"Everything is small and sad-making. I wish I were dead."
Elvis Perkins, "While You Were Sleeping." Pink jeans. Vintage Nike high-tops.
"I don't want to be anywhere or do anything. I don't feel like moving my body to do things..."
Deirdre told Stephen she hadn't really had sex before, in the dark, after he turned out the lights like she asked. "I don't want that guy to count."
"I hate my face and my acne and I hate my stupid brain."
Deirdre went to a coke party with her townie friends. She called at 4 in the morning, asked Stephen to hold her in case she was going to die.
"My dad is a fucker and I don't even know why my parents are together."
She played him Beirut, "Postcards From Italy." They lay in bed. She played him Explosions In The Sky.
"I want to cut people's hair in a small town for two years maybe. Or like, preserve one piece of land up north that no one cares about. Save some animals' home."
Deirdre kept a copy of Nine Stories in her cash register at Capitol Market Foods and read between customers.
"As soon as a guy kisses me I don't know if I even care anymore, it's like it's all over and empty then."
They went jogging by Lake Mendota, found a block of wood covered with carpet. They joked about lying on it, their carpet island, and floating away.
"I laugh when I'm nervous. When I seem happy and smiling a lot it's cause I'm nervous."
Deirdre's dad drove her and Stephen to the farm in silence.
"I want the courage to be nothing, nobody. I want to cut myself off completely."
Deirdre's mom talked to her and Stephen, made lunch. Where was her brother? In his room, in the basement.
"I don't know what to tell you. We're not going to be together forever. There'll be other guys."
Deirdre and Stephen walked Ruddy in the snow behind the house.
They sat at the kitchen table, Dad watched the game.
Stephen slept in the guest room.
"I used to walk Ruddy in the woods for hours. Just disappear in there for a while. I miss him a lot."
Dad drove Deirdre and Stephen back to Madison. Stopped at a bar, each drank a beer, watched the game. Dad, "Goodbye," and left.
"I got really attached to my therapist. He was this nice man, he wore brown ties."
She took the smallest room in the apartment, a nook in the corner off the living room, behind a curtain. She lay tummy down on her pale yellow comforter with the window open a crack to hear the rain.
"I don't feel pretty and I don't want you to say I'm pretty, just don't look at my face please."
Seu Jorge singing "Rebel Rebel." Her hair clips. Shiny purple backpack.
"I like those gray pants. And your shoes."
Deirdre called him Fritz, and he called her Winston.
"Have you seen Crumb?... Oh, it's good."
"I like to sit in my closet and listen to Moon Pix. In the dark."
Deirdre joined the sailing club at the Union. She was nervous to go out when it was windy. She told Stephen they'd go together, but they never did. Deirdre went out by herself in the wind on Lake Mendota.
"I do feel sad about this whole deal. Sometimes I think about you and I'm OK. Sometimes I think about you and cry. I want very badly to still be your friend. Cléo from 5 to 7 might be my favorite movie ever. Thank you for giving it to me.
I feel like you are gone, lost somewhere in the world, and if I talk to you I'll want it back like it was. So I will just keep writing this email.
I keep thinking of these embarrassing songs like Mariah Carey 'We Belong Together' and the words infiltrate my brain.
I don't know if this email makes any sense, or if you will respond. There's no reason to, I suppose.
I have to go to work now but I feel better just from typing this out, so we'll leave it there. I'll probably write you again later.