Twelve Letters to James Van Der Beek as Portrayed by James Van Der Beek on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

(This short story originally appeared in Strumming My Lady Harp: A Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 Zine.)


 

Dear James,

(May I call you James?)

Somewhere, there is a real man named James Van Der Beek. You have his face, but I will never understand him the way I understand you, nor would I want to.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

There are two kinds of artisanal lip balm on my nightstand. You know why.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I admire the serenity of your self absorption. You are a limpid pool; your clarity more than compensates for your lack of depth.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

Tonight, Godspeed You! Black Emperor played the Wonder Ballroom. I stood silent in the crowd, watching a deer flicker in negative on reel-to-reel film, and wondered if I could ever be monster enough for you.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

Just as I am aware that there is a real person named James Van Der Beek, I am aware that there was once a real show called Dawson’s Creek, which I have never seen, although I recall having been peripherally aware of it when it was airing. Was the creek a metaphor? I would like to imagine so.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I dreamed that I was cast opposite you in a stage production of My Dinner With Andre. You were in the Andre Gregory role, but you refused to wear cardigans; and I understood in that moment that we would never even make it to previews.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

Halloween is for living your dreams. Never let them tell you otherwise.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

If your name is James Van Der Beek and you are reading this letter, it is not for you. This letter is for the James Van Der Beek who exists crystalline, suspended in an eternal present.

It’s nothing personal. I’m sure you’re very nice.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I tried to summon you as one might a spirit; but I used the wrong incense and was attended only by John Malkovitch as played by John Malkovitch, to whom I have nothing of substance to say.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I’m not mad at you about the play. It was an overambitious adaptation. I still don’t understand your aversion to cardigans, though. You would wear them well.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I am not certain of very many things, but I am certain that you talk in your sleep; and that if Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 had continued for a third season, there would have been an episode in which the B plot hinged on that fact.

Love,
Jay


Dear James,

I don’t care what Martin Scorsese thinks.

Love,
Jay

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