Letters from the 80's


9 October 1985

We left Seattle on Thursday last for San Francisco. Two days later we were crossing from Keystone on Whidbey to Port Townsend and teasing each other – “I told you San Fransciso is *south* of Seattle.” It is Wednesday. We are still at Studio Eremos on Alabama in the Mission District. We have made all the proper pilgrmages (Haight/Ashbury, City Lights), touristed Fisherman’s Wharf, eaten ethnically (Mexican, Chinese) and driven around and around and up and down. We have done San Francisco on a frayed shoestring, but it’s been great. Now I want to go home and change clothes.

Monday 23 February 1987

Dear Leah:

Well, here it is, the 23rd of February l987, one week into my 44th year and 13 years away from the year 2000 when the future is supposed to arrive. Do you see anything coming yet?

I know this is no great consolation to you, but I’m not sure I know what I’m doing either. I still think I’m going to write. This letter is the first thing I’ve done in weeks. The last was the letter I wrote my brother just before Christmas trying to console him on his divorce. I think I told him how great things can get if you give it time. Last year I lived in the house of a 300-pound crazy man. This year I have my own room and a desk.

(It’s now more than a week later). My latest job at the U is data processing for the Husky football people selling seats for the new Husky Stadium that fell down last week. I just got my ears pierced. I’m still in love with the bartender. My pen is running out of ink. It’s far too long until the next long weekend. Things are going very well and I’m more confused than ever. Is this a crisis or just the nature of things?

31 March

Spring and warmth have broken out. It could get up to 70 again today. Seattle is blooming all over. There’s a large flowering quince and a forsythia right outside my window. I still don’t know most of the plants here. I remember talking to a friend of mine one Friday night about why I still don’t really feel at home here and finally I said that I missed knowing the trees. In the Midwest I’d always known who all the trees were and here too many of them are still strangers.