Oakland, California USA
Advice to Aliza Rood at age 23:
1. Do not help his mother dispose of the needles.
2. Before you follow him to New York, make a list of pros and cons. For instance: "Pro: I love him/ Con: His mother and I found a bag of hypodermic needles in his cabinet."
3. Don't get drunk the night before New Year's Eve.
4. After you spend New Year's 2000 in the emergency room, do not write him a letter, explaining what you remember of what happened.
5. Move to Portland. Move back to L.A. Move to Paris. Move anywhere but Ithaca.
6. The first time he leaves you in the apartment at 11 PM to buy some beer and returns at 3 AM, claiming he got lost, leave him. Buy a ticket back to California. Forget he exists.
7. If you refuse to give up and move back to California, then please, Aliza, try to make friends.
8. Rein in your alcoholic tendencies. Or at least do this: refrain from shit-talking every college student whenever you have too much to drink.
9. Visit your Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jerry more often.
10. Read "The Sound and the Fury."
11. Stop screaming. Just talk about it in the morning, when you've gotten some rest.
12. Believe the psychiatrist--not the neighbors.
13. Start writing poetry.
14. Remember that, no matter what these privileged, confident kids say as you walk by their balcony, you are not a piece of trash.
15. Listen to more music from Mindy.
16. Don't eat that pound of lasagna.
17. When it is 5 in the morning, and he hasn't come home, do not cut your arm; do not call his mom; do not call your dad: just leave.
18. Be gentle. His lips are grey, and he's not faking. Get angry tomorrow. Tonight, be kind.
19. Remember what Matt told you that night in San Francisco: "You seem like a girl who would sell herself short."
20. Don't sell yourself short.
21. Stop going to Diamonds.
22. Note that it's always the professors who compliment you.
23. Give up on imitating Edie Sedgwick. Give up on becoming Audrey Hepburn. You are pretty good.
24. Spend more time with Lisa.
25. In response to ruining her birthday party, Tracy said you ruined her birthday party. Geoff asked, "Can we talk at some point?" Mindy said that you are a genius, and that your fight was performance art. The response to remember is: Mindy's response.
26. Enjoy the cats. You will miss them.
27. Read Kiko's card over and over.
28. Start writing poetry.
29. Don't go to Niagara Falls on Valentine's Day.
30. Don't let it go when she calls at midnight to ask him to come jump-start her car.
32. Go home already.
33. It's okay. You didn't fail.
34. Quit drinking.
35. Start over.
36. Don't remember anything but the fireflies.