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email to Gordon 03/01/21

Flanders,

I was going to tell you I bought ribbon for my Olympia, but I couldn’t remember the word “ribbon”. A typewriter is such an incongruous concept.

I began a writing project in late December. Perhaps you will come across it one day and say, the author is a friend of mine. Or it will be a book someone will leave behind in a hotel room. Or a public toilet. Do you feel depressed and exhilarated in bookstores like I do? What arrogance it is to write and expect to be published.

I am back up north. There are trails behind my house that lead straight into the woods and up the hills. It has not rained in months. The ground is dry and loose. Dust has settled on the trees. When I step out for a run, I wonder if I’ll see ash instead of green. If the farmers torched their plantations in the night— and consumed the surrounding woods in the process. They used to clear the fields in February, but now they begin as early as December.

Yesterday I ran fast. My feet intimate with the rocky terrain. I was a wolf scampering up and down the hills. When I got home, I noticed the cuts on my feet. The trail has all things that bite. But what gets me most often are thorns and roots.

The wild exacts a price. And we’re happy to pay, aren’t we?

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