Dear Chuck Klosterman,
This is a hard letter to write. When I first read Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself to Live I knew I had found my favorite author. Lately, it's just not that same. So I choose to talk about those two books and not V and the other one I can't even name because I never finished it.
Once again, the story. After leaving Umass Dartmouth, I missed the deadline to send in my transcript and didn't get into Westside State. I was devastated, beyond devastated. My options were skip a semester or go to a community college. I didn't like either option. Eventually, I choose HCC and the idea that although (I thought) I was better than everyone, I'd rather keep going than do nothing. So here I was at a community college and I was not liking it.SO I spent a LOT of time in Holyoke at and near the mall. Soon, I realized that HCC was not beneath me. I had challenging classes, with professors who cared, and people who amazed me. oh, I feel whiny and complainy cause I have a waitressing job and I go to school? Oh, you are a mother of three who takes the bus here between two jobs and you have a perfect GPA? I'll shut up now. Anyways, even as I grew to really enjoy and appreciate HCC, I still found myself at Barnes and Nobel all the time. So, browsing the new or recommended or something, I came across Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs. The title alone had my attention. I opened to the first page and read how you blamed your shatter love life on John Cusak. Perfect, I remember walking directly to a chair and reading the entire first chapter and kept whispering, "yes" Yes, I love Say Anything. Yes, I secretly think that John Cusak is exactly like Lloyd in that movie. Yes, romantic movies do ruin relationships. I ran out of the store, after paying of course and loved every chapter. Every single chapter I connected to, I understood and I couldn't believe someone else was thinking the same things I did. From Billy Joel, Country Music, Saved by the Bell, everything. And even better, I could pick up the book over and over, pick a chapter and go. I read that book over and over. I just enjoyed it every time. Once I finally got into Westfield, I would get the strangest looks in my ed. classes reading a book with that title. Didn't care. I loved it.
I stumbled upon Killing Yourself to Live the same way. On the way out of another Barnes and Nobel, not planning on buying anything, there as close to the door as possible was the new book. I think I shrieked. My family was away on vacation which I wasn't planned into since I was suppose to be in Maine working at an all girls camp. Change of plans and I spent the two weeks playing house with the tattoo boyfriend and reading this book. I ignored just about everything I could and read this book. At first, I have to admit, I am I guess naive and the drug use, though slight, it did freak me out. But, I got past that. Like Cocoa Puffs, I was drawn in immediately, especially since it takes place basically by my house. Writing about driving past the Basketball Hall of Fame, I drove that same route everyday, twice a day. All these places I knew and I was hooked with the travel log. I loved the story upon story between the women who loved, the people who died and all the places in between. I can pick this story up anytime and enjoy it as well. I don't know why. It's a fantastic and I love it.
Lately, I don't feel the same. I will keep reading and keep trying and maybe someday I will. Maybe I will come to a point in my life that the stories speak to me. I still enjoy Cocoa Puffs and Killing Yourself and still consider you one of my favorite authors. This is not a hate letter but a fan letter. I am still a fan and hope to see and continue to see new work. But I miss the silliness and the connections. But people grow up, authors grow up and things change. I think that's what bothers me most. Of course an author is going to grow and change. I just didn't want you to.
Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto