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I Done Wrote Some Letters

“…letters mingle souls” – John Donne.

Since I’m something of a handsome expert on everything, I’m familiar with therapeutic techniques. These are the tools that psychiatrists use to keep you coming back for repeat business, and getting “in touch with yourself,” instead of compressing all of your feelings into a tiny sponge ball regularly saturated with grain alcohol and non-prescription medications.

While I’m skeptical of therapy that doesn’t involve punching through a concrete wall or slashing somebody’s tires, I’m an open-minded individual. And so we reach my first reason for writing today: I’m want to explore my inner psyche through letter writing.

I’m going to write letters to people and things, explaining exactly how I feel, and never send those letters. It’s widely accepted in “the field,” as we call it (however, there will be no emo music playing in the background, and my on-screen love interest won’t find the letter at the worst possible time causing a montage of brooding scenes at the end of which we hook up anyway).

I am also hoping that these letters will be saved, long after I’m dead, and reproduced in a best-selling novel about my life. Sort of like that did for that guy that broke it down with a sick flow at Gettysburg. Just in case that does happen, future historians, here’s a tentative title for my biography “Sapien: Abdominals like Tank Armor.”

And here it is: The Collected Correspondences of Joseph T. Sapien.

Dear DMX,

I recently read your interview, in which you were surprised to learn that a black man is running for president, and asked “What the **** is a Barack?”

This is an excellent question, and there are no answers forthcoming. You’re an insightful, unique man, and I am sure that if you and “Barack” were to throw down in a freestyle battle, you would almost certainly **** his ****, and then **** the **** over and around his ****.

Also, arresting you just for ramming into the airport with your car was – in my eyes – incredibly unfair. The only way that could have been more awesome is if you had been driving a rocket car and/or wearing a cowboy hat. Also, nobody else starts growling in the middle of a song like you do. I would definitely **** my own **** out of fear if we met in a dark alley. But I would try to be cheerful about the fact that you autographed my forehead with your shoe before you left. So keep doing what you’re doing, D. You make cannibalism sound awesome!

One of your biggest fans,


Dear My Ankle,

How’s it going down there? Remember that time at the fifth grade dance, when we impressed everybody with that spin move? Man, we lived Smooth Criminal that day.

We had some great times, didn’t we? What happened to that? I mean, one minute we were fashion twirling, moving side to side with ease, and even jogging over somewhat uneven terrain together. And then, one day, you just gave up.

Well, granted, it was during boxing class, and I sort of put my entire weight on you while also turning you about 90 degrees sideways. But I can’t believe that one little incident could sour our relationship like this. Listen, I just want you to know that I’m sorry that I messed up. And I’m also sorry that you’re a passive-aggressive little bitch that can’t let bygones be bygones.

Ah, jeez. Scratch that, I’m making things worse. Listen, you take as much time as you need to, to heal. I’ll try not to stress you out, ok? Stairs one at a time, no skipping along the sidewalk when it’s a particularly sunny day. All of that stops here, you have my word. And then, in maybe two weeks or so, we can see where we stand. Maybe we can go back to the way things were.

Or maybe I’ll just replace you with a cybernetic foot that never breaks and never fails. Maybe it even stores up to 2 hours of mp3’s that would help me forget you ever existed. So you tell me, how’s it going to be? Should I find a pool of piranhas and stick my leg in up to the shin?

Think about everything I’ve said. I really want us to work things out. Maybe we could go shopping for an ankle bracelet, but let’s just take things one step at a time. I hope I hear from you soon!



Dear My Academic Career,

I understand that you’re meant to challenge me, and make me grow both intellectually and as a person. But could you ease up? Things have gotten kind of intense recently, and frankly, the only things growing are my ulcers and my sense of abject paranoia. Flashing lights distract me, and loud noises make me cry.

The other day, I blacked out while driving. When I came to, we were pulled over to the side of the road, my girlfriend was shaking me, and I was just saying “methods section” over and over again.

