January 29, 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa got here on Friday night (today is Sunday), and I waited by the window not knowing what kind of car I was waiting for, because she had a rental car, so I was certain that every car that passed was hers.  Finally she came, and I trotted outside in bare feet and pajamas to kiss her and help her get her things.

I was pretending to be mad at her for taking so long. “Just for that I’m going to strain your eyes!” and put my face up close to hers.  (She doesn’t focus easily up close, and it gives her a headache.)

“Then I’m going to close them!” and she shut her eyes tight.

Yesterday we went to the races, yes, the races!  And if you do the accounting in just the right way we ended up in the black by about fifty cents.  Teresa won $24 on a horse called ACUTABOVEREALITY. I bet twice, two dollars each time and lost. Teresa bet every race, and once she bet ten dollars.

“Ten dollars!” I said.  And I told her how people can go to the bad in Trollope novels by becoming gamesters and plunging. In our first race there were five horses, and the two that we bet on were the only two that didn’t place.

“It’s a photo-finish–for last,” I said.

“No.  Mine beat yours by a mile.”

We came home and had tri-tip and baked potatoes.  We haven’t had a very talky visit.  It’s enough just to be together.  But sometimes, pathological talker that I am, I catch myself starting to cheerlead a conversation.

Teresa just got back from running, and I kissed her.  There was sweat on her lips. 

“Salty,” she said. 

“It’s like kissing a potato chip.”

I put the dogs out and fed them, and I was singing, “Doggies, doggies, don’t leave any loggies.” 

“You really can write,” said Teresa.

We’re going to watch the Superbowl today in a lesbian bar in San Francisco.  Annie said that I probably won’t get beaten up with Teresa there. Remember last year how I did my Boswell imitation?  I was thinking about that, and it occurred to me that the best thing you do if you want to write is imitate the writers you admire, and the worst thing you can do is set out to be original.

No, the worst thing you can do is end up in the class I’m taking this semester. Here’s from the hand-out. “We will discuss voice, style, structure, perlocution, drama, emotion and inspiration, among other things. Each writer will analyzed by her feedback group…” You see how weird and dangerous it is here?