Letters to Ran, by Vincent Tinguely

From Vol. 1 No. 5

Letters to Ran: July 5, 95
“The simplest vehicle of truth, the story is also said to be ‘a phase of communication,’ ‘the natural force for revealing life.’ Its fascination may be explained by its power both to give vividly felt insight into the life of other people and to revive or keep alive the forgotten, deadened, turned into stone parts of ourselves.”
Trinh T. Minh Ha, ‘Grandmother’s Story’

It’s hot. Stupid hot. Just stupid hot, heat seeping through every crack and crevice and staying there… hot dogs down below, strange neighbours with a fetish for Rottweillers. It’s like the idiocy of real estate booms rendered miniature. Someone builds an office tower where it’s needed. It makes money.
Someone somewhere else sees this, and imitates it. And again. And again. Until there are office towers everywhere making no money because nobody needs them. Someone finds out Rottweillers are being sold a thousand dollars each. Starts breeding them. So does every other imbecile. Thousands and thousands of ill trained, ill bred Rotweillers flood the market. Nobody makes any money.
I could do worse, I could watch TV instead of writing this. Most people experience life as television, until they discover the glass screen isn’t everywhere yet. Thank goodness for condoms though. And word processors.
Lydia’s got a story in the latest Index magazine. I don’t understand it. I’ve only read part of it, but I’ll read it sooner or later. As Victoria noted, I read everything. What a concept, reading everything. There isn’t a life long enough; we’d have to go at it in teams.

Victoria reads rocks; I am functionally illiterate whren it comes to reading rocks. Scott reads houseplants; I am functionally illiterate when it comes to reading houseplants. Justin reads sports; I am functionally illiterate when it comes to reading sports. Ran reads mountain equipment; I am functionally illiterate when it comes to reading mountain equipment. Maybe Lydia’s story is like a rock, a houseplant, a sport or a piece of mountain equipment.
I read everything.
Recently the fridge died here. It just up and expired, one day everything was cool, the next day, everything was liquifying itself and smelling BAD. It was during the heat wave, of course. The heat wave took a breather for a couple of days, but now it’s back. My room mate came back from her pagan camping trip in the Eastern Townships and seemed reluctant to do anything about the fridge; she said she didn’t miss it. I told her I missed it terribly, I didn’t like living on fake Ritz crackers and sardines. So we bought a fridge from Joelle and her boyfriend Jean, because they were moving to an apartment that already had one.
I didn’t want to have to lift a fridge, but I ended up doing so anyway to get it up the stairs. It was heavy. Now it hums and cools things beside our stove. It’s my pal. My pal, Mr. The Fridge. This evening, Victoria called to inform me that her room mate Phil, who really ought to know better, killed their fridge. With a knife. While defrosting it. Everybody knows, don’t use a knife when defrosting your fridge. Everybody but Phil. He rationalized this random act of appliancide by claiming he wanted to get rid of it anyway, he’d rather have a new one. Grainy black and white of Phil, grimacing, beside a dead fridge, murder weapon still in his hand. Phil did not love his fridge.

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