Letter Rip

Al Cameron

Admit it, you know you're a pathetic loser. In the back of a drawer somewhere -- maybe in your old room at your parents' house -- you've stashed a dozen or so of those handwritten, folded-up notes with the little tucked-in tab that reads, "Pull!" Some are from the girl who really liked you, but you just wanted to be friends. One's from that slut on the junior-high tennis team who wrote, "Can you cum over after school?" And most are just rambling messes of teenage fluff. What were you saving them for? Blackmail? That's ridiculous; they're from junior high. But wait, what's that you said about holding on for "sentimental reasons"? Oh. You really are unbelievably pathetic.

Thanks to the Love Letter Collection's Houston Public Love Letter Reading, you can shed a little loserdom, and depending on your particular brand of aesthetics, maybe even make some (cough) art.

The setup is a little like a poetry reading. On a makeshift stage on the lawn of the Contemporary Arts Museum, seriously twisted folks are invited to read a letter they've sent or received or wrote but never sent. All names will be omitted to protect the guilty, as in: "I'm sorry you had to settle for _______; the one dimensional man. He's filed under cocksucker in my little black book. Sweetness can rot your teeth; bittersweet cacophony." If you don't have a personal letter, but you still want to participate in this ungodly yet curiously voyeuristic karmic debacle, you may choose to read one from the Love Letter Collection's archive (the source of the above quote). In fact, we recommend a look at the collection's unctuously satanic Web site for a taste of what to expect. Take this excerpt from a letter called "Two Socks Worth": "P.S. If you don't visit me soon, I'll grow another foot more lonesome waiting for you, and then I'll miss you two socks worth." If you're not rushing out to buy a paper shredder yet, you are one seriously effed-up individual. -- Troy Schulze

Feel the love at 7 p.m. Thursday, December 9. 5216 Montrose. For information, visit www.collectiveexperience.org. Free.

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