by Martín Zaldivar

Hi Mark,

… The last two years have been rough. New York City can be a very lonely place, and I miss my good friends, as well as the calmness of the hiking trails in the StL region. That being said, la Gran Manzana has its virtues. Reading David Hume years ago made me reflect on how important the proximity to others is important for the practice of virtue… is it possible to be virtuous if one is alone (I think this comes from reading what he wrote on the “state of nature”)? While I feel lonely here, I also feel challenged/moved by my neighbors to act as my conscience dictates (when my mind isn’t wandering), in a way that wouldn’t be as frequent elsewhere, I think. We New Yorkers see a lot on a daily basis that should give us pause: An unshowered man on the train with his knees to his chest who refuses to look at anyone, an elderly woman carrying a full push cart down flights of steps without holding on to the railing while other New Yorkers watch her angrily as they wait for her to move, or an angry man experiencing homelessness accusing me with tears in his eyes that I don’t ever give to the homeless because I’ve just told him that I’m sorry I don’t have any cash or food to give him.

… The Book of Mev has given me so much to think about over the years, Mark. Thank you for sharing that part of your life. Maria keeps it on a shelf in her apartment, next to a book by Anthony de Mello. Just thought you would want to know. For bragging rights, that is.

Cheers from NYC!


by Rob Trousdale

The Reading Life
by Andrew Ivers

When You Crossed My Mind
by Rob Trousdale

On an Airplane
by Clara Takarabe

Dear Mark,

I’m at Schiphol.

I started your Book of Mev again and read it in about 7 hours.

After p. 251, I cried through nearly every page.

p. 303 nearly killed me.

At the wake, p. 324, I couldn’t continue for awhile because I was crying so hard on the plane.
The poor young Greek couple sitting next to me. They were really dysfunctional, nevertheless trying to make out half the time, with this weeping shaking person next to them.

I don’t really know what to say. There are no words in English, only in Japanese. But from p. 324–kurushindeta.

I hope that you and Mev had a chance to listen to Richard Strauss’ Last Four Songs before she died.

I guess we both stayed at Berrigan’s Block Island cottage.

We overlapped at one SOA march.

Mahler 6 was my first Mahler symphony. It is considered the most enigmatic and opaque. I recommend the Houston Symphony recording with Christoph Eschenbach as mastermind madman.

I love Bourdieu and love Wacquant more.

My God, what a crucible you and Mev went through. Subarashi.

I have to dry up my face before S. gets here. He says I always cry. I cry every time I see that fool. I think he’d be perturbed if he saw me crying BEFORE we had some screwed up conversation about parents. My demented sweet teacher.


This page is part of my book, Dear Love of Comrades, which you can read here.

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