My friend Jason got a kick out the word "epistolary" when he saw it in the Acknowlegments section of Chainsaw Jane. But that's what Jason is, a close friend whom I have never seen. We send each other letters the old fashioned way. He tells me about his problems; I tell him about mine. It started with a collage he submitted to me when he thought I was still editing Collages & Bricolages, the international litmag I founded and slaved over (with joy, mostly) until I was too exhausted to keep going. But Jason kept writing to me, and I kept answering. He shared his writings; I shared mine. He asked for my critique; I gave it to him.
The day when we became really close was when he told me why he was incarcerated and sent me the papers that explained his crime. This, I will not share with you. But I can tell you that it was a very important moment in my life. That a prisoner used to rough times and distrust open up this way to someone he had never met was a profoundly moving experience. From then on, not only was I the friend but the eccentric aunt. I was family. Yes, even though he calls me "Mademoiselle," that's how Jason sees me and I love it. Jason is young enough to be my son.
His writing has grown tremendously and I like to believe his eccentric aunt is partially responsible for it. On Friday, I will talk to him on the phone for the very first time. With his permission, I would like in the near future to share some excerpts of the memoirs he is presently working on right here, on this blog.
Should he agree to that, I would love for you and you and you (lots of you) to respond.