Saturday, February 15, 2014

Los Angeles Seminar 2014 Sample Letters

L A Pen Show 2014 Sample Letters Handout

The following are sample letters from my project “A Month of Sundays” and appear, with music behind them, on the debut album “Seasons... and other Imperfect Circles” by my new project The Fractal Ensemble.

April 17, 1996

My Dear Friend,

DOOD! Of course I remember you?!

I’m so glad you found me in the middle of Europe! How have you been? How long has it been since we last spoke? Okay, let’s just call it too long and start from there...

What is going on with me? I’ve been here in Europe for a while trying to finish up my degree or at least get enough credits to finish it up at home in a year. When I got here I hated it but then it began to grow on me. Now I love it. I just got back from an insane trip to Semana Santa in Seville. The incense, candles, trumpets, drums, and INSANE costumes (someone should talk to them about those... hoods?)

Life here is so different from the states. people seem to know how to live. I can get use to that, ya’ know? It isn’t like it is at college in the states. People still know how to party but still get to work and have a respectable GDP.

So what is going on with you these days? How have you been? The last time we met was a party over on the North Loop , no? That was a C-R-A-Z-Y party! How they got that gazebo onto that pick up truck is beyond me! (Wait was it the other way around? Damn absinthe!) I tried to find you at the end of the night , right after Tom fell down and broke his arm from falling down the stairs. Can you believe I dated that loser? I spoke to Susan (remember her?) and she said he is still looming around town. Live and learn (or at least let’s hope so.)

So what have you been up to? How have you been? Where are you working? Still at the... okay, I forgot where you are working. TELL ME! Are you still living over by the hardware store/supermarket at the corner of Drag Queen and Homicide? Take care, okay? That section of town is strange! You can get gunned down in front of that low budget comedy improv theater just around the block from you. Not that some of those performers do not DESERVE to hospitalized after their horrible performances, but still....

Okay. Take good care and THANK YOU FOR WRITING ME!!!!!


PS: I wouldn't mind if you would write me back! (HINT WINK HINT)


July 3, 1996

My Dearest AMAZING Friend,

I just got your latest letter in the mail. Damn you give good letter, I mean that was some of the best letter I have ever got! I know, I’m sick, sorry. I got the cookies and the poster! THANK YOU!

Life here has been just running out of control, like a cab being driven by Helen Keller through a soccer match. Today, for example. I got up early after staying out too late, cleaned (clomping around my apartment with dirty mop water and black boots like some depressed Euro club girl) , ran to the train to go to yoga (given by a fascist masochist Stalin-esque yoga instructor) AFTER my class three towns away......... ONLY to have rushed to the college to find the class cancelled and then, after eating a huge breakfast, decided to not go to Pol Pot Yoga. So, I am writing you on a train back to my apartment. Some strange looking stoner chick next to me is making a bracelet of some sort. Let’s where where this goes, shall we?

Classes at the university are in full swing and I am drowning in work. Still, I cannot help myself but get out there and be with my new friends. It turns out that there is a girl here from the university we went too. Her name is Holly and she is a totally bad ass chick. She plays guitar, loves the Indigo Girls, and is just too cool for any school. We hang out and sing whenever we can. We became best buds IMMEDIATELY!

Your letters! Ouch! What is going on with you Sweetie?! You must take better care of yourself. Is your job really that stressful? I am sorry about your allergies. You must try to get some sleep!

I have to ask you a question. Do you think I am attractive? I guess I am sorta cute, but what’s been happening here is making me question reality. It seems here men are falling all over me in ways that are boggling my mind. Do I have some sort of hypnotic beam coming from my chest or something? My new boyfriend, Julian, likes me a lot, but that is in a “high school” sort of way. He’s nice and smells good, but I am trying to figure out what is going on. His friends are hitting on me, guys on the bus, etc.! Okay, fine, I am an American chick in Europe, but REALLLY? The men in this country are like wolves.

On a different note, I got a job tutoring some German girls in English. They are nice and the pay is decent so I have a little less to worry about financially.

Well, here’s something interesting. The kinda strange girl who was next to me on the train making the bracelet, we wound up talking and she was really nice. She even gave me me the thing she was making!

Well, as you can surmise, I am not on the train now, but back in my apartment. I need to get some studying done before I meet up with some friends and we go out into the Summer night and go dancing till we can no longer stand. So I had better go. I miss you so much and cannot wait till I get back to see you again! Thank you so much for the letters! I LOVE THEM! (but not in that “High school sort of way” ha ha) Take care of yourself, Sweetie, and I will write more soon.


September 23, 1996

My dearest friend,
I just received your two letters and tape in the mail. They were awaiting me at my old address in the northern part of town. As I read your words, the sun is just beginning to set upon the hills that border the village and the sky beams with yellow and violet.

