Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#51: Dear Miss Dean

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2020 at 2:45 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
New Orleans Division
CC’s Mid City
New Orleans LA

Ms. Dean
600 Piedweltzer Road
Charleston SC 

6/28/18, 12:54PM

Miss Dean

Shame the letter I wrote is still back home but grateful for the opportunity to meet with you again.  You must be feeling some relief, closing the door on your own place after so much time on the road. I’m looking forward to it myself.  My partner and I are leaving this country on the 4th of July. The reasons for the trip have yet to be determined. I interviewed Bernard this morning but we’ve only scratched the surface.  He was born in Breaux Bridge, LA to a retired Air Force cadet and librarian mother. We’ve only just got up to his adolescence, hinting at his college town days in Lafayette booking bands—which is how I came to know him.  We met in ‘98, through my first love. We’ve stayed in touch, obviously, but when I hear of her it turns my stomach. Nice knowing you’ve made the right choice—anyway…he’s been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and been miraculously cured.  He’s got a new lease on life and wants to see how far the dollar will go in the Balkans and knows first hand how important universal healthcare can be. I’m only along for the ride. My mirrorless should arrive today or tomorrow. I need to figure out where to leave my car.  If I drive up, I’ll have wheels when we get back but it’ll cost me $300 in gas and take 2 days away from me that I could be sitting here, in CC’s, working on pitches for travel mags. On the other hand, leaving it here for flood season could be risky. It’d be nice to know someone has their eyes on it and a spare set of keys.  I’ll keep working here until Sunday or thereabouts, when I’ll decide to leave it here or hit the road and head up Charleston way. We’ve got something booked at the Blue Moon Sunday, Bernard and Layla Musselwhite and I, but if it don’t feel right then I’ll make the haul.

Thank you for reading the blog.  Means the world to me.  Sometimes 600 words is the difference between spinning out and getting my arms around the bad blues.  Are you a writer? Something tells me you are. What is this phase of your life about—you’re a nomad? In South Carolina?  If you are and you plan on writing me back (I hope you do), you will have to make sure to get a return address from me. My apartment in Austin isn’t registered with the Post Office yet and anyway right now it’s inhabited by my subletter.  All in all this town’s been good to me. I’m writing, which is the way I measure my self-worth (kidding, not really) but not writing enough. I’m lazy which is good and bad considering how hard life can be. Rest isn’t a waste but wasting time and life is a real shame.  I think I know a little about it. Things I’ve been so passionate about turned out to be worthless endeavors. I suppose I’m talking about love of which I don’t waste time anymore. It’s been a boon, I have plenty of bandwidth for solitary endeavor but the downside is I don’t go crazy over women—which is its own reward.  I don’t chase the drink or drug either which I can’t say enough good about. Just today I read how alcoholism is a chronic disease of diminishing returns—something I felt acutely at the end of my liquid gambol days but couldn’t put my finger on. Put them together—love&booze, and you’ve got a sample of timesucks and petty people who don’t parade my life with their bullshit anymore.  The problem isn’t being alone, Miss Dean, it’s being good to yourself in the meantime. My best self is solitary, or romantic, but without this richness of self I’ve nothing to give. I covet time spent writing, probably have no secret fear of succeeding with it. More than I already am that is—making money at it. The Arts have rivaled the menial and blue collar.  My time is better spent ringing in the dusk with a Steve Earle cover on Frenchmen Street than sanding floors in Mid-City.  Truth.

It’s why we write.  Why we connect. True people will help us shine.  You have. Our time together today has been fruitful.  I’ve staved off some malaise writing you. Cleared the chamber.  I’m bound to get back to it. I’m a travel writer after all and this country is over.

Be well and stay beautiful.

Jim Trainer
Mid City

  1. […] a collection of poetry and sometimes prose, every year for the last 5, written countless letters, penned and posted 22 columns at The Coarse Grind and God knows how many blog posts here at Going […]





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