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Dear B___, T___ and J___,

Hey, so what’s up? I know you guys are like, you know, doin’ stuff, but I wanted to check in, see how things are going. Hey B___, remember that one time you joked when your other friend came here? I’m sorry I don’t remember her name, I was busy manhandling my skillets and I was shocked that I, like a complete dumbass, shook her hand while I still had egg on mine. Remember after that when you were walking out the door and you joked, “Bye dad!” and I yelled, “Bye, daughter!”? I’m worried that our joking could have been nothing if not true. You may be black and a year older than me, but–surprise!–I’m your father.

No, seriously though, I’m worried that our jokes secretly hinted at the truth. I’m afraid I’m the house dad and I want to apologize in advance for some of the shit that I put (or will put) you guys through. Even T___’s mom, who was here today, was making jokes. She goes, “Are those cookies?” I’m like, “You can definitely have some.” She says, with eyebrows raised, “You baked cookies?” To which I replied, “Yes I did.” “That’s very domestic of you.” “I am very domestic.” “Could you give T___ some tips?” I chuckled and continued slaying the guitar I was playing (more on that later). That’s right; I bake cookies. Peanut Butter with chocolate chips from scratch on the daily. Get excited.

Back to what the shit I was talking about. I can’t help but worry where you guys are when you go out at night. You’re like my surrogate family–which is why we really need to get on that family photo we talked about–and I honestly worry about you. You think those texts that say, “Are you alive?” or “Are you going to respawn at home base or are you OK?” are jokes–and they kind of are–but I’m pretty much dead serious (wow, in retrospect, that is a terrible pun). I don’t want to claim you at the morgue. It’s just more fun just hang with you (good gravy, this is terrible. Next topic).

I’m sorry I clean the dishes all the time. That’s something I’m going to try to reign in. I know it’s secretly awesome for you guys but it kind of causes a lot of stress for me. I see a full sink or a full drying rack and, for some reason, I simply have to clean them or empty the rack.

Interesting tangent–when I graduated from college, my uncle gave me a couple of graduation presents. One of those presents was the secret to cooking ribs properly. Another was worcestershire sauce. One of the best was the following sentence: “No stress, man.” “Uncle F___, what do you mean?” “I mean, ‘No Stress.'” So here’s my promise; I’ll clean my dishes as long as you clean your dishes. I’ll try a whole lot harder to let you do your own dishes, even if I do find cleaning dishes oddly relaxing.

Also, since we all have different schedules, wanna have like Sunday night family dinners or something? I know we don’t really have enough chairs to “gather ’round” the dinner table, but it’d be nice to have some unity since I’m the only person who hangs out in the common rooms. Is it because I’ve been playing The Hold Steady non-stop for the last month or so? I’m sorry, this is just how I learn music. I listen to it until I can finally hear the lyrics. Interesting story; whenever I hear a CD for the first time, all I can hear is the guitar riffs, keyboard trills, bass lines and drum beats (not necessarily in that order, of course). And you know who provides awesome amounts of all of the previous? Yep, so I’m sorry I don’t know the lyrics yet.

On a related note, J___ and T___, I’m sorry, and I don’t know how to say this to you (which is why I’m typing it), but I cannot stand country music–alt or original blend. I’m going to do my best to tough it out because you guys did the honor of asking me to play lead guitar in your alt-country band. I mean, I reserve the right to play loud, distorted blues riffs and secretly (well, not so secretly anymore) attempt to make our band more profitable, but I’m going to give it the old college try. I can be Robert Johnson with the distortion of Jimi Page and you guys can be Willie Nelson or Wilco or whatever it is you kids are listening to these days.

Oh, also, J___: my mom says you’re not allowed to smoke your cigars in our apartment. Her words, not mine.

See you in the common room,



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