The Unknown: The Orange Line.
  Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 15:41:41 -0600
From: Scott Rettberg
To: Kendra Shedenhelm
Subject: Re: Hey Kendra

Hey KGS,

Just got back from seeing Chris Wayland, Steph & John, Eric and Kitty. Chris’birthday. It was fun. We drank a few beverages, though Chris is mostly laying low on the sauce now. We had like 6 Kohawks sitting around tables. Everybody more grown up and older. Wayland sprung for our cab ride home. I think we looked poor. I like my place, except for the recent local gang-related violence involving one guy smashing another guy’s head into headlights. There was a lot of broken glass and blood. I was really glad that I was not the guy whose head was getting smashed into the light fixture. But not pleased that I could see the whole thing from the window. Bad juju. But did I tell about the grass? I’m trying to grow grass, the regular kind, the kind that grows on a lawn. Because the front of the place was a fucking broken bottle ashtray which one afternoon depressed and disgusted me when I realized that when I was trying to write I would be looking out at no man’s land every morning when I tried to sit down and write my novel which would not have been good for its tone so I went and bought some dirt and seed and a cultivator claw type tool and spent the afternoon on it which was good therapy if nothing else. It’s an uphill battle, damn sure about that, but the kids in the neighborhood (the younger ones, not their teenage cousins who are destructive type crack dealing gang bangers not real ones but small time Latin King-affiliated) all came out and asked if they could help. It was a real touching type little moment, all those kids picking up garbage and throwing seeds in the dirt. We seeded like three patches. Two of three are dead, but the one out front is still kicking. Kitty and I rigged up this whole twine around posts and trees and manhole covers and gas main covers in a zig zag verticalized spiderweb type of arrangement, which makes it difficult for persons to run across, ride bike across, etc. without either tripping or being potenially confused and caught up. I’m watering it two times a day. I’m working a shitty temp job which is a real societal waste of my skills, but what can you do?

I’m glad I’m over 18, though I think the State of Illinois was wrong to give me a driver’s license at the age of 16, as I and every other 16 year old at my school pretty much posed a threat to society whenever behind the wheel, so I’m glad none of them whelps are driving. What, are we nuts? Lettin kids drive. What are they gonna legalize next? Guns in Texas?

I’ll see you soon, schweehart,


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