These redacted letters begin a series by Jamie Hunyor that will expound on how interconnectedness with our friends helps us better understand ourselves as individuals.
11 June 2017: the taste of rain
The girl people from my church wanted me to marry just got engaged. ___________________________________________________________________ My laundry won’t do itself and I haven’t moved out of my car since moving out of _____. The coffee is always cold, except when it’s too hot to drink. _____ and I __________ and talked about communism until five in the morning last night and I felt like you. My mom’s nickname behind her back when she taught high school was “HurriKate;” what kind of cosmic storm does that make me? If I eat enough yarrow will I spontaneously understand boundaries for the first time? I want to drown in a shower of snow peas. I want to post a selfie on Instagram. This afternoon I hung an old drawing from my late grandmother’s house: Hummingbirds and Cardinal Flowers. Today I drew the Page of Cups: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Reversed: taste, inclination, attachment, seduction, deception, artifice.” My pronouns are he/them. It’s taking all my self-control not to tattoo “pure of heart” on my wrist above my scars. The moss is slippery and I like turning it over in my fingers. I’m wearing your wildflower country tee currently and it’s dark now and the only sounds are this pen on paper and insects in the bushes and trees lining Central Avenue. I have nothing to ______ out of so it sits on my desk and its smell takes over my room. I want to be ____________________, ____________________ to think I’m talking to god. Let’s plan on ____________________ soon. I’m on the other side of something and ________ has a funny way of erecting a rigid boundary between me and who I used to be. The ____ is like change manifested in a four to six-hour block of giddiness and spiraling into my insecurities. I want to spit them out in the dirt and watch them grow into fragrant flowers. The word _______ comes to mind much more frequently these days. Would you understand me if I said I catch glimpses of something beyond language? I want to be open, to everything, including the discomfort of lacking an intimate partner. I understand myself as best I can and I’m trying not to run from it, from who I truly am.
12 June 2017: everyone the night of
I worry often about being misunderstood by you. I sometimes wonder if there are large parts of me you don’t understand, and then, if you don’t like the parts of me you do. Like: this whole letter is an example of why I feel line breaks are arbitrary. Like: I am empty, and that’s a completely neutral statement. “We are invited first to accept a concrete reality that we are as we find ourselves. Accept your concrete individuality, and having done that, then you may also realize that you are blessed just as you are.” Like: as long as I’m writing esoteric, rambling, anxious, stream-of consciousness poetic prose letters with those I love most I don’t care if I ever publish another poem. Like: I am so many different people and I have a love/hate relationship with all of them. Like: what’s the point of all this figurative language when I’m actually a quite simple human and I’ll tell you everything about myself in the first five minutes we meet if you’d let me, or, more honestly, if I’d let myself. This morning I don’t want _____________with my coffee. I’ve been corrupted by my youthful infatuation with Kerouac. I’m cutting up his work as catharsis, shattering identification with the intention to turn his words into something utterly my own. I still romanticize the hippie lifestyle of multiple characters in The Dharma Bums. Gary Snyder described a man named Bill Weiss in a 1977 letter to Wendell Berry as a “long hairy farmhouse scholar” and that’s all I ever want to be. How do I decay gracefully when I haven’t even hit peak growth? Is there a half-life to all of this? My goal for the rest of my life: learn how to have romantic love for a partner without unskillful attachment and possessiveness. Two out of three _____________ have mentioned the strong platonic energy they feel from me. I think it’s time to see how the fruits in that garden grow.
I love you always,
17 June 2017: flower, your weaknesses are admirable
I’ve been having these headaches lately, mostly at midnight or in the sticky moments before coming to from an afternoon nap. I’m trying my best to reach for water before coffee, water before beer, hoping it’s just a pounding reminder to hydrate my body. But my anxiety asks me to placate it with my vices before I take care of myself. Today I drove home from ___________ on the verge of a split in my consciousness. I felt the familiar urge to run away again – WWOOF, Toledo, honestly anywhere – but instead of running I’m trying to take advice from plants and bolt instead. Shoot skyward, go to seed, with only minor bitterness as a side effect. I’m having trouble getting my point across lately. I’m having trouble seeking attention again. Is companionship worth anything if it’s just an attempt to pass time? Does that make human beings interchangeable? (____________________?) How do we connect with people who don’t speak the same language? I drag my words through the dirt then wash them with seaweed and placing them in the clouds. All this makes me wonder: where has the fire gone? I worry about being misunderstood and I also worry I’m merely repeating myself. If I say Truth over and over again, will I start to believe it? If I attempt to explain my spirituality to ______ and my parents for the next ten years, do you think they’ll accept me? There’s a human being underneath all this grime.
19 June 2017: a sprig of ferns
I can’t sit still. I can’t sit still. Today I milked and made feta, stir-fried some veggies from ______with tempeh and learned how to change a starter. I’ve been listening to __________’s unreleased debut LP ________ on repeat today. _________________________________________ Today is one of those slow, boring days. There’s nothing on my mind, only movement in my feet. I’m treading a path I’ve worn out: to Jackie O’s for power hour. I feel spent, used up. I want something else to do besides depression naps, Instagram and streaming shit I don’t care about for free on the internet but I don’t want to fill that space with booze and false intimacy. I remember having hobbies; now I just have jobs. I remember poetry, not words but a worldview, a romanticization. Is this the daily grind? I cut my shorts shorter than ever before and threw a knot of hair up on the back of my head but I still just want that __________________. I need someone to tell me it’s not this place that’s fucked up, it’s me. I want to hold myself accountable. I want to be okay with nothing at all happening most nights. I pulled the Two of Pentacles this afternoon: _______________________________________________________________________________________handwriting, composition, letters of exchange.” So there’s more _______ letter writing to come.