Addictions are for suckers, Tom. Who needs drugs when you’ve got novels? If you want a dissociative experience, drop a little DFW. Drugs are for illness and drugs are for fun, but they’re not for use in kidding ourselves. But then, I don’t think I would recognize neurosis if it asked after my mother’s health.
“Back in Virginia” is actually a very shrewd way of referring to anything that happens anywhere in the Commonwealth, in my opinion. You can tell by the way I fetishize history in “Welcome to Our Home” that I think time is strictly notional here. “Technical definitions” of places are also really not on, so I both cannot and refuse to provide one for “tidewater.” But it seems like a dead standard example of the everyday conversational poetry of rural southern speakers; I imagine it’s one of those words without etymology, one that rose up out of the swamp like a thing that no one ever learned, but just always knew.
(Which is exactly how I feel about you and my Trop comrades, incidentally.)
I’d like to note for our readers (who are really your readers, Tom, and possibly Roger’s, because I’ve been keeping this little forum of ours under my hat, rather) that you have failed to address a subject that I raised in EnTropy and that we pursued at some length over mint juleps the other night: your beard. Your beard appears to be no more, and I’m not the sort who will take credit for another man’s facial hairstylings, but let it be known that when you appeared on my doorstep you had a facial coiffure that can only be described as audacious. No, I take that back: it could also be described as a 1970’s era super-cool pornstache. (The word ‘mustache’ implies something politely confined to the upper lip.) I can’t say enough good things about your new look. I mean, I hope you’re not beaten to death with a tire iron down in rural Virginia by some good old boys. But if you were merely chased by said boys, it would still totally be worth it.
I’ll be on the train back to New York in the morning, where my sentences are shorter and my correspondence to the point. I envy you lads your lowland literary powwow and your hotel internet and bowling and shared anxieties. But I look forward to reading about them, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the Weather.
A.C. DeLashmutt is a Virginian living in New York. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's, The Washington Post, theNewerYork, Flash magazine, and elsewhere. She also writes plays. Follow her on Twitter @acdelashmutt.