Wednesday, September 14, 2005


[I wish there was a poetic verb for reading over the shoulder, something akin to eavesdropping…]

On the Uptown A train this morning, I sat down next to a skinny high school girl writing with great concentration in a spiral bound notebook:
September 14, 2005
To: Shaun
From: Niqua
At: 8:45 AM
Dear Shaun,
Why you be always playing with me? You be lieing about the stupidest s**t.

The contrast between the pitch-perfect business memo format and the tone—you can see one finger pointing in Shaun’s face, feel her other hip cocking in exasperation—is grand. The time, too, is excellent: Niqua clearly expects a response later today. In fact, she clearly expects this to be the first of several missives to Shaun.

Elsewhere, two dear friends are in Asia this fall and blogging about it. A former student has started a blog about his year as junior teacher in Japan & my dear, dear, beloved friend (the one who sent me the Ann Patchett books, among other things), a writer and scholar is off today (en vol as I write) for a three-month sojourn to Thailand. Louise’s father, who died, a suicide, several years back, always loved his visits to Thailand and so she’s going to find out and pay tribute. It’s the beginnings of a book about him, so do visit and watch. She’s a beautiful writer doing a very brave thing.

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