Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Letter #4: I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

May 6, 2014

Mr. David Sedaris
Little, Brown and Company
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY  10017

Dear Mr. Sedaris:

If Darryl Hall and John Oates had a fight with England Dan and John Ford Coley, who do you think would win?  As lackluster an encounter as it sounds, I'm guessing Hall and Oates.  They've always given the impression that they're quite capable of holding their own.  Plus, England Dan passed away in 2009 due to complications from lymphoma.  It's hard to kick someone's ass when you're dead.

I've never been a particularly good fighter.  My natural reflex is to run away from confrontation.  I'm generally pretty quick with a joke but if an individual wants to argue, my snappy comebacks are forced and inappropriate.  It's unlikely I'll cry, but I can guarantee that it won't go smoothly.  I do not possess the killer instinct.

I'm actually not much better at hiding.  I get too lonely.  I ran away from home once when I was about seven years old.  I didn't actually go anywhere.  I just wrote a note, left it at the top of the stairs and crawled under my bed.  I'd imagine that I was hoping my folks would find the message and start combing our neighborhood immediately.  Instead, they both fell asleep in front of the television, like they did most nights.  I woke up at about 2 o'clock in the morning with second-degree rug burns and a stiff neck.  Never again, I thought to myself.

It's funny.  I was wondering just the other day what it might feel like to punch somebody in the face.  I'm not sure why I was thinking about it.  I was cleaning the boys' bathroom at the time the thought struck me.  It's not like the tub was even that dirty to provoke such a hostile notion.  Maybe I had some music floating around in my head.  That can happen.  I'll be driving past Chili's on Rea Road and the next thing I know, I'm singing "Do You Like Pina Coladas?" all afternoon.  I'm not certain of any songs that reference the pounding and busting of noses, but I'm sure there are plenty.

I had my nose broken many years ago by my second husband.  It was rather unpleasant.  I'm guessing that one of my ill-conceived retorts provoked Charlie's actions.  That and his penchant for angel dust.  But there's no need to worry, really.  He died last year, so the likelihood of any additional assaults is slim.

I asked David if he ever had the opportunity to land a punch squarely onto someone's nose.

"Only in Krav," he said.

I sort of forgot that Dave took Martial Arts last year.  It really helped him get into shape.  I bet nose-punching happens all the time in self-defense classes.  A solid pop to the face can certainly put someone's lights out.  I know it did mine.

"I have some pads in the garage," he added.  "I can hold one up and you can have a go, if you like."

That Dave.  He's a good guy.

"Nah, it's okay," I replied.  "I don't really have anyone in mind."

Yours truly,

Mary Killian

P.S.  I hope you're well.


  1. Followed you over from the write practice. You have a great voice. But I have to confess, this is my favorite of the four letters.

  2. I'm glad you found me. Thanks for your kind words.