I have written letters that are failures, but I have written few, I think, that are lies. Trying to reach a person means asking the same question over and again: Is this the truth, or not? I begin this letter to you, then, in the western tradition. If I understand it, the western tradition is: Put your cards on the table.

This is easier, I think, when your life has been tipped over and poured out. Things matter less; there is the joy of being less polite, and of being less—not more—careful. We can say everything.

Although maybe not. Like in fishing? The lighter the line, the easier it is to get your lure down deep. Having delivered myself of this manly analogy, I see it to be not a failure, but a lie. How can I possibly put an end to this when it feels so good to pull sounds out of my body and show them to you. These sounds—this letter—it is my lipstick, my lingerie, my high heels.

Writing to you fills the days in this place. And sometimes I long for days when nothing happens. “Not every clocktick needs a martyr.”

Amy Hempel, “Tumble Home”, in Tumble Home