13 April 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I’m home. Teresa is etching. It’s about eight, and all day we’ve planned to have sex tonight. Just now as we settled down to work, Teresa said, “Wanna do it now and do our work later?”

“I don’t know.” I really considered it. “But my rice cereal.”

“Okay, we can do it when we go to bed.”

“Okay.” So now we’re working, and I’m eating rice cereal, and it occurred to me that in any sex manual this would be described as terribly unspontaneous. But I like it this way. I like plans. Also ruts.

Teresa is so nice to sleep with. And she still likes me!


On the drive home I was fantasizing like crazy about my Literature Symposium, and I imagined asking at the end if there were any questions, and no one had any. They just wanted to leave. So I began making up questions and my wise and funny answers.

Q: Do you have any advice for young writers?”

A: Yes! Don’t try to be original. Imitate, imitate, imitate.

And I remember wanting to say something about funniness in writing. Don’t try to be funny. Try to be accurate.


Just before I left for Oakland, Teresa and I were sitting out on the porch on our couch reading the paper. It was crisp and sunny, with high clouds going past the building in front of ours. I spied a pimple on Teresa’s forehead. “Let me get it!” And then on second thought I said, “No! I don’t want to start this.”


“Well, I’ll just do this one, and then when I get back I’ll pretend it never happened, and I’ll never do it again.” So I squeezed it, got something, squeezed some more, got some more.

“Ouch!” said Teresa, “Are you done?”


“What do you mean?”

“I’m at least halfway done.”

“Is my pimple half empty of half full?” she said. We laughed. Then I finished and started looking behind her ears for blackheads.’

“Monkey!” she said.


When I came home very late last night, she pulled me into bed and held me tight. Then we talked a little, and somehow she moved her head so that my nose was sticking into her ear. There was something she really liked about it, so I stuck my nose in her ear several times. “What are we doing?” I said. She just muttered sleepily.