LETTER TWENTY-FIVE

Thursday, June 18, 2016
NY

Dear Sal

What I would like right now is to be sitting at a small table outside a bar sipping an ice-cold Coca-Cola with a slice of lemon. I don’t even like coke, but for more than a week now I’ve had this powerful craving.

We’ve had a lot of rain recently. Non-stop rain. I got completely soaked the other night. I had tried to run to the corner store for something, and within a second I was drenched to my skin. I had to strip naked in the foyer and run through the house carrying my wadded-up dripping jeans and hoping nobody was home. Earlier that same day at work I was sorting through a stack of ten-million books and one of the other librarians says to me that he wanted a drink. I said that that sounded good—a nice cocktail or a good clean summer beer, yeah, it sounded real good. Of course, what we both actually wanted really was better weather and to not be sorting through a pile of thirty-million dusty books. I asked what his drink was, my own mind playing out a fantasy of watching girls in summer dresses stroll the street and sipping a Campari Spritz (which I’ve never had, but in my fantasy sounded great) at some busy Brooklyn patio. He thought for a long time and said that what he really liked and what he really wanted just then was a coke with a slice of lemon. That thought—so simple! so classic!—has taken hold, and I doubt I’ll be able to do anything until I have satisfied it.

Today I will be running errands, but in my mind I’ll be sitting on a barstool at that busy Brooklyn patio, the weather will be superb, a highball glass in front of me, all frosty and perspiring in the summer sun, and I’ll be enjoying a coke with a slice of lemon. Could anything be better? Have you ever imagined a more perfect scene?

(Really though I am more of a beer person, or I have to pick a soda, I’m really only partial to club soda, diet Pepsi, or—thanks to you—rye and ginger.)

Talk soon? I want to hear what you've been up to and I want to catch you up with everything—not that there has been much here, but I have a few little stories: finding a lost neighbourhood in Redhook; drinking whiskey and apple juice down in the mailroom at work, while the older guys there told me about the library in the ‘70s (apparently it pretty much ran on cocaine back then); stealing a wooden desk chair—the very chair I am sitting now in fact—from a church. Stories for another day though, I think.

I hope you’re well, and I hope you’re happy! Please write soon.

Your Friend,
Henry