Dear dang Julia,

When Sandy first called you that, I thought “dang”

was too weak a word.

Now I think it’s perfect

because I do sort of love this misery you put me through,

morning pages and artist dates

those infernal lists

the stupid affirmations, which I never did. Not once.

And I didn’t do it the way you said to.

I have my own morning ritual of self-care

and you, dang Julia, are not in it. I get to you

when I get to you.

It might be 8 a.m. It might be 7:38 p.m. Deal with it.

And I didn’t take 12 weeks to do your course.

I only had four to give, but I gave them to you.

You should thank me.

I also have things—people—you don’t seem to have:

a husband, teenagers.

They take precedence. You say my artist is a child,

dang Julia.

Well, so are my children.

And you were right about quite a lot.

There is such a thing as synchronicity, dang Julia.

I received unimaginable gifts from unexpected sources,

like homemade granola and origami butterflies.

I learned I have blockages, but they’re in capillaries—

not arteries. I’m not about to keel over.

I learned I have it better than lots of folks

in ways I had not considered. And I learned that even you,

dang Julia,

will be not be remembered for your films or your plays,

only for this slim 222-page book.

You shook the apple tree, and the universe

delivered oranges,

just as you wrote in Chapter 5.