Archive for December, 2016

Salutations: Journeys

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

I am blogging my readings for the salutations series, held at Green Apple books in the Inner Sunset.

The theme for this letter was Journeys.

The set up is this: Lots of people know that St Paul the Apostle wrote a ton of letters to the Corinthians. Not a lot of people know that the Corinthians wrote back . Here is one of those letters

 

Paul T Apostle

The Holy Roman Empire

Rome, Not Italy Yet

 

Cephas Of Corinth

Corinth, Mostly Greece

 

Dear Paul,

 

Thanks for your abundant correspondence. It’s nice to hear from you and we’re always interested in your perspective. It’s also nice that you might be swinging by for a visit. I’ll tell Saul to ready his extra donkey loft.

We also wanted to say that while we’re always happy to get letters and love it when you stop by, there’s something that’s been on our minds. I know this might be hard to hear, but this whole ‘Jesus’ thing is getting to be a bit much. It was all that you talked about in the last letter, dude. Rome’s got to have something going on, you know? A new lunch spot? It’s like the biggest city in all of civilization. There must be something there that doesn’t involve you talking about the bread of life for like the 15th time. Maybe there’s a chess club or something? Or some art stuff? It’s not that we’re not appreciative that you’re interested in our little town but the letters feel, well, preachy.

Speaking of that, the last time you were here Stephan said that he tried to show you his new plow and all the work he did in the further fields but you just kept telling him about the gospel of Christ Jesus. We get it. We’re only babies in his holiness, as you keep saying, we must rise into the light of the lord…we know… but Stephan was really excited about the new plow. You could have said “Great plow, Steve. Good job on the further field. You really plowed the heck out of it. Man, you’re gonna have some great crops this year. <beat> Also, on a completely separate topic… Have you heard about how the spirit of the lord our God lives in man?” And he’ll say “uh, yeah” and then you can both move on.

It would have really been a menschy thing to do, you know? He worked hard on the plowing.

As you promised, your son Timothy’s has arrived, he got here last Friday. He brought those scrolls you asked us to store in the special scroll locker you helped us build over by the Dead Sea. He, too, been very clear about the gospel of the word of life. Very, very clear.  I’m not going to say he won’t shut up about it, but I will say he does not speak about much else.

Petrach thinks he might be a little slow. We told him that thing you said about how “God protects even the littlest birds upon the tree” and asked him to go count the chickens to make sure they were protected. Alphonse keeps hiding extra chickens in his room so that Tim stays busy- more chicken counting, less the tree of life.

Phillip has asked that I clear a few things up about the whole section of the letter you wrote about him. We know you’re writing these letters just to us, and it doubtful that anyone else is going to ever see them, but even still, he doesn’t want it getting out that he’s “fornicating with his father’s wife”.  Because, well, he’s not.

Seriously that would be creepy….Ethel is like a second mother to Phil. Especially since his own mother was accidentally brutally hoofed to death during the annual running of the goats festival three years ago.

The real story of what you called “abominations unto the lord” is considerably less naughty than what you implied. As you know Ethel’s a little on the young side for Phil’s dad… and good for him by the by… but occasionally Ethel likes to get away from the harvest and the plentiful goat work and cut loose.

Phil invited Ethel to a manger dance a couple weekends ago, you know to unwind and have a little fun, up in Achaia. Nobody turned water into wine, but let’s just say they didn’t need to because there was plenty of regular wine. Anyway Phil and Ethel may have been a little …uh…shall we say…over served and they ending up passing ou…taking a nap… under the same wagon. Yes, they were technically “sleeping” together but not in the “biblical sense” and that’s straight from Ethel.  No one was “associating with sexually amoral people” but Phil did say the Achaians had some of the greatest oregano he’s ever smoked.

About the oregano, we sent Marcus back up to Achaia to trade for some. He came back with a ton, they love the goat fudge we make in Achaia. We’ll send some of the extra oregano with the next letter. You’re gonna completely dig this stuff.

It makes the whole short story John wrote about the apocalypse an amazing read. We are thinking of doing a dramatic reading of the story next weekend with plenty of wine and oregano. You should see if you can make it down. Petrach does the whole thing with different voices and acts part of it out. He even has voices for the horses of the apocalypse. Man. There’s no way I could it explain it but it’s hysterical. Afterward we’ll have a feast, because the oregano make most of us hungry. Chloe will make hummus.

Okay. I guess that’s all. Things are great here since we got this really shiny golden calf statue. KIDDING! Just trying to get your goat! Kid… goat? Goat! Get it? Man, I should do some of this stuff at Eurpides weekly Improv show at the Apollo. It would kill.

Anywho. Like I said it was great hearing from you. Hope everything is super in Rome.

 

Best wishes,

 

All of us here in Corinith

 

 

Salutations: Beginnings

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

I was invited to participate in an interesting writing exercise a couple months back and I’ve now done two.  In the interest of starting a writing project and keeping myself going I’m posting here.

