Letter to Sherman Alexie

Diabetes is just like a lover, hurting you from the inside. Sherman Alexie, I think you’re going to have another book for me to read soon. It’s been twice, three times since I’ve thought about you in less than a week. You’re picture is on my wall. I wrote about you and now I’ve randomly picked a quote from you. If I were to write a love letter to a living stranger I think it would be you.

Diabetes is just like a lover, hurting you from the inside. Inside my lover loves me and hurts me and I hurt over things that don’t need to be hurt over.

Diabetes is just like a lover. Oh baby, you know I want to lay with you eating chocolates and cherries.

You feel like Jell-O on my tongue – you showed me what that felt like and I laughed. I watched it break the surface and poke in, all that sticky sweet stuff melting under heat and moisture.

Diabetes is just like a lover, hurting you from the inside. Sherman Alexie, I think you’re going to have another book for me to read soon. It’s been twice, three times since I’ve thought about you in less than a week. Your picture is on my wall. I wrote about you and now I’ve randomly picked a quote from you. I cry when I read your stories, and I laugh, too. Sometimes your books are so painful that I can only read a little at a time. I’m glad you write. I never saw your movie, Smoke Signals—maybe I’ll rent it this weekend.

If I were to write a love letter to a living stranger I think it would be you.

I know you’re married Sherman, you’re only a few years older than I am, and I think you have children, too. Does it get easier? Does your lover still hurt you? Does she hurt you when she is strong and beautiful or does she hurt you when she feels stuck in a corner? Do you provoke each other? Do you cook together? Does she iron your shirts? The one you’re wearing in my photo of you is a brilliant purple.

I’ll bet you could care less if your shirts are ironed.

I’m sick with love Sherman, I get too much sugar and I soar with fever, not enough and I fall into a coma.

I feel myself slipping through the cracks of my teeth.

© February 25, 2002

Diabetes is just like a lover, hurting you from the inside. —quote from Sherman Alexie

  1. Sherman Alexie’s one of my absolute favorite living writers. He’s also a hell of a speaker–probably one of the best standup comedians I’ve ever seen, but with an incredible passion that can cause him to explode with the deepest rage, only to go right back to making jokes. (Just a couple of days after I saw Alexie, John Updike came to do a reading in the same venue–to a far, far larger crowd–and, while, certainly, he had the skill of someone who’d been doing this kind of gig since before Sherman Alexie was born, it just seemed so pedestrian after the passionate virtuoso performance that was still ringing through my head) (one thing that made him explode, actually, was vegans–and while his extremely negative views on that subject might not endear him to the yoga crowd, and he somewhat unfairly lumped all vegans in with the most privileged and self-righteous of granola fascists, he had a point: not everybody has the luxury of deciding what to eat for every meal). Of course, that delicate and powerful interweaving of comedy and tragedy is also what marks his best writing.

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  2. I have seen him speak, too — a year or so ago at Northern Arizona University. Packed house. Like his writing, I laughed and cried – and laughed so hard I cried!

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  3. I haven’t sent this letter to Sherman Alexie yet, nor have I seen SMOKE SIGNALS yet!

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  4. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

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    1. Hi Freddie,

      Thanks so much for your feedback. I intend to do plenty of writing in 2013. Do come back for a visit soon! Happy New Year!

      Holly

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