Why I Love McSweeney’s, #3,572

The Quarterly Concern #17, this time wryly disguised as a bundle of mail, contains a certain letter that is actually both a story and also a desperate, spam-styled plea for asylum and funding from a devastated Bangladeshi woman who has lost her husband and her fortune. A snippet from the enclosed story, penned by Peter Ferry: a note mistakenly delivered to the author from a deceased girl whose life he may have been able to save:


It is just dawn and I am just awake and you are on my mind. Isn’t that the old song? Funny how we always talk in lyrics, you and I: all you need is love, what’s love got to do with it, many a tear has to fall. I love that about you, your layers upon layers, your allusions, your asides. A conversation with you needs footnotes and a reader’s guide. But then I love so much about you. I am quite madly in love with you if you don’t mind my choice of words; see, now you have me doing it.

And why shouldn’t we talk in lyrics? We are so musical, my love. We are all about music, rhythm, beat, and syncopation. We are a song, you and I. The first time we did our dance moving together in the dark, it wasn’t sex, it wasn’t fucking. It was breathing together, it was swaying, it was the two of us becoming a third thing for a moment, moments. I don’t remember what happened to our clothes. I don’t remember you touching me with your hands, not in the usual places, just my hair and upper arms and lightly on my hips. And then I realized you were inside me, but it was hardly the point, it was almost incidental, it was the way I always thought it should be (another song?). You can say that our little friend helped, but I don’t think very much; what happened was inevitable.

That is how I feel about us, my darling. We are inevitable. We are inexorable. We are a juggernaut. I am very sad that we cannot see each other Thanksgiving week, but this thing we have is so strong that I don’t need to see you. I am fine. I am happy, safe and secure in the warmth of our love though we are far apart and long way from each other. I love you deeply and eternally.


“Shit,” I thought, standing there, my hand unsteady by the time I had finished reading, looking about for fear someone would come along, catch me. “What do I do with this damn thing?” I thought. “Why did I have to read this?” I thought. “Why couldn’t someone feel this way about me?” I thought. For the second time since the summer, I badly wanted a cigarette.


Why aren’t you reading this publication yet, four times a year?

14 Responses to “Why I Love McSweeney’s, #3,572”

  1. angledge Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 2:16 pm

    I don't read.
    Read it to me!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 7:21 pm

    Re: I don't read.
    You got it. Twice, if you're lucky.

  3. avalokita Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 3:50 pm

    Love like that is fleeting, or fiction. No one writes love letters like that.

  4. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    It's almost an insult for you to claim such a thing with such certainty.

  5. dirtbaby Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 5:00 pm

    There have been moments when I have lost track of what is important in life, but my love of Yma grows every year. And then my heart grew 2 sizes larger; one size for each child. Some days I think I will die from the swelling of emotion in my soul. The only thing I can wish for any other person in this world is to find your match, your best friend, your lover, the extension of your being. I am going to go beat some harp seals with a frying pan now to make up for the emotional drivle above (I still mean it though).

  6. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 7:22 pm

    This wells me up with happiness for you, and possibility for everyone else.
    Especially the part about the seals.

  7. nite_secrets Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 6:51 pm

    I have a much more realistic view on love…My idea of an outstanding expection is them not to cheat on me while I'm still alive. You'd be surprized how hard that is to find.

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 7:33 pm

    Your view is informed by your experience. It is as realistic as you choose to make it, and as realistic as you open yourself up to – and as realistic as you've been through. Though you have your own expectations and visions of what love is, everyone else does, as well. I've felt the emotion within and written letters like this on many occasions, and I know others have, too. What's certain is that to say it doesn't exist is completely erroneous and short-sighted.
    If it didn't exist – if people didn't feel this way – this story would have never been written.

  9. nite_secrets Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 8:20 pm

    Haha…it's sweet that you're always the eternal optimist…I hope you find someone with your same sense of values. But I can tell you for sure, no such person exists among the people I've met in this lifetime. I wish you better luck, though.

  10. sharck Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    I've written letters like that in tone if not in topic. Love like that is real and possible.
    So there.

  11. nite_secrets Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 6:52 pm

    I don't care about tone…if I recieved something like that, I'd want to know someone's heart was in it.
    I've seen real love in someone's eyes, in letters less eloquent, in lots of things…

  12. nite_secrets Says:
    November 8th, 2005 at 8:21 pm

    sorry responded to wrong link.

  13. thistlelurid Says:
    November 9th, 2005 at 3:33 pm

    <small>I received mine in the mail yesterday….
    and I cant open it…because I need to
    finish the book I started the day before.
    Youre killing me here.</small>

  14. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 9th, 2005 at 11:05 pm

    It's short. You can read it now…for a wee break. Go on.
    You know you want to…

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