The Reptilian Scourge, Numerology, and Aliens


Istanbul, 1977

Dearest Zissy,

I was very sorry to hear of your father’s passing for lack of a Lazy Susan. Still, we can take comfort in the fact that your mother is still being provided for.

Edmund is well, or as well as can be expected. He is trying a fruitarian diet. I have tried unsuccessfully one several occasions to fool him with non-fruit, but the man knows what a fruit is and his body is punishing him for it.

Little Horace is still little and should remain so for some time. He brightens my life and brings noise and laughter to our home, which also drew the attention of our crackpot neighbor and her two shrieking lungs. Her fists deserve some mention as well, as they spend a good deal of their existence pounding on the wall in an effort to silence us.

As toddlers shan’t be silenced, we decided to try to make peace with the shivering wraith by baking her one of Edmund’s lemon and banana cakes, but within an hour Edmund was cleaning it off of our door to the sound of her bony fisted pounding and yells. Poor Horace was beside himself.

I went to talk to her myself and give her a piece of my mind, but when she opened the door, I found her countenaince to be quite sweet and cordial, and even likable, as if the devil that possessed her were taking a nap. I found myself whispering hurriedly in order to not wake it before I could get my message across.

She invited me to dinner to meet a group of her friends, which I found quite odd. I asked the place, and she said that it would be in a ballroom in Kadikoy, just 20 minutes away. I was nearly afraid for my life over this curious development, but I went, determined to have peace between our two houses, and honestly did not give a thought to whether or not I would enjoy an evening with one whom I still regarded as a miserable person.

The meal was peculiar, at best, with cold beef sandwiches, cold chips, and ayran, that horrible salty yogurt drink. During the meal, at a table where I sat with five others, I was asked one question after another, until I felt the need to ask why I was the center their attention. No one seemed to have a job. No one played golf. No one read books or knew what was on television. They deflected my questions and asked more about me. I changed the subject several times, and each time the subject turned back to me. One after the other, they looked into my eyes, pinched my face, and looked at my neck. An old man crawled under the table to examine my ankles.

At that point, I stood up to leave, and if you had smacked me with a dead cat and thrown me down the stairs, I could not have felt more cold or more cruel towards this world or its miserable inhabitants, for it was then that I noticed the banner which featured a reptilian couple with a warning that alien snake people could be among your friends and neighbors.

In the center of me, just under my sternum, there stirred the little bit of humor that has remained with me into my advanced adulthood. It positively glowed when the lights dimmed and a projector kicked on and a dramatization of aliens among us shown on a screen. I chuckled at talk about numerology and foretellings by Rumi of alien benefactors.

The night became fun, and I had a fabulous time. Surrounded by this hokey cult, I felt suddenly at home.

That night, I shared a taxi with the mean-spirited wretch and she became genuinely sweet, even flirtatious, and I felt comforted by the fact that I had passed all of their alien frogman tests.

We passed her door, and she lingered there for a short while before she invited me in. I begged her off and said that Horace would likely still be awake, unable to sleep until I returned home.

Once home, I informed Edmund that we would be leaving, and we began to pack.

Hooray for the sad, sad clown! Look at his sadness! Enjoy!


My Dearest Zissy,

I’ve taken to video-film making to get my point across. It seems to be the only medium people care about, probably because it is the most capable of conveying suggestive images. Fear not. There is no nudity in my films, but the lack of an audience makes a vulgar production seem tempting.

And just what is my point, you may ask. Well, you are free to ask it. Since I am not interested in creating a tutorial, I am creating films of myself doodling. That’s right. I draw pictures. I thought that it could be more interesting than making sandwiches or omlettes, which are the other two things that I am good at.

The tenant in the apartment below ours has suggested that Horace is possibly the second coming of Christ. I assured her that unless staining our carpets with juice constituted a miracle, there were no other divine indications but that I would keep her informed.

Keep well, and please write back.


J. Ozawa

Frightened Fellow


This fellow looks a little frightened. To tell you the truth, I have no idea why… but the picture made me laugh.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t know how he would look when it was finished. As usual, I just follow the lines and let it go until I have a horrible looking picture to share with unsuspecting passers by!

So gaze deeply into the horrified, abysmal eyes of this poor soul!