman…I can still envision your blue, engaging eyes – all silhouetted against the New York skyline. And the strong wind…
This is a mad letter I know. But I’ve always been this way.”
I like reading some of his letters. Some of it is boring, but there are great gems and insight into his mind. It’s hard to believe that these took place between 55-70 flipping years ago.
I love reading letters in general, both from famous people and from my friends. They are unpolished autobiograpies – raw, uncensored emotion goes into letters sometimes. We get to see people in the rough, who they were passionate about, their insecurities, their hopes, their bullshit unvarnished, their coping mechanisms, their vices, their little secrets.
Damn, I miss my friend. Before I manage to blow up the friendship with Too Much Seriousness…we had some very hilarious exchanges.
Oh, and…check out this WAY awesome blog of famous persons’ correspondence, called Letters of Note.
You can check out some of Kerouac’s original letters.
Come On Marlon, Put Up Your Dukes and Write – A letter from Jack to Marlon Brando trying to get him to buy the movie rights to bring On the Road to the silver screen and play the part of Dean Moriarity.
Burroughs Has Gone Insane – A letter from Jack to Alan Ginsberg
I am Adam and I’m alone again with all my ribs intact In a letter to Jacques Beckwith, “Kerouac manages to touch on his general ill-health, his many troubled relationships with women (most notably then-girlfriend Lois Sorrell), the ever-worsening drinking problem which would ultimately kill him, and the daughter he still refused to believe was his own.”
Do you love to write letters, or letter-like email notes to friends for the sheer joy of it? What would you consider to be your most natural letter writing style? Stiff and formal? Brief but informative? Wild and crazy?
Which friend of yours most inspires your creativity?