The 19th of August 2000 – Freeport, Maine

(found by a hair tie and the front wheel of a green touring bicycle)

Dear Diane,

You figure it out. I know you want me to figure it out. I know you want me to at least help you try to figure it out. But it’s on you. You figure it out.

Life is what you make of it. I don’t say that in the fuddy-duddy, put on a happy face and let the whole damn world smile along with you kind of way. Life is what you make of it.

You can make it a game. You can score points and have points scored against you. You look up the stats afterward and find reasons to pat yourself on the back or kick yourself in the ass. You can win or lose and always find some way to be happy with the result. And that’s the thing. You can make life a game and always have that result. That’s all you want, sometimes. You just want that result.

You can make life war with sweat and tears and death and hard fighting. But, still, it’s just a result.

Diane, any which way you look at it – any way you make it, I should say – your life is going to be some kind of result. A win, a loss. A good performance. Something to improve upon.

I don’t know if that’s right or wrong. But it is a creation. It is a fiction of the mind. It is something you would create in order to deal with what is often too hard to deal with.

So what is too hard to deal with?

Life is inexplicable. That’s what makes it amazing. That’s what makes it amazingly painful. It doesn’t make sense. It just seems like random chaos, people hugging each other and then beating each other with fish carcasses and never for a good enough reason.

You can think it all comes down to hard work and effort and discipline, but sometimes you can do your best – hell, you can be perfect – and you can put in all the hard work and commit all your focus to life, and it won’t get you much more than a bruise on your temple, a seat on your ass and a general feeling of anxious discomfort. And even then, you get up because that’s what life is.

So I don’t know what to tell you. You figure it out.

Let me know how it goes,

Jasper

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