Thank you for writing me as you do, as we have shared so much during our time apart, it seems as though our trust is genuine and special. It always makes me feel good to know that there is someone out there who cares about my life.

I've just awoken from a nap because I spent the whole night on a hoot doing the rhumba. I showered and came down to the tiny terrace bar, one of two which flank my building door. The one I've always frequented is filled with families, tiny four year old girls in pink and purple print cloth and exquisite 1920's hair bobs, scrounging about in the dirt together while their grandparents expertly let the world go by as their beers glow topaz. Moms with leather jackets, plucked eyebrows, smoking. Older women with sweaters on their shoulders soothing the inevitably ruffled feathers of the pink printed dolls. Slick black haired men in jeans, sunglasses and white espadrilles giggle laughing babies. Inside the two bars from my outside vantage point, I hear the stereo roar as the Madrid soccer team makes a goal.
The other bar is the scary one filled with the young harder people who are known as "the heavies." Both men and women have long feathered hair, tight pants, black skirts, and interesting necklaces in their open buttoned chests, leather jackets and fringed boots. Then, on the other side are the night brood, the wild ones. Every night they gather and listen to tapes and drink liters of beer with a dog or two, leaning on a fence that faces the garden. Of course the bar group is more splendid and scruffy in their low class finery. But the wild children were the first I saw months ago from my fourth floor window. They gathered like dried leaves in the windy late winter nights, and disappeared before dawn.

Their circle kept its back towards me the nights I waited outside for Herman. I watched them, envious, dreaming of the Lost Boys, wanting to pass the beer bottle around and be accepted into their ring of arrogance and ease with each other. The long hair, the occasional horseplay, the generosity... I guess we'd have little in common. It was more glamorous from four flights up.

My favorite character has just appeared: a baby about ten months old, Deborah. Her mother is the only local I've talked to who doesn't own a bar or a shop. She is often in the hands of Christina and Carlos, the bar owner's kids. They are delightfully bright and extroverted. The baby laughs and laughs when I play with her. As she sits on someone's lap, she chews on a pack of fortunas. You know she is going to be wonderful when she is older.

I love you. Your subtlety and irony, even when you are down is dear to me. I'm sorry you've been in so much pain lately. I'm helpless except to reach across the Atlantic with an embrace. And remember, you make me laugh like no one else can.

Well, I must leave you now. The sun has almost completely set and places the cafe under the gentle blessing of the night sky. The bartender has just lit the candle on the table, reminding me that I do not know when I shall return to your shores. My life here is full, but I cannot call it home. I miss you every day but I know that I must be here for now and look for your words to travel across the oceans and rest in my hands. I shall never abandon you in my friendship and your heart shall for ever remain in mine. I'm not one to make promises, but I know this is one I'll keep.
The night has fallen and I shall walk to my lover's house with memories of us on my every breath. We may drift in time and in space, but I never want to imagine us being without each other.

May the universe cradle you in her arms, and may the wisteria of dreams hang over your head.

Blessings, health, and sweet laughter.
I love you always......



December 4, 1996

My Dearest Friend,

I was very touched to stumble upon your beautiful gifts,true to your spirit and generous heart.
Thank you.
Your mix is playing as I write, so your presence is all around me mixing with the falling snow outside the window . As you can see from this letter, my waiting,the forces of my mind, is scattered.
My life is on quite an upbeat these days. I've spent some major quality time alone and with my parents and life and love have never been sweeter with my boyfriend.I'm collaging, drawing, and writing a book about where I am now, how I got here, and what I am planning. It's really helping sort things out.Distill life's wisdom and to also get-through-the-night-stuff.
One of the broadest wisdoms with which i am arming myself with on this departure is about letting go. I have recently spent a lot of time with a dear friend who is tangled up with a selfish married woman. He means so much to me,but as Peter Gabriel just sang, "I let go...." He doesn't write much, but I know that the love and lessons he helped grow in me will be with me always, even when our daily chatter is a memory.
I've been a selfish hermit mostly. I'm moving from a quiet torpid sheltered life to quite the opposite. I wonder how it will all compare to my expectations?
Thank you,my friend, for thoughtfulness and your damned intensity.I am not quite done learning everything you have taught me, but I know that the lessons are in me,waiting to be understood, you know? There is a vain, glamorous, passionate,and painful part of me that you never failed to touch,forcing me to face it. It is a childish part of me that I laid aside at the end my last serious relationship and all the adoration that came with it. I like to think that I have achieved a humbler, realistic me. But you proved to me that I never laid down my mermaid's comb and mirror .As much as I have struggled against it,you kept me honest and whole.
I hope this letter made sense.
I am sorry if I ever hurt you.
Fly high,angel.

All original contents copyright Michael Kovacs 2014.

Michael Kovacs
PO Box 200
Old Bridge, NJ 08857

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