I bought fizzy water by mistake, and I have been email cleaning. It is an odd experience – one becomes elated, then quite despondent, within minutes. I never seem to get very far. And I find lovely messages sent ages ago that I somehow failed to notice at the time. Parties and trips missed. MP3s unheard. Autographs unsent. Stories. Rants. Tears. A wealth of information.
There was this:
“I notice you seem to care about yourself a lot more than the world, of late, Alphabet. We were expecting this. Happens to everyone. You start young and incensed by the horrors of the world, then you realise, hell, nothing I can do about it, and get on with dying. Welcome to the real world!
There was this:
“Though I cannot comment on the threat level of bird flu or the medical effectiveness of Tamiflu, the personal financial involvement of members of the US administration in the product is fact. The motives behind Bush’s recent decision to urge the Congress to fund $7.1 billion in emergency spending for flu pandemic prepardness are therefore questionable. To prevent this mail & the info it contains to lose substance and be passed as urban legend i think it is important to correct the facts: rumsfeld is *not* the *main* shareholder of Gilead, though he has undoubtedly raked in hefty profits from the sale of Tamiflu. Details here – CNN hardly being the most leftist of media. More on Tamiflu here.
There was this:
“Akira, i waited a month for th autograph you promised and it never came. Thanks a bunch man. Fuck you.
And there was this:
I am a person who has email corresponded with you recently and sent you a poem. I have subsequently logged on your personal website and very much enjoyed reading more from & about you. I have felt nervous though at the thought of you perhaps pasting my words onwards into a public domain when that wasnt my intention in offering them – Id let my heart travel outside my ribcage and, as you so accurately observe, if your heart is on your sleeve, people can see where to stick sharp objects in it! At the same time, I guess hearts on sleeves are also visible to other hearts that havent yet dared to risk expanding outside their own (rib)cage and can inspire them to do so. Sometimes its very good to take that risk. Feel free to do as you wish with my words.
When I saw your website, I was also very surprised to read about you managing to keep up correspondences with so many people and managing to juggle so much happening your life. So as an email corresponder I want to say right up front please be released from the sensation that you must write back to me. Must respond. Must react. Must stay in touch. Must manage your in box. Frankly, be released from the sensation that you MUST do anything.
Why do I write again? I want to keep my answer simple so that if you should rest your gaze upon these words, then your eyes and your mind dont have to work too hard. I write because as I logged into your website and drank in your words, thoughts, experiences, poems, pictures, songs and more, I wanted to share with you the sensation I had of being quite o.v.e.r.w.h.e.l.m.e.d. by how much output there is through you. And then a part of me became tenderly concerned about this hard-working outputter; about you. I got this picture in my heart of somebody who is quite chased and harassed by all these emails in his in box, by all the things he is trying to get done, by all these experiences he wants to have, by all these people he wants to connect with, by all the mixtapes he wants to make, by the songs he wants to write and by more and by more and by more. Just writing this, I feel quite breathless!
For even when I picture you in the park, I have this picture of someone carrying a lot of things as opposed to simply going to the park. And then a rescuer in me wants to rescue you by setting you free and say YOU DONT HAVE TO REPLY TO ME OR TO ANYONE. Of course, it is madness to imagine that I can set you free. I do not own you or control you. But thats somehow also precisely what I want to point out; that many people may be demanding something from you; may be wanting another piece of you. But you dont have to give them something or feel that you should give them something (theres a difference).
Of course, this wisdom may already be quite alive in your awareness. But I read your many apologies in your blog for not replying to correspondence and I got this sense that you have a feeling of being chased or harassed by the feeling that you should respond. Be released from that should.
Life might not be a bowl of cherries, but it isn’t a bowl of shit either. I think that it is a bowl. These are your words and there is much wisdom in what you say. It tastes to me like your bowl runneth over and this is one of the things which makes you so attractive and significant to other people – they get a taste of the deliciousness thats in your bowl, of your noise and your freedom and your creativity and your love. But you dont have to keep pouring your deliciousness out for others. Keep some space in your bowl just for you. Space for being you rather than doing you.
Especially in case you do get even more well-known and touch more people and get more emails and more tugs on your heart & energy & life force, then I want you to know that silence can be a very, very good response too. Silence can allow the sender to hear the echo of their own hearts longing. Silence has its own music. Silence embraces deeply. And silence is pax.
You do enough. You give enough. You share enough. You create enough.
