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A LETTER TO THE GIRL I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE SLEPT WITH LAST NIGHT • by John Woodington

Dear Loren,

Or was it Lucy? Hell if I can remember, and not that you can blame me, what with all those appletinis you kept pushing at me. I would have stopped long before I did if it weren’t for you, and so it’s not really my fault I can’t remember your name. Are names really that important, though, especially at this stage in our relationship?

There were a few things for which I would like to apologize:

Firstly, for passing out at such an inopportune moment. Entirely out of my control, I assure you. Though you probably knew that. You’re a smart girl, if I remember correctly.

Secondly, for passing out in such an inopportune location, namely on your left leg, and for the swelling and bruising in said leg which my unconscious body subsequently caused. I do apologize for that. You have great legs, or at least a great left leg. I only remember that I felt comfortable in the last waking moments, and I credit that to your wonderful leg. If there’s anything I can do to ease the bruising on your thigh… a massage perhaps? Tonight? Or some other time. Or not, I wouldn’t blame you. I blame myself entirely.

Then again, can I really be blamed? Look at the circumstantial evidence: you wore that skirt, which can hardly be called a skirt. More like a very wide plaid belt. And that perfume — surely you must have bathed in it moments before arriving at the party. A too-tight halter top, a ponytail. You never really gave me a chance.

And what drew you to me, Laura? Or was it Lacey? Probably my accent, which has a penchant for attracting a looser variety of women. Not that I would describe you as loose. No, not at all. But seriously. How long had we known each other before we were upstairs? Two hours? Three? Let’s not kid ourselves. I haven’t seen the inside of a gym since before the millennium, and my habitual two-Danish-and-coffee breakfast has left me soft. So soft, in fact, that if you baked me in an oven, I might come out quite a tasty loaf.

See, Lisa? I can be funny. Maybe it was my great humor that latched you to me last night. I wouldn’t blame you. Humor is one of those great human adhesives. So maybe now you are stuck to me? Hmm?

Of course, not in the way I was “stuck” on your left leg last night. But you know what I mean, don’t you, dear Lana? You’re a smart girl, I’m quite sure of it now.

Cordially to you, Lovely

Your Briton Beau

Or not

It’s up to you, really

But could you let me know by tomorrow night?

There’s a party on West 5th Street

And I want to know if I’m attached at that time or not

As it may influence my actions and overall demeanor

Jonathon Wesley


John Woodington is a twenty-five-year-old writer from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Every Day Fiction, The Square Table, Poor Mojo’s Almanac(k), and Wild Violet. He holds a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire.

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A LETTER TO THE GIRL I MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE SLEPT WITH LAST NIGHT • by John Woodington, 3.4 out of 5 based on 80 ratings
Posted on May 18, 2009 in Literary, Stories
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  • Alf

    Really liked this piece. Made me smile.

  • JohnOBX

    Sorry, but this story didn’t resonate for me. The letter-writer swings from egotistical (blaming the woman for getting him drunk) to pathetic (trying to hook up again at another party despite not knowing her name) and I never got a real sense of him.

    I did like some of the descriptions: for example, “you wore that skirt, which can hardly be called a skirt. More like a very wide plaid belt” was a gem.

    Lastly, I couldn’t figure out what context the letter would have been written in. Is the girl asleep on the couch? If he doesn’t know her name, how is he mailing/e-mailing this to her?

    Best,

    –John

  • gay

    This is an edgy kind of piece, and the narrator isn’t necessarily sympathetic, but what a strong voice.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    Amusing story. Original, well written.
    I can’t quite put together the meaning of the paragraph beginning “And what drew you to me….” Is it boy talk, Hmm?

    JohnOBX – It’s probably a soliloquy. He’ll be out investigating the surroundings for sure.

  • http://jfjuzwik.blogspot.com Joyce

    This was very funny. An egotistical ‘whatever’ bestowing his favor upon a young lady who, in his opinion it seems, should be eternally grateful. Very cleverly written. I think you really get a true sense of him, in that no decent, mature lady would EVER want to cross his path. I enjoyed this because it’s not deep or socially redeeming–just a glimpse into the lopsided world of a wannabe ‘anything’.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    I don’t hear the voice as egotistical. I agree with JohnOBX that the character has a pathetic element. Regardless of whether you think such a woman is decent or mature, I can imagine wanting to cross his path because he is probably much of a good honest conversationalist, but only if he is restrained to decent conversational distance.

  • John Woodington

    Thanks for the greats comments! I really appreciate this forum as a means of discussion. It’s interesting to see differing viewpoints on the same character. I think there is some legitimacy to the sentiment that this guy is not exactly sympathetic, and has trouble seeing himself as a being at fault for any of his actions. I think it is his blatant naivete that somewhat endears me to him. I can’t imagine a person being this naieve, and yet imagining it was extremely fun, so I had to go with it.

  • Jen

    This guy puts his his foot in his mouth worse than I do! Hilarious peice, gave it a five!

  • Daniel Vineberg

    Really dig this piece. It’s an apology letter that asks for an apology, a confession that wants another go.

    Great job of emphasising the character’s next-morning-state-of-mind when every emotion is mixed and any sense of clarity is superseded by the need for painkillers.

    My suggestion for this piece? Make it a message left on an answering machine. A phone number would clear up how he’s contacting her without a name, and the prose also suits a phone apology gone astray better than a written letter IMO

  • Jesse

    I thought this was adorable. Rather clever, and I loved some of the descriptions, such as how the woman bathed in the perfume before coming to to the party. The final lines are priceless: “As it may influence my actions and overall demeanor.” Definitely not a piece to be taken seriously, but certainly entertaining. :) I appreciate the wandering style… it sounds like a man with a hangover.

  • Roberta SchulbergGoro

    On rereading I put together the Paragraph beginning “And what drew….” I don’t know why I had trouble at first.
    The only thing I can find for which he blames her and not himself is that her skirt is too short((“very wide plaid belt”- (Maybe this threw me off, I didn’t imagine a skirt described as a belt to indicate its shortness and was looking for other significance)), her halter too tight, and that she probably smells and covers it with perfume. Since he admits he loafs, is flabby and is a loose runaround, he probably doesn’t attract most women, so she comes out ahead. I don’t see that gratefulness enters into this at all.
    This squint into a few minutes of a loner-loser is definitely to be taken seriously as good writing.

  • Pilgrimage

    :) I enjoyed this! Funny, true-to-life (I think) and so totally descriptive. This is a guy I’d like to hang with, (NOT sleep with).

  • lindsay

    I knew this was going to be a fun piece the moment I read the title. It didn’t disappoint!

  • Bill W

    Isn’t it interesting that we are aware of our own faults but don’t really own up to them? The character’s awareness of his own faults makes him go overboard in his complements of the female character and trying to win her over with his humor. Yet, he blames her for his faults and ultimately the situation he found himself. Very realistic.

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