The Unknown: The Orange Line.
  August 14, 1996
Dear Frank: I always thought that “Hell is other people” was a great line. So did Sartre, apparently. There may never be time for me to write again. I am surrounded by friends. A brick in a wall at least has mortar to protect it. I am going back to ISU in a week and a half to do another semester and I am very happy about it. Well, here I am writing. I guess I can’t be too bitter, no? You disappeared somewhat abruptly. I’m glad you sent me your address. I thought for a while that you were going to fake your own suicide by driving your car into the Mississippi River. I hated my time in West Virginia. Don’t even ask. I’m convinced I’ll never write again. Did I mention that? I think I did. Rettberg is passing through here on Sunday. What am I doing with my life? Why am I asking you? What are you doing with your life? I hate not being able to write. I get very sick and mad at my friends. This letter is circular. Not the page, of course, which is rectangular. Just the fact that it can’t ever go anywhere. Sure is hot. Of course you’re in California. Energy tablets? I just took a caffeine pill. Maybe that will help me finish this. Yesterday I bought Harry Mathews’Cigarettes. It had been in the Babbitt’s in Urbana for at least six months. I guess I felt kind of inspired. Is this insipid? Please understand: I have been living for the last two months in intentional communities unable to write. These sentences are some of the first I’ve typed since June. I am now writing a poem a minute for forty minutes, listening to the Residents’Commercial Album and adding these sentences during track 34. Did you know that the Residents Commerical Album is forty songs, each exactly a minute in length? I saw Krass-Mueller yesterday but didn’t stop to talk to him.
—Your fragmented pal, William

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