5. Hoochemecoochie,

Sorry I haven't written to you earlier. New York is so much fun. I mean, in stores, restaurants, the subway, wherever: everyone's talking to me like they know me. Of course 'where you from' is the easiest converstation starter in the world, but still, I wouldn't know a better one! (Except, perhaps, for 'is that handkerchief hanging out of your backpocket or are you having a cold?' but somehow it doesn't work here. I haven't seen no kerchiefs hanging out of no pockets. So much for the international language of love!) Answering the roots-question however can become a little bit tedious after a while so now I automatically shoot back: where do you think I'm from?, which leads to all kinds of hilarious geographical idiocy. One big guy on Ocean Avenue thought I was from Ecuador. 'Cuz you look Spanish.' Try Europe, I said. He: Egypt? I kid you not, Jalana. (BTW can you name the capital of North Dakota? See?) Whatever, I really feel at home here. The New York Review of Books Conference on the Future of Literary Criticism is so interesting. So well organised. Such engaging speakers. And don't forget the networking. Basically, everything is networking, even among literary critics, and believe me, you can't do all of it through F-book. (Thanks, by the way, that I had to learn through that channel that your ex came over for dinner last nite, Jalana. T.M.I.!) Anyway, long story short, I'm seriously thinking of moving here. Here, mind you, is Brooklyn. More specific: Bedford Stuyvesant. Listen to the name of that 'hood, sista! Don't you love it? I know I do. And I'm sure you do too, if you finally get that smirk off your face! Later, sweetie pie, yours forever, tongue in your ear/toe in your armpit, etc.

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