Blue Smoke and Red Letters

Epistolary, Occult

We’ve come into a ream of letters. The exchange takes place between two brothers, one in prison and one not. The series spans many years and we’ll be posting excepts from time to time. The power of epistolary is that it engenders intimacy: the distances at play are resolved by the impulse to communicate. This brings to mind Lacan’s concept of extimacy.

Here’s a taste:

“Some of the trees are that faded, tired green of late August. The leaves that are pink and yellow-rose are striking against pale gaps of sky between houses— I found a leaf today that was red everywhere except the veins. I pressed it in a book about the Halifax explosion, the biggest bang on earth before the bomb, true fact. I’ve been taking a workshop on short fiction at school, seems I’ve got some kind of talent writing. I’m thinking about doing a suite of short stories centered around the tracks: Wabasso, the crack, smoking. I was thinking that someone would get killed by accident, well, kind of by fluke— that’s a bit like The Outsiders.

There’s a lot to do now with both of us at school and Aryeh, the band, hockey— it’s a wringer of sorts, I suppose that these are we one might call good problems, the kind that come from toeing the line of life— it’s not that everything gets boring, it’s that it gets busy, fast. University is a trip, it’s very funny sometimes, there are always these dumb-ass teenagers asking pseudo-intellectual ass licking questions, when really they should shut the fuck up and listen, you’d laugh at some of these guppies: there’s this one girl in my philosophy class whose got a head like a lop-sided pumpkin, she always tilts to one side when she’s spouting off:

‘Like God is like, light, like you can’t see it but, like you like know it’s there though, right?’ You could see the lines deepen like brackets around the professor’s mouth and he starts rocking on his heels to dissipate the sudden onset of rage—and I wish some kid would go bat shit and stab her in ribs…  good class, though.”