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11.04.05 - 13:21

Dear Ms. Jackson (cause I’m nasty, well, not nasty really, I just wanted to type that word),

Things here in Berlin are looking up. Yes, I admit, I have been a little down and a little grumpy lately, but, things are looking up. My furniture from Paris finally arrived and, as such, I am treating myself to your compilation DVD of videos that Grady sent me a few months back. Ya know, Janet, can I call you that? Your videos bring me great joy (not to rip off lines from Mary J’s old song), but they do. Since the compilation is produced by your label Virgin, it starts with your first single on that label (remember when you made headlines with that deal? 30 million!!) “That’s the way love goes”. Janet, that is a great song, and I was instantly transported back in time as it played. I was thinking maybe you could re-record it and substitute the word “love” with the word “life”. You could have another hit on your hands, and, frankly, Damita Jo didn’t really sell like we’d all hoped, so…

But no pressure, I know you are up to your neck with stress over your brothers trial, and your brothers antics aren’t helping him win, you might mention to him it is just a little gross for a 40 year old man to wear pajama bottoms to a child molestation trial, and I use the term “man” quite loosely. I know I don’t reside in the US any longer, but every time I check my hotmail account I am sucked in to the trial proceedings via headlines on MSN, so I am up to date. Although I do think he is a bit “odd”, well, and a bit “creepy” I am not going to pass judgment on him, I will let the jury do that. Guilty. Oops, sorry. That just slipped out. But I didn’t want the focus of this letter to be about him and his media circus, or about the fact that trials like his, and OJ’s, and Martha Stewart’s, and Scott Peterson’s are so fascinating to people (and it’s not just US citizens, it’s all over, especially your brothers, he has a HUGE following here in Berlin, remember, it was in our fair city he dropped one of his kids out the window (or almost did) as he was waving to crazed Berliner fans), no, that’s not what I wanted the focus of this letter to be about. I wanted to write to you about destiny (not her child).

Friday I received an email from Mr. Fashion, and it sent me in to a bit of a tizzy, I know, that’s not very masculine, so let’s say it sent me in to a downward spiral, but that sounds like a breakdown, so let’s say it put me in a weird mood. Ok, settled. Yes, this email put me in a weird mood, so much so I had to leave my flat and take a long walk, and I didn’t take Junior with me because, it seems, whenever I am in need of a power-walk she decides to gingerly stroll (and stroll is being generous) and smell EVERYTHING and I refuse to pull on her leash (because I hate having my leashed pulled on – another story, another time) so I am left to beg and cajole and beg some more for her to “move it along”, needless to say, after having this wonderful little dog for 10 years, I now know not to take her on my stress walks, because chances are she won’t cooperate. Back to the email; it was a very nice email, telling me he has missed talking with me, (he was away on business, traipsing around the US) and how he is looking forward to a long conversation this weekend. Like I said, nice, but then there was this one part about how he wished he could live his life with a bit more freedom “more like you live Bean” was the actual quote. Now, I know this was a compliment, but somehow it threw me in to this weird self-analysis. Actually, I don’t live my life with any freedom, or at least none that I am aware of. Oh, yes, I quit my job and moved to Europe, yes I sold my house in LA, yes I don’t work over here (except writing), but I wouldn’t call that freedom. I have stress in my life, just a different kind of stress than I used to have. No, I don’t report to a bozo, or an egomaniac, or a complete bitch, or a nasty two-faced asshole, like some of my friends, but I do report to myself, and frankly, that can be worse.

Mr. Fashion thinks because I don’t walk in to an office everyday any longer that my life is this casual, free fall of fun. Mr. Fashion thinks I roam the streets of Paris, and now Berlin, absorbing the foreign culture as if I were a giant yellow sponge. That I am sitting in a café sipping coffee and watching the world go by. No, not true. I am sitting in a café, stressing about whether some dickhead editor is going to buy my article on “Top 10 Most Horrific Moments In German History—And how you can visit related sites!” (It didn’t sell) or “German Torture Methods That Are Still In Use—How you can try them out!” (It didn’t sell either.) No, the one’s that sell are like last weeks “Germany; A Country That Embraces Flowers—The 5 best flower shops in Berlin” (A German magazine bought that one, minus 15% since I wrote it in English and when I did the translation I accidentally used the word for Breast in place of the word for Flower, they were not amused and insisted on doing the translation themselves after that. Both words start with a B in German, sorry, my Breast, I mean, my Bad).

You see Janet; I have stress. As the dollar continues its swirl in the toilet my savings account continues its nose-dive, hurtling me towards financial ruin. That’s stressful! Not wanting to have to go on public assistance, which in Germany is a hunk of bread and a bottle of tap water daily, I decided to call a friend in LA for help. After listening to her go on and on and on about how I should move back, work for a studio again, blah, blah blah, I finally got my chance to ask her if she had any writing work I could do from Berlin. “Oh, sure, what do you want to do?” she asked. “What have you got? I don’t want anything big or stressful” I replied “6000 miles away and you are still a Prima Donna, I can’t believe you!” she said. “Well, I just want to ease back in to this stuff” I answered. “Ok, write some radio commercials for me, how’s that?” she asked. “Yeah, I can do that” I said. So Thursday the package showed up, I opened it to find 2 videotapes of 2 new movies that I am supposed to watch and then write the commercials. Friday I plugged my VCR in. Saturday I took the tapes out of their cases and set them on top of my TV. Sunday I moved the tapes to on top of the VCR. Today is Monday and I turned the power on of the VCR. I figure by Friday I will have watched both movies.

Janet, do you sometimes find it hard to get motivated? Do you have any tips or ideas to get the juices flowing? What is my destiny? Did you always know you were going to be an amazing performer? Have you ever written a :60 radio commercial? If I blow these projects off can I borrow some money?

Your advice and comforting words would be much appreciated.

Lots of love,



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