Your House Isn’t Like Other Houses : Eric’s Ninth Letter

As a graduate student in Scotland, receiving letters from home was cause for rejoicing. I still remember how happy I was to receive an aerogramme from Eric in January of 1992.IMG_4065

CATHERINE

I sit a stone’s throw from the house where you lived in Liberty (“your house?”, “your parents’ house”?) — where better to start a letter to you? I came with my dad up to Jewell because I was bored . . . . . By the way, I’m sitting on the steps up to Jewell at the corner of Jewell and Franklin so I really am near The House. I’m sure you yourself sat here occasionally.

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Your House Isn't LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn’t LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn't LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn’t LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014

Well, I’ll have to continue this back — Wow, I see your mother [I feel weird] — home. Your mother got out of a white car and walked up to your house. Your mother is back getting something out of the white car. Well, I’ve got to leave. I’ll just take one last look at the house and get out of here. Your house isn’t like other houses.

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I love how Eric wrote letters like a playwright, setting the scene and including dialogue and interior clues.

Signficant break in time, place, and mood

Setting: back at parent’s house

     What is going on in your psyche?? Would you like me to come visit you sometime? [Some friendships are firmly “rooted” in place and time and have no meaning outside of a given context. Is ours? I think not; what do you think? Anyway, I will probably come if you want me to.] What exactly are you studying? Do you have to eat a lot of haggis? Well, enough questions.

Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014

All I did this X-mas was sit around and read. Why did I just write that? It is not true. I did lots of things including: ski, go to a country bar in Denver, . . . . see several movies, try to call you. However, for the last 5 or 6 days I’ve mostly been sitting around reading. I’m reading Discipline and Punish (Foucault), a study of how the power to punish has evolved in the last several hundred years. Extremely good.  I think my parents are wondering why the fuck I would choose to read such a book for no  particular reason. 

Your House Ins't LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Ins’t LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014

What else? I went out on a ship for the first time (only 3 days). I may be going out for 6 weeks this spring — I haven’t decided. It was weird being out on a ship even for a few days. I think I could deal with 6 weeks though. It would certainly give me time to reflect on confinement as a form of punishment and to read Moby Dick.

Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Rooted in Place and Time, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014

Notice that the density of information has the text has increased down the page. However, I’m fighting a losing battle and must wrap up this letter. I could use the “additional message area” but I would prefer to wrap up the letter on this page and put an “additional message” in the additional message area.  LOVE, ERIC

IMG_4069— Random Thoughts —

What’s going to happen to Salman Rushdie? . . . . . Do you like bolo ties? I have one now. I like it. How does the thought of a half-Catherine, half-other parasite growing inside of you, sucking your blood, and finally ripping you open on its way out strike you? You write the best letters of anyone I know so write back.

Your House Isn't LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn’t LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn't LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014
Your House Isn’t LIke Other Houses, Collage by Catherine Raine, 2014

2 thoughts on “Your House Isn’t Like Other Houses : Eric’s Ninth Letter”

  1. Catherine, You create the most beautiful collages. Eric was a special friend. You were so blessed. Funny how you can reflect now compared to when that time occurred, not knowing the significance of that friendship.

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