A selection of past letters


Grab her

The first time a boy pinched my ass I was in the fifth grade. His name was Spencer. He probably did it on a dare. I slapped him across the cheek as hard as a 10-year-old girl can slap. I stomped away, red-faced, to find a corner where I could cry.

The first time I kissed a boy, it was definitely on a dare, although I liked him. I spent the night at my friend Lacey’s house. She lived in the same mobile home community as the boy, and we walked over to his place and tapped on his bedroom window. She dared us to kiss, we did, and it was sloppy and salty and strange, which is the way of first kisses. I was 13. I wondered if he liked me, too. I’m still not sure. We never kissed again, but another night he chased me around the property and I was a little scared of what would happen if he caught me. But I was faster. (read more)


I thought Iceland would be lonely. Doesn’t it seem, after all, like a place built for loneliness? Deserted up there with nothing to warm it but the threat of volcanic eruption, all wind and sleet and sky, and less people in the entire country than the population of Tampa? It is a landscape carved by lava and ice. Why shouldn’t hearts and souls be carved by the same?

It was the first time I had traveled that far on my own, without someone to meet on the other side. It was the first time I had really traveled in years. Too many years. They sneak up on you and pounce. People warn you that it will happen, but like all sneaking things, the moment of revelation always comes as a shock.

I took the trip not because I had the money and not because I had the time and not because I had the perfect traveling companion, but because you never know how much life you will get, or what kinds of chances you’ll be granted. It is a good reason. (read more)

A place in the wild

The day we found Rokan, the sky was blue, that sort of crisp, surreal cerulean that might only exist in New Mexico and other arid, sweeping landscapes that offer nearly nothing in the airways between you and the vastness of the beyond. The kind of blue that, if you stare at it for more than a few seconds, will seem to ripple and undulate, eventually throb, mimicking the rhythm in your chest. The blue will make you see atoms, electrons, the faintest flash of a quark, perhaps, wisps of the imperceptible and imperceivable. You wonder if this is what LSD feels like as it takes its hold. It blossoms. You stay until you are pulled away by your companion on the trail or the switch to a green light or your own sense of self-preservation. It is deep. The day was that kind of blue, and I’ll always remember it, because when we found him we held him to the sky. (read more)


Complete archive