Whether rebirth is ever an actuality the idea of it at least provides a spur to action. That's what these letters, what I have labeled "The Colt 45 Chronicle," were intended to do -- exorcise me of the un-selfing spirits of academia. I would drink malt liquor, typing away whatever would spring into my drunken brain, and then the next morning address an envelope to friends or family, apply a stamp, and drop it in the post. I was writing for the pleasure of writing, not for the approval of professors; and in so doing, trying to recreate myself.
As this project draws to a close -- there are only three installments left after the one below -- we're left with dregs: letters never sent or dated, or, like today's offering, not even from the period in question. This one was written to Christopher Norris when I got back from a trip to Mexico and was still enrolled in Berkeley and had yet to relocate to New York City. Christopher Norris was my professor for a semester when he visited from Cardiff. I loaned him my girlfriend's bicycle, a small Trek, for his personal use. We use to drink together in various watering holes around campus. He was always a gentleman, a true model of a scholar.
I meant to write this letter a whole lot earlier. You took off in December and so did I. I went down to Mexico with my girlfriend and Bataille. It was my first time out of the U.S. of A. I got to see the tourist third world and smell all the wonderful smells -- shit, rot: animal and vegetable; got something called Taiwan fever, during which I dreamed I was Bob Dylan.
Bataille was the perfect companion. When you're that sick and living without any Western refinements, you become acutely convinced of the truth of philosophizing from the nadir. Flies, excrement, expenditure and spit speak to you in a voice much more sonorous than truth tables or Russell deciding while riding his bike that he doesn't love his wife.
Mexico City glistened in this shift of perception; it was a forest that stretched forever. Courthouses from the l7th century with rats and busts in the shadow of crumbling skyscrapers obscured by street merchants, some fat, some blind, some Indian, some beautiful, some deaf and dumb, a lot of children.
. . . The American dollar plays the philosopher's stone, producing an opulent dinner for four at the low cost of five thousand pesos, or a little over five bucks.