You ARE enough.
Thats what I wanted to write.
I am very touched and moved by you, Adam.
And you dont have to DO anything to deserve that.
From Emily with love x “
And then there was this:
“hello sir i have a problem i would like your advice on, if you dont mind sharing your wisdom.the problem is as follows some time back i was dating a bitch named donna. in the beggining everything was going fine. she opened up to me quite a bit, told me many secrets that she never told anyone else. one day she asks me to go to the mall with her. when we get there she runs into the bathroom and when she came out she told me that she runs drugs for a guy named simon, who i know have was friends with at the time. apparently she hides crack and ecstacy in her bra then goes to the ladies room were another girl is waiting with the money.
initially i am fine with this because simon is a friend of mine and im dating donna so i really dont mind going along with her to protect her. i tell her that ‘if you ever want to quit doing this i’ll help you’ so then we go straight from the mall to simon’s house where she tells him she’s quitting, to with he says ‘the hell you are’ i say ‘if she doesnt want to do it she doesnt have to’ just as me and simon are about to fight donna steps in between us and says ‘nevermind ill keep doing it’ which confuses me a little. simon tells me to leave him and donna alone but im not about to leave her alone with him. i and up punching him, he trips me, then i have him pinned down and im choking him but donna beggs me to stop so i get off him. donna asks me to wait outside, which i do because she asked me to. then after five minutes of waiting i bang on the door. simon yells ‘stay outside, suck it bitch suck it’. i start walking away but donna asks me to wait a few more minutes, so i do, for her.
when she gets out i asked her if he raped her, she said ‘no, he just punished me for trying to bisobey him’ the next day at school i talk to a friend of mine, he says he can get me a gun. i have every intention of murdering simon. but that night while im talking to donna on the phone she says that if anything happened to simon she would hate me. which is the last thing i wanted because i was totally in love with her for some reason. so the next day i call off the arms deal. that day donna makes a delivery for simon and i go with her because i promised id protect her. on the way home she wanted me to go hang out with simon, so i ditched her. she then turns up at my house with simon, who tries to pimp her to me. saying things like ‘suck hs dick’ and ‘strip for him’. i dont let her do these things cuz i dont like seeing her be treated like that. the simon leaves and tells donna to come with him and says on the way out ‘she’s my hoe’. so i kick his ass cuz simon cant fight for shit(but he still acts tough for some reason). donna throughs herself on him to protect him then i kick them both out.
after a couple of days donna asks me to take her out for icecream, which i do. while we were out she tells me ‘simon said he respects you but you shouldnt push it’ i tell her about the arms deal and how i was going to kill simon and that respect didnt mean shit coming from a bitch like him. the next day simon shows up at my house with his crew (donna ratted me out to him) and they kick my ass (but i did kick one of them in the balls really hard). that night donna called me and asks me if i learned my lesson. i said ‘yea, i learned not to trust you’. then i broke up with her. but she said simon told her to keep an eye on me, so we couldnt break up. i avoid her for weeks but she always ends up finding me, and she keeps calling me. she asks me to go to the mall with her infront of a group of our friends, i refuse but they tell me i should and that we make a cute couple. i dont say anything cuz i promised donna i would never reveal the secrets she told me. when we get to the mall simon and his crew are waiting for me (it was a settup). that guy i kicked in the balls says he was gonna make me suckem, so i say id rather cuttem off. donna is on my arm in the sweet a girl will put her arm in her lover’s arms. so when the guy cocks his arm back to hit me i move to defend myself but donna holds me back and i get hit in the head. which is nothing cuz the guy hits like a girl.
i start arguin with donna about why she did that but she doesnt give me an answer. then i ditch her again. but she still calls me and hangs around me all the time. at this point i would like to tell you that i was severely traumatized as a child and had a problem with supressing memories. i have only recently completed recieving therapy for that and have all my memories back. so after a week i forget that any of that ever happened and me and donna go on like nothing happened. most of her friends refer to me as donna’s bitch boyfriend, which confuses the hell out of me cuz i hav no idea why they say that. during this time i never touch her (not even a kiss) and i bassically put her through hell even though im not doing it on purpose, i just had a lot of psychological issues that prevented me from getting close. she tells my friends and i get the reputation of a bad boyfriend. after a while she beggins to think im gay so she brings one of my friends along and when we’re all in a elevator at the mall she tells my friend to put me in a headlock, which he does because he thinks im a pathetic bastard who needs to be told what he likes and because he feels obligated to donna to set me straight(so to speak) because he is one of the people who thinks i mistreated her. i fight them and leave. this happens one more time then i tell donna to go cut her wrists and put everyone out of the misery of knowing her. she gets indignant saying ‘how can you say that, ive done so much for you’ to which i reply ‘fuck you’.
