But mostly it’s just itching for a fight.

August 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

His correspondence with M. fell into and overflowed the temporal gap turned physical that widened between his visits. Though she wrote her letters mostly on blank, unlined paper, she was not opposed to the invention born of need and whimsy. On occasion R. received notes composed on napkins and stapled paper towels. Rarer still, but just as memorable, were those messages sent to him on the backside of grocery receipts, various iterations of “Thank you for shopping” exact-o-knifed from the front and used as the note’s closing, and expired prescriptions. A few times the multi-columned whitespace of her check stubs (all the numbers blackened out except the final four digits of her Social Security Number, —so you know for sure it’s from me). And once a matchstick cover (matchsticks removed), with a single word, underlined, “Used.” The hard leftward slant of her cursive made each letter seem to pull back and away from its own use in or as a word. Her clauses closed and accumulated, they declared and exclaimed, and despite this visual resistance, the throne of meaning precariously tipped but never toppled. R. likened it to a rearing horse, —If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was scared. But mostly it’s just itching for a fight.

R. regarded her letters as though they were treasures not to be cherished, their value neither monetary nor sentimental. These were not love notes whose excesses one might later come to regret. He once suggested to M. that he thought they told a story so slowly as to be imperceptible to him. This made her laugh. —If they tell a story, it is one I’d never want to read. Only write.

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