I am so tired. So very tired that I started writing this letter all wrong. Haven’t been any too well and hot weather coming on. I have a very sore thumb on my right hand. But I never give up my work. I never have gotten all my housecleaning done as yet but except to maby before long. I don’t know why I am telling you all this for I suppose you wouldn’t give a hang about what I do or say. Anyway, I have never forgotten what you told me to do, go on your way, and you would go on yours. Well that did it. I am trying to do just that and keep straight. I never go out at night dancing. I haven’t danced since before I was married to Mr. Culp. But I often thought I would love to dance, especially when I hear good music over the radio. I use to love to hear poor Buddy Clark sing. His voice was very good. For Carnation Contented Hour. You remember. Well Perry, I have heard you say you still loved me. But, I still think that would be a big mistake,for I am up in years and you are still a young man. You had better think it all over and marry a young lady. I really believe Connie loves you for I heard her sing “if I Could Only Make Him Love Me.” We can be friends and when you and she get married you can call on me. I will never marry again. I am very sorry to tell you this. Why haven’t you ever written me a line if you love me so much? This is the 14th letter. This was very painful for my thumb. I think the nail will come off. Don’t have hopes of getting me to marry you. It’s all over. Lot’s of good luck to you and who ever you get. But not me. As ever your friend,
Jessie Lee Culp
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
Episode 22: “Form and Formlessness”
In an essay specially commissioned for the podcast, Aisha Sabatini Sloan describes rambling around Paris with her father, Lester Sloan, a longtime staff photographer for Newsweek, and a glamorous woman who befriends them. In an excerpt from The Art of Fiction no. 246, Rachel Cusk and Sheila Heti discuss how writing her first novel helped Cusk discover her “shape or identity or essence.” Next, Allan Gurganus’s reading of his story “It Had Wings,” about an arthritic woman who finds a fallen angel in her backyard, is interspersed with a version of the story rendered as a one-woman opera by the composer Bruce Saylor. The episode closes with “Dear Someone,” a poem by Deborah Landau.
Rachel Cusk photo courtesy the author.
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