Monday, May 24, 2010

Francesca Lia Block

Dear Francesca,

I was alone. Dropped into another new school, another new place that I was scared and without a familiar face. I wandered the library instead of eating lunch. I couldn't stand everyone watching me eat.

They say, never judge a book by it's cover. But I do. I saw a book's spine, lime green and purple. And the cover of a beautiful girl with big eyes and dark hair. Thus began my first love affair, at the tender age of 13.

The books followed my life, or maybe I followed the books. But no matter my age or experience, I knew these books were my home.

When you wrote about River in "Primavera", the images you wrote stuck in my head. Tiny fluffy little feathers growing from his head. I don't know why it was burned into my 14 year old brain. I didn't know, until my grandmother got sick. The cancer had spread to her brain and she had lost her hair again. She took off her scarf and it was then I understood. That image, burned into my psyche, was right in front of me. It had prepared me. My tiny Granny, with tiny feathery fuzz on her tiny skull.

When you wrote about the great friendship in the opposites in "Violet and Claire", I longed for a friend. Someone to talk to and drag on adventures with me and be a girly girl with. My 15 year old self could not image it ever happening. (Because at 15, you think that life will always suck like this...) But my first year of college, I saw a beautiful girl with black hair reading "Girl Goddess 9". (I was reading "I Was A Teenage Fairy") And I had found a best friend.

I have found myself at parties and clubs, places that I knew I shouldn't be. Needles and sex too young and sad sad girls. I thought back to Claire and Laurel. I always left before it got bad. I knew what was gonna happen. Then I read Baby Bebop and I knew that I would never be able to hate someone because they loved the same sex. I would campaign for gay rights and try never to judge someone with hate in my heart. The insightful 16 year old.

I chased my own bass playing, long haired Angel Juan, until I too realized I had to let him go. Mine never came back but now that I'm older, I know I am so much better off. I was stronger without him. I was 18.

And when my brother died, and I felt like I had died too, I packed my bags. I had to leave and didn't have time to think. I just started grabbing things. I packed 5 shirts, 1 pair of jeans, no underwear. But right before I left for my parents house, I ran back into my living room and grabbed a handful on your books. Weetzie and Laurel and Barbie and Echo and everyone else kept me company. (Weetzie actually came with me to the funeral, in my purse next to my eulogy.) Everyone one of them had been through pain and made it through beautiful and whole again at the end. It gave me hope.

Now that I'm much older, I fill my house with flowers and tea and love, as much as I can. I make and bake and work hard. And I have a feeling that I wouldn't be who I am without you! And when I'm sad, when I feel there is no more magic left in the world, I sit out on my porch, drink an Orangina, watch the birds play and read one of your books.

One day, I will be in California and will attend one of your classes or book readings or signings. And instead of telling you all this in person(because it would be too weird and complicated) I will just smile and thank you and I hope you will know that you changed my life.

love love love and glitter,

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