by jkatejohnston

3 May 1995

Dear Max,

I’m writing this on the plane on my way home from The Land of Oaks, as Teresa calls it. I love the feeling of accelerating down the runway, the way it presses you against the seat.


Sometimes I think Teresa and I will disappear into oblivion of private words and phrases, so that our conversations will go:

‘Veeners, Princess!’


‘It’s time to leave for The Land of Oaks:

‘Brmmm! Brmmm!’

‘Jump in your chariot!’

When I told Teresa about this imagined conversation, she said, “Yeah and all we’ll ever do is put our noses in each other’s ears and throw kisses back and forth.”

Here come the snacks.

Jesus. I just looked out the window of the plane and saw the headlight of another plane coming straight toward us. It must have been a long way off, but it was still unnerving, because it kept a perfectly straight collision course. I looked around for a flight attendant, but they were busy with the snacks, then I looked out the window again and realized it was a light on the wing of our own plane.


Damn it! I just looked out the window and again thought the wing light was a plane about to hit us. I blame grad school for shattering my nerves like this. I’m so paranoid that when I got a message from the department secretary asking me to come to her office, I instantly began making up these eloquent arguments about why it’s really too late to kick me out. And all she wanted was to give me a check for winning that idiot writing contest.