Letter to Sherman Alexie

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