Existential Grief and the Experience of Being


Bursa, 1974

Dearest Zissy,
After some great deliberation, I’ve come to the point and made an agreement with myself that I now need to organize my thoughts to form a solution for what ails me. What ails me is most likely what ails you and so many others: a vague and sneaky malaise that whispers hints to you that all is not well between bites of sweets or what other distractions you may give to yourself to thwart existential grief and the experience of being.

The solution, I have decided, is humor and love, as well as a kind and generous regard for others (regardless of what horrifying stupidity we may expect from them), each in the right measure and in the right places, applied generously wherever and whatever and blah blah blah. I wish you fuzzy feelings, and I feel very fuzzy in return.

To spread butter, one needs a knife, but because a knife is not suited to spreading warm, fuzzy feelings, I’ll need something bigger, with more reach and a less threatening appearance. For lack of a better idea, I’m going to have to resort to the written word and short moving pictures, until there comes a day when I can afford to send free massage coupons to thousands of people or when I am permitted to touch them directly.

The solution for this uneasy condition which is only too common is direct creative action for its own sake and the likely dismay of any of those unlucky enough to witness it.

This is the mission that I give to myself, for surely no one would ever give it to me nor even grant me permission if it were theirs to withhold.

I must end here now, Dear Zissy. Edmund is painting our walls with a material that he believes will enhance the intelligence of anyone who enters the house. It looks like a toxic black pudding, and the fumes from the stuff has us feeling sleepy and seeing spots. I am taking Horace to a hotel.

Love Always,
J. Ozawa

Big Nostrils


Dearest Zissy,

I have been unable to understand the joy and frequency with which young Horace inserts fried potato wedges into his nostrils, but I fear they may become stretched one day, able to accomodate entire potatoes, much as Edmund has described his unfortunate uncle, who fell victim to a similar childhood curiosity for inserting objects into his nose. His case resulted in nostrils that were so stretched and thin that they hung over his lip and occassionally caught on his fork.

I hope that you are well, as I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Please don’t be concerned about Horace or his nostrils, as he is still quite handsome and could endure any amount of self-inflicted defacement and still win hearts.

Edmund sends his love. He is still not talking with me, but he has thrown a crumpled note at my head with a message to that effect.

Take Care,

J. Ozawa