my friend who hel me down in the mall (stuart) asks me if i forgive him, but i had already suppressed that memory, so he just smiles and says forget it because he knows that i have a problem with surpressing memories and so does donna nd a few other people at this point. so now here i am, after two years of therapy i have all my memories back. i dropped out of highschool. donna has become popular and my brother is best friends with simon, he doesnt know what happened and i dont know what he would do if he did. i wish i could say i know he would take my side, but i cant.
what i need help with deciding is: should i rat that bitch out. she made me promise not to tell anyone what she does for simon cuz she is afraid her friends would stop talking to her. on one hand i think that would be creul. on the other i want people to know how much of a bitch she is and i want her friends to leave her. but a promise is a promise, so what should i do? also, i dont know how my brother would react, he doesnt even know i dated donna. and my friends might not believe the things she put me through cuz they dont know i have been getting therapy for my memory, and id rather they didnt know. plus i tink some of them might side with her. i dont know why i think that.
im sorry this email is so long but i wanted to include everything.i know you you have i llot of emails to answer so i dont expect a reply right away. i also expect you might get pissed off at the size of this letter and not reply at all. but please know that you are one of the few people who’s opinion i value and you are the first person i have presented my problem to. i would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me.
ps- i cant understand how someone could ask you to fight for them then stab you in the back. what kind of person would do that? what kind of people would be friends with someone like that? the evil humans are capable of is stupifying to me. i think the worst part of this is i never stopped caring about her and even blamed myself for some things until i finnished my therapy. now i just hate her.”
So. Ben – you wish. L – thanks. Brian – Resend your address and I’ll send you a beer matt with a picture of Jeres on it. I just found it in my desk drawer and its purdy.
Emily – your message was akin to that intense spirit-cleansing alleviation some clever physical contact brings that, on occasion, I have been lucky to receive… always at the hands of women. I felt all light. And you’re right. About the same time your message was sent I saw an episode of The Sopranos in which Carmela muses on the silly niggly worries of life – silly, in that soon enough, they, and their irritant will be gone. All washed away. And she was right. And you’re right. And they will. And I am forever amazed at the breadth of my contact with humanity, however fleeting. And I don’t want to miss anything, and I don’t want to hurt anybody. And of course I do both. But then I do loads of fucking ace stuff. Maybe I should stop carrying things to the park. Although the park is a beautiful place in which to carry things – it is still The Park – and sometimes I should just enjoy that.
And T – Revenge is as awesome a drug as any. The prospect, and the engagement, at least. But afterwards it is always gross. And you are still the same. Maybe dirtier. Dirt is clingy, and not all dirt washes away. So fuck dirt. You have no need of it. Maybe Simon is likely to cause harm or upset to your brother, in which case letting him in on the nature of his new friend’s old relationship with you and your ex might be of some use. But unless there is any real use in it – forget it. It’s done.
Sometimes I think we repress these memories for a reason. Here’s the thing – I remember, some would say, alarmingly little about my childhood. School, all that. I know full well I didn’t like it. I know full well it was a catalogue of embarrassment and hate and foolishness and pain, and shame. That’s plenty for me. If I had to walk around with crystal clear awareness of all that, would I be able to do a quarter of what I do now?
I have known many, many people to waste themselves. In most cases, they failed to make fruit of their talents, loves, and desires, because their awareness of the life they’d led had led them to the conclusion – what’s the point?
What my brain has left me, after all the repression of memory, is room for a point. Still, even now, with all I have learnt of the nature of the world recently. There is totally a point. Sometimes the exact nature of the point evades me, but it’s blatantly there.
So never mind Simon and Donna anymore, (or Stuart) no matter how much anger there is. You tried. And fuck hate – Simon and Donna are not happy people, they do not have great lives, and more likely than not, sometimes they sob themselves to sleep. I don’t know what led them to become what they did, it is a horrorful shame for them. But it’s awesome for you – you’re a fucking safe person with love in him that recognises humanity, and the impact your actions have on others. The world is yours.