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Dear M.,

You called me Goat Girl for an entire semester, for reasons I don’t want to fully flesh out, though it’s true that I followed you wherever you went yet disliked being called a sheep. You compromised, and I could stop characterizing you right there, but it doesn’t feel like nearly enough. Ten years out of grad school and I still feel the warmth of your poet’s heart—wait, you write FICTION? I remember being surprised because, forgive me, the male fiction writers will usually speak only to the zipper of my jeans. You, sir, are the classiest, kindest debaucherer I’ve ever known, which is why I never backhanded you for baaahing at me. We dove down through the best bottles of bourbon and the worst bottles of beer, sure that that’s where the secret lay to staying in our life of words even after our 10 days were up. Every time, only a headache, never a key to our adopted city, so far from our real and actually lovely lives of jobs and families. Never a passport. Always a blurry photo with raised glasses snapped right before you darted off to write the night’s sequel at a bar, a drag club, any dance floor at all. We followed. It wasn’t a dream, I promise. You were like a chalice of party-starter and fuzzy feelings, and we followed. When the sun stands on a couch in a five-star hotel and beckons you to shine, bids you to shimmy until you belong to everyone you want to love you, you fucking follow.

xo S

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Love letters to my Facebook friends project

 

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