I have a few.
I go back and forth between thinking you don’t know what you’re doing, and trusting entirely that you have your shit together - because you totally do. It’s just hard to imagine sometimes that any faculty member at this school could possibly trust me, given that bad semester I had.
Thanks for trusting me. I know I’m capable, but it’s hard to convince anyone else sometimes. I look awful on paper, but you know better. Thanks.
You seem a little creepy sometimes, but I assume it’s all in my head. It’s probably your mustache/glasses combination. You sort of remind me of the generic “stranger” archetype we always saw in neighborhood safety PSAs as kids.
I’m glad you appreciate Battlestar Galactica as much as I do.
Dear Mrs. Wilson,
I never could tell if you hated me or not, but I liked you a great deal. Your AP English class was honestly the only class in my entire high school career that actually mattered. Nothing else was useful, and no other teachers got us as enthusiastic about learning as you did. I mean, you made us downright cocky about how intelligent we’d become under you.
I regret that I was dating that horrible boy during the time I was taking your class. I always came out into passing period, wanting to yammer on about something you taught us. He’d always scoff. He hated you on principle because you were a feminist, and he was a textbook misogynist.
Anyway, thanks for being cool. I liked the bright yellow refrigerator door you kept in your room. My parents, like everyone’s parents, stopped putting my As on the fridge when I left elementary school. So it was nice of you to put our good essays and tests on the class refrigerator door. It’s nice to get that arbitrary, traditional, childish recognition sometimes.
I hated you around the time I graduated from high school. Everyone was in tears at our commencement concert and ran up to hug you goodbye. I didn’t because I was sick of you.
I didn’t appreciate how much you stuck your nose into my life. After school, sometimes I dreaded going back to the band room to get my horn because I knew you’d poke out of your damn office and ask me to come in for a chat. “Marriage counseling” was what you called it. And after all that you knew about what was going on, you still worshipped your prodigious student. Yeah, he was a good player. But he hurt me, and you stood by supporting his decisions. You fucked up.
I miss you sometimes, though. It’s weird to think that I’m almost as old as you were when you were first my teacher. And that you were here at IU before me. I guess you made me laugh a lot. Wind-Ensemble became my favourite class. But sometimes I felt like I was walking on eggshells; your moods could change so suddenly, and without warning. I guess that’s why you loved Joey so much. You were both time bombs.
But you were still the teacher I was closest to. In that Stockholm Syndrome kind of way I’m so prone to. You forced your friendship on all of us, and we wound up lost when you left. And you were wise. You were good at giving advice, although not great at understanding when people couldn’t take it.
I guess this was more of a hate letter than a letter of appreciation. Still, I’m filing it under “letters to favourite teachers.”
What are they good for?
I can take it from here, kidneys. You obviously don’t know what you’re doing.
Dear “My Body,”
I am disgusted, fascinated, disappointed, impressed, saddened, and occasionally content when I think of you. You’re like that friend I can’t really shake, but who has her good moments (usually drunk).
For one, I feel a little trapped by you. You’re my vehicle, my vessel, but I don’t feel like you ought to represent me all the time. You look nothing like I picture myself. You look angry and sturdy. You don’t look vulnerable or frail. Delicate. I’d like to be deceptively delicate. You don’t glow or sparkle like I think you ought to. When I’m in awe of something - a nice tree, a nice person, a nice film - my childlike wonder doesn’t manifest itself in your corporeal form. You can’t express anything I’d like you to express.
You’re never sexy. You rarely get called sexy. Or pretty. You’re not beautiful. Just “cute.” Like a big, dumb, round button. Kids are cute. Clumsy animals with floppy ears and paws are cute. It’s always been this way with everyone. Sometimes, damn you, I’d like to be sexy. That’s your homework, body, be sexier.
I like some stuff about you, though. I like how pale you remain, no matter the season. I like your fingers and toes, and how breakable they look. Your boobs are a tasteful size. When your lips aren’t dry and chapped, they’re alright. I also like the fact that you can’t burp. I’m sure it means something is wrong with you, but it’s a nice problem to have.
I also like how you do all of my work for me. I can move without really thinking about it; you get me from place to place without much strain. You digest my food for me - I only have to do the fun part, which is eating - you take care of breaking it all down so I can survive. Same goes for breathing and pumping blood, although I wish I had received a stronger, less jank heart (readers can take that literally, as I have a minor heart murmur, or as a tacky metaphor for my emotional coldness).
To be honest, you’ve come a long way. You still have ugly days, but they aren’t every day like they used to be. Sometimes I even think you’re sort of nice-looking. At least your skin is clear. You could probably stand to lose a few pounds, though.
I think I’ll take you to the doctor again soon and make sure you’re alright. You’re not what I would have chosen, but you’re what I have. I’ll always be here to live inside of you and, in my annoyingly neurotic way, obsessively care for you.
You’re kind of a bitch. And I’m just saying this because I’m your best friend - it’s not like I don’t like you. I’m still going to, like, hang out with you (as if I have a choice) and get breakfast with you, and I won’t untag all the photos of us, but you’re impossible to be around sometimes.
For one, you’re insane. I think you might actually be insane. You’re obsessed with always having something to be sad about, and why? Because you have fun being sad? Because it’s more fulfilling that way? Hell, you even liked being sad at parties. Like, you enjoyed going out to parties with the intention of having a lousy time. Who does that, you freak?
I guess you’re not going to parties any more, so. Problem solved.
Also, I don’t like your hair. You should do something with it. Don’t cut it again, but maybe find some way you can put it up where it’ll be 1.) Out of the way, 2.) Tolerable if it goes curly, and 3.) Not in that “I’m a snooty bitch, and this snooty hairstyle goes with my snooty glasses and snooty cardigan” thing you always do.
You’re selfish. But you’re also really fucking bad at being selfish because you keep doing things that make you unhappier and unhappier. I guess you just like to bring people down with you. You really ought to be locked up. Or pushed out of a cliff. Or out of your window. You keep eyeing that thing as it is.
Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?
You can’t bring back your teenage years. You can’t bring back sexual naivety and mystery and excitement. Or self-denial or oppression. Your recreation of those obstacles is kitschy and cheap. Grow up.
Most people like to be loved.
They like stability.
You like horrible things, like that lump you get before crying. You like being so sad that your skin is sore. That your sternum feels like it’s been scraped at and pulped with a knife. You like feeling lovely but unappreciated.
Sure, you also like feeling happy. But do you even know what that means any more? When was the last time you were happy? You can’t remember, because for as long as you can think back, you’ve made yourself feel like shit. And others along with you.
It’s no wonder no one likes you.
You are probably very _________ and I am __________ to have or not have you in my life. I don’t actually believe in god or an afterlife, although I’m sure it’d be awfully _________. I honestly can’t say much on this topic, given my lack of faith, but I do ask all the followers of _________ to maybe be more considerate to those of us who do not believe in _________. When you don’t, it starts holy wars. And I’m pretty sure _________ wouldn’t even appreciate that.
So, guys, if you want to go to ___________ when you die, please be a nice person. And don’t do it necessarily for that reward, or for __________. Do it for humanity.