Letters to Wendy’s

Letters to Wendy’s is a charming little book.

Though it seems more like a writing workshop exercise than literature, there’s just something engaging about it. It’s like a little fast-food blog. Thanks for mentioning it, Nicole.

It’s nothing more than a collection of paragraphs, really. Some of them flirt with coffee-house profundity, some of them are silly, some of them just seem right.

The perfect book for just flipping through, when you think you write about stupid things. It’s an exercise in conciseness, a quality I so often lack.

It demonstrates why I have such a love/hate relationship with contemporary literature. Parts of it are just self-involved navel gazing, parts of it are just delightful. Some of the thoughts I can identify with:

September 29, 1996

If I had two dwarves who followed me around and inquired endlessly into my philosophy, I’d want them to be named Munley and Leffage. And I’d say to them, “Munley and Leffage, I have no philosophy, or none I’d want anyone else to know about. Why would I want anyone else to know my philosophy — I’m no Emperor, and my life is not something which should ever be repeated.”

I used to think that way most of the time. So many mistakes, but at the same time so many discoveries. I guess I’d rather embrace the discoveries rather than the mistakes. Some thoughts are better kept to oneself, though.

April 1, 1997 (April Fools Day)

Such a hot day, my balls are hanging so far down, I can’t help but think of the chosen one, the one whose face was made to bear witness to this hanging down — the lips, the soft cheeks, the softly closed eyes, the eyelashes, the chin, the face fated to absorb that delicate pressure — my balls being dragged slowly, slowly across the forehead, down the brim of the nose . . . Where art thou? Where art thou not?

I’ve never thought about writing about my balls. That takes a certain amount of, well, balls. Come to think of it, I’ve never written anything about body parts at all. Most ideas I have can’t be contained too well in a single paragraph. I admire people who can do that though, so that’s why I find the book to be quite fun. Because it isn’t me at all; I like things that aren’t me these days.