So listen, I have a proposition for you. I’m enclosing $50, a plane ticket to Nashville, and a picture of my brother. After I send this letter, I’m going to hide under my bed for an entire week, and when I emerge, I expect to hear news of how Jacob is suddenly about to finish up a Masters, even though he’s an freshman in undergrad. I think that you two will be good together. He’s a smart boy, and a much better fit for you than I am. And he’ll definitely pay you off within 10 years, whereas I’ll just leave you unfulfilled after I fail at bank robbery/rolling 12 year olds for lunch money.

I’ve really enjoyed our time together, but that time is over. Treat Jacob as you would me.

Fleeing to Mexico (please don’t follow),


Dear Chris Rock,

The angrier you are, the less funny you get. Do you generally wake up in the mornings and want to trade lives with Dave Chapelle? Also, I re-watched “Bad Company” recently, and it was about as enjoyable as being thrown into a dumpster full of barbed wire and pissed-off wolverines. Keep up the great work.

No words,


Dear Coca-Cola Polar Bears,

You’re adorable, you’re huggable, and you’re tinted an angelic white. You drink strangely-unfrozen Coca-Cola, you wear scarves, and you let your infants slide down gentle, snowy slopes on their rumpuses.

I know your dark secret. I know that as soon as the cameras stopped rolling, that penguin party became a Carrie-style massacre, didn’t it? You earned their trust, and then you devoured them all, lungs-first. Polar bears are nature’s most devastatingly cute killing machine. You might be fooling all those other tv-watchers and moviegoers. But you aren’t fooling me. I watch Animal Planet. I know the score.

Nice work, guys!

Penguin meat is a little weird but I like where your heads are at,


Dear “Grey’s Anatomy,”

As I write to you, I speak both from my heart and for the entire male population. We find it difficult to like you. Your allure is puzzling, incomprehensible, and pretty much escapes us.

But that isn’t why most guys dislike you so much. Rather, it’s because you give women all the things we can’t. You give them extremely emotional, complex plotlines in which the men don’t get bored, frustrated, and go do something stupid with their friends. You provide women with a sensitive, female protagonist that is at least 42% crazy (sometimes referred to as “very sympathetic”). You even give them men that consistently look good with their shirts off. We hate you because we’re pretty sure you’re reminding women of all the things we can’t offer them.

But enough is enough. No more bitterness.

How about we bury the hatchet, G.A.? We’ll concede that you’re brilliant, slightly evil, and cannot be defeated. And maybe you could, you know, not steal our girlfriends? Tone it down a bit? Have either McSteamy or McDreamy turn into a hunchback. Give Meredith chronic gas problems. Just a few little things that let us get back in the game.

Thanks for your consideration,


Dear YouTube,

I admire you, but I think you’re getting a little too big for your britches. With these last “youtube awards,” you’ve been referenced more than once as the next “People’s Choice Awards.” As if that were a good thing. As if they wouldn’t make you the sickly, leftover combination of meal, corn, and buffalo drool at the bottom of the cultural feeding trough.

I’ll tell you why I like you, YouTube. You bring me the wonderfully weird compulsions of individuals that I would never meet otherwise. Your popular videos mean nothing to me. But I am fascinated by the occasionally amazing garbage that people feel compelled to record and upload.

You show me the shirtless Latvian kid that decided to free-run through an abandoned building, and then across a dilapidated playground. You show me the weird “urban ninja” guy that dressed up in black jimmies and scared ladies in the park by jumping out of bushes. You let me look into the depressing Star Wars fanboy culture, and see the mind-boggling lengths that teenage boys will go to just to film a lightsaber duel (which looked incredible, and which was fought by two of the biggest tools this earth has ever known). Also, you let me watch recently uploaded TV shows, before you have the chance to take them down for legal reasons.

You were created to celebrate mediocrity, the entertaining, and the generally weird. As you get more popular and influential, that’s going to be ruined, because the material is going to get cutesy-strange and nerdy-chic. We’ll probably hear a lot more out of people like Diablo Cody. And it’s going to be gross.

Going to miss you (but I’ll live),



Joe Sapien

Joe Sapien is a regular columnist. He is currently floundering through grad school and running up debt. He never got to be a bully as a child, but he would have been pretty good at it.