Wednesday, July 22, 2009

dear drew j.,

i like you. i like your soft smiles. i like that you always have a book in your hand. unless you have drumsticks in your hands.
today was the first time i saw you play drums.
or the second time.
i'm not sure.
i would still like to read your novel.
i would like to talk to you more.
would you like to see a movie?
with me?
hey! hey, you should come with me to see psycho in grant park! or american graffiti!
and after american graffiti we'll get milkshakes in glass diner glasses with striped straws stuck through the whipped cream and into the blended ice creamy goodness. and we'll talk about a month and a half from now, you know, hopes for it and whatnot.
darling, have you read our town? by thornton wilder?
it's brilliant.
like, mind-shakingly beautiful.
i'm trying to write a play.
about me.
well, about me and adrian.
it's very hard.
and today my teacher told me that to solve my problems i should talk to him. i'm not ready to talk to anyone about it. it might be too personal.
after my teacher said that, i had the depressing revelation that maybe
from my play. from my "characters," who aren't really characters, in the fictional sense.
i've been calling them "girl" and "boy".
i think i should officially give them the names that i have been tossing around in my head for a week or so:
"esther" and "charlie".
"esther" after the main character in the bell jar (who may as well be called sylvia).
the names might help me separate.
i've gotten so wrapped up in the neo-futurist, honesty-in-theatre ethos, that i couldn't get my head around writing fiction.
but right now, using adrian's own words and my own thoughts is scaring me a little.
i haven't told him about it.
i will let him read it when i'm done.
that might be bizarrely cathartic.
i want to write a good play for that reason.
well, that's one of the reasons.
i want to write a good play for myself too.

i'm sorry.
i sound so selfish.
how has your summer been?
jazz-band-arific? and books? have you read anything wonderful?
do you find yourself getting tan from playing in the sun? well, i guess there's a decent roof over your outdoor stage. do you play there when it's raining?
what is your favorite piece to play?
i will come back and watch you again. and again. because i like the music and the park...
but most because i like the secret smile and wave you gave me today.
if i wasn't on my way back to gallery
and didn't have the terror of my play lurking in my heart
then your smile
would have made me stay
made me the most insanely happy person.
well, it did make me the happiest person
for a moment.
writing this letter is me clinging to that moment
and me
looking like i'm really busy, really productive.
i'm sorting through my qualms with my play, too.
so this is helpful.
a little bit, i suppose.
i've confessed that i like you a lot.
but "confess" gives a secretive tone to what i've written. and very little of this is secret.
oh my, you ask yourself, i wonder which part is the secret part?
i guess none of it.
tell the world!
read my letter upon your jazz band stage.
stand on your snare drum and shout it to grant park, the passersby, the homeless.
then find me and we'll stand awkwardly looking at each other, smiles fighting back the urge to hug.
(well, that's my urge. your urge might be "get me away from this batty chick!")
(i don't know. i'm no mind reader.)
i wish i was back in grant park right now, listening to you and your slinkster cool jazz stylin's.
it's too cold in here.
too air conditioned.
kill the cool, crack the windows, and let hot chicago in!

dear drew j.,
will i ever deliver this letter to you?
would you like it if i did?
would you like to read it?

love always,

*a note: i wrote this this afternoon, at "work", in my little black hardcover notebook.
i "work" at an arts apprenticeship place. i'm in the playwriting course.
we(me and the other kids in the course)'re being paid to write a play.
the point of the program is to give kids a good place to go so we're not on the streets whoring
ourselves about to make some summer cash.
being paid to make art sounds okay by me.
but then i always feel obligated to put "work" or "job" in quotes, 'cause it's not really work.
and i don't think i'm even really being paid minimum wage.*

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