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28 Jun 98

Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

I wanted to represent myself as I am without the altering lens of this

This is a real letter, and I did not change the names. I sent it June 15

Dear Christa,

Every now and then I get down, except now the sadness is limited--there's

But still melancholy. Went to see Titanic a second time, which

Also, I just resigned the New York Council for the Humanities job, asked

All those tiny bits of my history.

So thinking about all the lost stuff, the people and places and the room

This must be a primary emotion, this eternal nag of disappointment,

The novel will be written, the job will pay, the weight

Still, there are friends and most days don't require these thoughts; they

Love,

Paul

Every now and then I get down, except now the sadness is limited--there's

work tomorrow, things to do, I'm going to be a chief player in the "Interactive Strategy Group;" the cool people asked me to join; all I do on the job is write, etc.

But still melancholy. Went to see Titanic a second time, which

contributed to the sadness. I thought I was above the bathos of the thing. It was nice to see that boat again, though, and enjoy the fantasies of being open and free on the water, or of living in a simpler--not emotionally, but technologically--time.

Also, I just resigned the New York Council for the Humanities job, asked

them to find someone else in a month or two. Too much work. Sent them email. My first freelance job initiated by myself, my first proposal and contract, starting in the design Mac Lab in Alfred, through L---, through Philadelphia, through Jersey City, through Brooklyn.

All those tiny bits of my history.

So thinking about all the lost stuff, the people and places and the room

still messy and my body still big. I thought I'd be done with everything by now (and I'm only 23), but it's still the same beginnings, a little stale, trying over and over to put things together in an interesting fashion.

This must be a primary emotion, this eternal nag of disappointment,

because I have a great deal to enjoy. My job is good and suprising, despite my complaints. People respect me as a writer, at least online, to the tune of 30-folks-a-day--an interesting and appreciative audience, and one that helps me. I'm alone, but I don't miss others too much; enough abusive or cold or just ininteresting relationships have told me that I need to know myself before I can know anyone else, and despite the "she would never be interested in me" feeling, I'm not seeing women I want to know out in the world. I just need to focus inward and figure it out. Stop, calm, get control over myself.

The novel will be written, the job will pay, the weight

will be lost, the life will seal together and peace will be found. But in the mean time it takes work. The final resolution will come when I'm eighty and looking at the beach, seeing the curling rhinoceros skin over the back of my hands and feeling the same emotions over again, repeating old stories. Remembering New York in the 1990's, the same way my parents felt about the late 1800's my grandchildren will think of me--another era in the flesh; his old cranky ideas and anecdotes.

Still, there are friends and most days don't require these thoughts; they

just ask me to do my piece, go home, and settle onto the couch with a book and my hopes.

Love,

Paul


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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