The idea is that people get together at a bookstore and read letters. The whole thing is sponsored by Chronicle books and the first one they held was about beginnings and the most recent one they sponsored was about travel.

To get us started here’s the first letter I wrote for the beginnings event:

Dear Occupant,
I have an offer for you. This is a one time offer. This is an offer so stupendous that we can only
offer it to you. Now. at this time. Through this one time offer letter.
This is the kind of offer that used to come with 12 CDs for just a penny. This is an offer that will
make you will laugh at such a miniscule number of CDs from this point forward. However,
included with this offer you will also find a penny, just in case.
As with any great offer, we should inform you that this offer may make others jealous. Make
friends turn against you. Make people you don’t know look upon you with envious scorn. Make
women throw themselves at you. Make men throw themselves at you. You, my friend, will soon
know your way around the sort of one sided admiration reserved for Brad Pitt or people who
look a great deal like Brad Pitt. Tape this offer to your stomach and then never do another sit
up. This is our promise to you.
Will this offer make you gasp? Yes. Will this offer make your head spin with disbelief? Of
course. Will this offer make you weep, right there in the lobby of your building next to those
horrible aluminum mailboxes? Perhaps, but let me tell you about the offer.
No, let’s not rush to get to the offer right away. First, you are the only one who truly knows
yourself, in your heart of hearts, in the secret moments you share with only yourself, and
perhaps, the mail. Are you the sort of person that when presented with this kind of show
stopping, life altering offer would cast aside your normally stoic exterior and sob uncontrollably
in front the lady from 6a and the downstairs neighbor who’s been your secret crush for the past
year and a half.
You might. Will you? You should pause to think. Take a breath. Really look into your soul. Ask
yourself, am I that sort of person that when presented with an offer that only a fool would reject,
that only a charlatan would turn aside, who would weep tears of abject joy? if
the answer is
“Yes”. Then you should stop reading right now. Get a hanky. Or the towel you keep in your gym
bag. The one that’s been there, clean, unused for the past week and a half. Get one of those
and hold in your non dominant hand. You don’t want to smudge the ink. Offers returned with
tear smudged ink and null and void and subject to legal action.
Okay.
Are you ready?
Good.
Are you sure you’re ready?
Because this offer, which we are offering, this one time, to a very small group of handpicked
eligible consumers, would befuddle a person who’s anything less than 100% ready. We don’t
want anyone befuddled. Or flummoxed. Or caused undue consternation. The offer will be
revoked instantly to anyone showing signs of befuddlement, which as we all know, can be
detected with a simple blood test.
This offer is available to anyone who lives at this address. Male or female, offer also available to
pets, but not cats, for obvious reasons. Proof that you reside here and are not a cat is required.
If you live at this address, can read and are not a cat, you are subject to this amazing offer. If
you are not alive, please know that while we have a great and abiding respect for members of
our spirit community, this offer is not valid for netheramericans.
If you are dead or have been
dead, please be advised to sign the attached waiver and we will send you some valuable
consolation gifts. Which, while useless to a “living” person, would be of no end of valuableness
to someone negotiating the complexities of a time beyond the mortal coil.
This offer, offered to you and some others like you, is comprehensive and inclusive. The offer
includes a series of suboffers
encompassing, but not limited to: This offer, other offers, and
subsequent offers. This offer comes with a dinner salad or a baked potato. If requested the offer
also comes with a wine pairing for acceptees over the age of 21 in the United States or over the
age of 14 in other countries. If you live in New Jersey or Texas, the wine pairing is mandatory.
This offer is void where prohibited by common law but not by the laws of physics, which you will
soon see as irrelevant.
To redeem the offer you will need to report to the office of offer ofference, which is downtown,
next to the post office. Report to the office between 12 and 2 thursday through sunday. Ask for
Mabel. She will be expecting you. Please wear comfortable shoes and a light windbreaker.
Offer details are available upon request and can be provided at time of offer acceptance.
What are we offering, you ask?
Well, we are are offering, for one, the chance to change the way you perceive perception.
To change the way you acknowledge knowledge.
To change the way you think about thinking.
To give you the chance to enjoy Chai Tea while performing Tai Chi.
You will be both sub and super human simultaneously. You will also be sub and regular marine.
Semper Fi soldier.
You will expect the unexpected.
You will never forget a name.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. You will also get the rest of the iceberg.
The offer is available for a limited time. This offer is available to the first 600 respondents or the
first 500 nonrespondents,
whichever comes first. Respond or don’t respond but do so
immediately.
Use the responder envelope enclosed and respond now. Operators are standing by.
If we reached you in error and you are not the person who we thought we were trying to reach
please feel free to crumple this up and throw it in anger at someone you don’t know. This is
probably for them.