The 13th of January 2010 – New York, New York

(found in the gutter by the shoe in the gutter by the shoe in the gutter by the shoe)

Hello Marci,

It’s always pleasant to hear from you. It’s always pleasant.

Pleasant.

Marci, do you wonder if we complicate things too much? Do you wonder if the simple answers are always the right answers, that all we need to say is “Yes” or “No” and that everything else is just a waste of breath?

Marci, I’ve thought about killing myself.

Haven’t you ever seen a dog smile? Or, if not a dog, then haven’t you ever seen a child smile? A young child?

Just look into the face of that kind of smile. You won’t see anything. There is no thought. There is no comprehension or awareness, no self-awareness to be found.

You just see a smile, that kind of smile, and nothing else is there.

It seems so often that the simple things mean so much more than the complicated things, and that our lives would be so much happier if we were just dogs, or children, who could only answer with a simple “Yes” or a matter-of-fact “No,” a gurgle or a growl or a babble or a bark and nothing more.

Everything else, all this talk and all this language, all this flowery speech about the great pains and the great joys and the knives in the back and the heartbreak and the standing-up-on-mountaintops type of feeling that I used to get when she held me in her arms, it’s all just nonsensical prattling.

All there needs to be is a smile or a frown. Haven’t you ever seen a dog frown? Or, if not a dog, then haven’t you ever seen a child frown? One of the younger children, mind you?

Marci?

Then haven’t you seen them smile?

And then haven’t you then seen the face of god? And then haven’t you then not ever needed to see another thing in your life?

I think so.

Jamaal.

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