Room for Everything

by jkatejohnston

5 May 2014

Dear Max,

“The beautiful Lake Tahoe air always lifts my spirits. Oh. That’s a joke.”


“Mom, can I have some cereal known as Frosted Flakes?”


“I can’t believe I peed from one of the most inaccessible places on earth.” This place was a tree branch, from which he hung by his hands, naked body outstretched, pee in graceful arc catching the late afternoon light, a place and attitude that he claimed were actually very discrete because, “Who would ever expect me to pee in a tree?”


“This crayfish’s vanity may be his undoing.” This is straight from The Great Brain, where one of the grownup characters makes that remark about an outlaw who’s about to get caught. We caught our crawdad too.

Last night I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking about this remark and about how even very sophisticated use of language is imitation so that really you learn to think by imitation. And how I wish I could imitate Patrick O’Brian whose Letter of Marque made me get up and find my phone and text myself: “Room for everything. How does he get that roominess?”