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Time Machine

April 25, 2018

Have developed an epistolary format for long-lived loved ones. It holds regular spaces for recurring arguments –surely you have a loved one whom you always end up having the same discussion or debate, right?

But more interesting, is the time machine part: in which the letter writer summons a past remembered self to address the addressee, who could either be their present or past self; to account for past incidents, for which at the time one is too ignorant or afraid to speak. “Time Machine” is just the shortest phrase I could come up with at this time. It sounds catchier than, though not as accurate as, “writing in the voice of one’s past self”.

Would love to share the video reading of my first letter to my friend A. show what I mean, but it implicates things that would be hurtful to a third party. But here’s an excerpt of the time machine part of it.

A., thanks so much for the adventurous night at the Nova Convention Revisited, the drinks at the Jayhawker and the partying at Granada. I love getting drunk these days, it makes me feel invincible. When I’m drunk I can get away with saying maligning things like, “A. my sister thinks you’re a pedophile!” all the while my sister standing with us as well as a few other [of your co-workers]. I felt so free and fully myself hanging out with you, except for when I worried that you all you wanted was to get in my pants. I kind of pooped in them that night, albeit drunkenly and because I have a life long bowel problem, but I kind of entertained that I was unconsciously protecting myself from sodomy.

Sorry to have nodded off at Barfly. I hope to see it soon. Thank you so much for driving me to my sister’s in Eudora–and then the next day drive all the way to pick me up and back to take me to my car, which was at the parking lot behind Java Break [I believe]. I’m on the fence about Leonard Cohen. What a horny voice! I felt a little weirded out also about your singing along to it in the car, the Mitsubishi mini-minivan [Expo, I believe], which I have never seen before. You were practically serenading me. And you were wearing this bugged out white shirt that hung around your neck and abdomen just like a baja shirt (technically known as Baja Jacket) In fact it looked like it had the same thickness and cut of a Baja, but out of a surface texture more like a Karate uniform. When I say “bugged out” I mean something that my dad or most of the dominant males I grew up would call “faggoty”. Which is understandable. But by faggoty I don’t mean “homosexual”, just something kind of goofy or odd. “Faggoty” it’s still a nice round putdown. 

Anyway, thanks so much for the experiences, I’m sorry that I will not be chummy with you these next few months. I’m afraid that you will try to seduce me. I have never met anyone who is as nice to me as you are. I’m barely aware that you’re the first intellectual I’ve made friends with. That might have something to do with it. I’m nineteen years old and very confused. Talk to you later.

Had never really wanted to treat writing as therapy, except as an unintended byproduct…but I endorse the “Time Machine” epistolary form as such.  A nice way to own up to failures and mistakes–and actual feelings that couldn’t possibly be ascertained at the original time. Please like this post and any of those there dominant online social networks that we’re on, and EPP editor-in-chief, will provide other free samples of the time machine  at your mail box (with relationship context included). Maybe it will be a voice from a past self personally directed at you.

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From → Epistles

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