Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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A Letter Always Arrives. . .

In honor of the fifteenth anniversary of my relationship with Kim, I've broken into my box of memorabilia from our first year together. Kim wants me to keep the letters she sent me private, which is probably a good thing. It's amazing how intense they are en masse. She mailed me so many missives at first that they almost read like a diary.

As anyone who has ever attempted to conduct a traditional correspondence with me will attest, I'm not good at the whole postal service thing. Interestingly, as I was going through the box of letters, I found the first one that I ever drafted to Kim. I had no recollection of it, strangely, even though I remember so many details of our initial months as a couple. Maybe that's because the letter isn't very good.

Reading it now, though, I'm struck by the resemblance between my prose style back then and the one I use on my blog today. I also can't believe I wrote some of the things that appear on the third page, which I am unable to reproduce for you here for legal reasons.

I should mention, before proceeding to the letter, that it was probably written around this time. The Germans who ended up selling Kim her frightening blue Malibu were still staying with us at 984 57th Street. Today is the anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall, an event even radical anarchists from the city were willing to celebrate with unabashed joy, even as they acknowledged the sad irony that November 9th was also the anniversary of 1938's terrible Kristallnacht.

Jetzt präsentiere ich euch den Brief:
NOTE: Pages #1 and #2 are verbose drivel so go to page #3 first, then come back to #1 + #2 after you've read the rest of the letter.

1. (I always double circle page numbers. I write my ones the German way.)

So Kim. This is my first letter to you and I want to really make it a good one. I fibbed the other day, at least according to the letter, if not the spirit of the WORD, when I said I was in the process of writing you a letter. I had actually not yet begun to transcribe my thoughts into written words and am only beginning to now, two days later. On the other hand, like the fabled Goethe (or so I imagine it), I compose in my head until the words suddenly stream from my pen like the water in the creeks where I grew up in Pennsylvania, that one week in March when the snow that has covered the ground in increments since January (only one year did we have snow Christmas Eve (over Christmas)) melts in succeeding days of seventy degree heat (twenty-five degrees warmer than it had been on any day since mid-October) and covers and then collapses the sheet of ice that had covered the creek and been growing progressively thinner since Valentine's Day. But as the last sentence of comically run-on tangential (the abstract noun is formed from the adjective, hence I shall henceforth term my digressive ramblings "tangentials" -- defining my terms -- I learned that from computer program theory gleaned from ninth and tenth grade perusings of computer magazines and an abortive attempt to learn Pascal)


attests, my mental compositions invariably merge with new insights, some tangentials, others improving not-to-be-left-outs. So only a half (at best) of what eventually ends up on the paper was in any way mentally pre-composed.

SO! HOW DO YOU FEEL AFTER READING A CONSCIOUSLY DENSE EXAMPLE (more on the "consciously" later) OF ME AT MY MOST OBLIQUELY POMPOUS. I suppose it was alienating and annoying, especially to someone like you, whom I at least initially perceive as being so rooted in experience and action that you at least dislike, if not despise such non-experiential, actionless prose. This is me (again obliquely) being self-conscious about rambling and thereby coming off as a total moron, much like you have been about your (non-rambling and wonderful) letters to me. As I said before that first paragraph was consciously dense: I wanted to test your reaction to what most everyone I know (except me) perceives as me "at my worst". I feel I need to reveal to you the sides of me you have yet to see and the one that indulges in constant wordplay (although strangely enough, I have someone avoided doing so with you so far almost entirely) is a very big and important, if not endearing facet of my character


[The third page cannot be reproduced because it consists entirely of X-rated descriptions of everything I wanted to do during our next meeting.]
Man, it's a good thing I had the mind to append that third page and the note asking Kim to read it first. Because otherwise this letter might have ruined my chance at lifelong happiness. It's a wonder I ever got laid. . .

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