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Long live all maidens

easy and beautiful !

Long live mature women also,

Tender and loveable and full of good labor. 

Gaudeamus Igitur

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True Confessions

Hi my companion in misery,

No fun having the flu. Sick of seeing the bathroom too! At school on my break I took off to my car for a nap after taking Gravol from the nurse. Just after you got your sore throat I developed a pounding headache and only today things seem to be levelling off. Sweet Carlo bought me French stick and bananas and I laid off the flax, oranges and beans and of course the coffee, always a laxative, at least for me.

There's lots I want to say but not sure how to say it all in one email. I try to be careful not to hurt people's feelings - even on paper, and especially in an email. I have no idea why the excessive emails to Eddy, Sarah, and for that matter, to me. Yes, even I have been receiving some but did not want to tell you. Not that long ago, paranoid women of an artistic, temperamental nature were often 'put away', labelled insane. Men too, for that matter. Robert Schumann was sent to an asylum after jumping in the river. No one knew then what depression really was. Nor did they know Menopausal. It's all gotten a bit too cosy. But let's consider going for dinner with her. The course is ending soon and I want to show some appreciation. Let me fill you in.

Monday's class was surreal. I missed you sitting beside me, on the sidelines, for someone to nudge. Actually the numbers were down (people seem to have difficulty sticking to the commitment for this long) and it was far too cosy for my comfort. Just Sherry, Marion, Eddy (yes he made his appearance), the young copywriter from City and placid, fat Trevira, sitting as far away from F. as possible. Vino permeated the room. Writers need to imbibe more than other artists.  With not that many pieces prepared for reading in class she opted to read out loud to us from a pile of her juicy selections (I was in perfect position for the occasional specks of spittle that flew about). Not sure whether or not it was just me, but the focus was definitely on sexual matters: there was the excerpt from Gaitskill's Bad Behaviour (I wrote as fast as I could to catch some of it ... you know me and my note taking!):

"Connie turned and put her stomach and breasts against Deana's warm back. She thought about the first woman she'd had a crush on, a beautiful stripper with black hair and bitter blue eyes. She had gone to see her strip and was irretrievably moved by the resigned but arrogant turn of her strong chin, the way she casually offered and rigidly withheld her body, as well as her tacky black lingerie"

You be the judge as to whether it was porn or not. For most of the evening she bloomed visibly, as the minutes ticked on. She reiterated that my piece about Lexi's persecution in the Niagara orchards was great and had an almost sexual drive to it (pardon the pun! ... you know, driving my red sports car in hot pursuit...).

The bits from Brokeback Mountain were really superb, I thought. But then I love Annie Proulx, although she can be a bit rough. Her choices were very specific and it was hard not to make eye contact as I was trying to be engaged, as was Eddy (sitting beside me) who squirmed a lot and looked a little flushed. You'd want to know that his aftershave smelled like a mix of coffee and Lily of the Valley (maybe it was his stale Starbucks latte on the table and Marion’s perfume). He told me it was Hector Burgos (yes, I asked). We learned of a few gay male authors (interesting perspectives), Christopher Coe who wrote Such Times, a few paragraphs from Dennis Johnson's Jesus' Son, truly dark gross stuff, and a delightful excerpt from Marion Engel's Bear (sex with bears, I think … not sure about that one). And thus the class went on and on ad nausem till the mention of on-line group sex ads when suddenly Sherry shoved back her chair with an ear-piercing screech, stood up and began a rant accusing F. of corrupt morals and gutter talk. She picked up Annie Proulx’s Close Range and threw it her way, demanding a refund. You should have your mouth washed out with soap. I don't need this. Sherry had tried so hard to fit in doing that assignment with all the swear words and all. Eddy muttered quietly to me from the side of his mouth, that one's got a pickle up her ass! The frozen bunch of us eventually took F.'s side, offered our sympathies and generally buttered her up and said that some people just didn't appreciate good literature. After all, these authors had all won prizes.

My Mother's Day weekend in Niagara pales in comparison to this entire kafuffle, although Philomena and Rosa's stories could make your hair curl. Next time. I'm too wound up just relaying all this to you.

Anyway, cook up a dialogue piece for next class. Interaction between two or more people, something from the deep recesses of your memory (memoir) and create some kind of tension. Don't worry. It will be spread out over the next two weeks so you've got plenty of time. Yours is for the second week. I need to meet with you ASAP to get this out of my system and explain some of the emails, now that you know. Yes, the strange saga of the Fearful Writer's Workshop indeed. Call me this evening. Hope you're feeling better.

Adria in turmoil 

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