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Still sorting. Still sifting.

Wanna dance with me through the shuffle?…

Found the very first complete short story I ever wrote (titled “The Emerald Green Glow”) from early on in high school (if you don’t count the allegorical story I wrote in grade school in place of the essay that the teacher assigned as punishment to the whole class, because a few students were talking—the story stressed how unfair this was, replacing human students with anthropomorphic raccoons…though I did not know what “anthropomorphic” meant at the time).

Found a manilla envelope I received from one of my favorite college teaches (Dr. Logsdon). I don’t actually recall how this envelope was delivered to me as the only address reads:

Josh Doetsch
Famous EC Grad
Noted Actor and Writer
Sworn Enemy of Dullards

Found a letter I once got from Dee, accompanying her Christmas gift to me: a signed headshot and a lock of her hair—because in a prior conversation she asked what the most egotistical gift an actress could give someone and that was my answer.

Found a letter from the Peoria Health Department that had warned me that my meningitis vaccination was a from a bad batch and didn’t offer “full protection” and listed all the high risk countries (which included every African country I had been to). I received this letter several months after visiting Africa. I had a long laugh.

Found my first writing contract.

Found a Valentine’s day card from Genenda.

Found a bit of flattery…once upon a time, my grad school writing class was assigned to pair up and write a fake blurb that might appear on the dust jacket of your partner’s supposed novel. This was written by the very lovely Joanna Beth Tweedy Willmore:

“Like Mesmer, the last name Doetsch may well become eponymous for the author’s ability to draw readers into worlds from which they may find it happily impossible to return. Joshua Alan invites readers to the outer edge of surrealism where horror, mythology, stand-up, and Mother Angelica won’t agree to meet, but metabolize in a fantastical and satisfying gumbo. You don’t have a hair on your rumpus if you’re not hipwaggin’ it to be the first in line for the next ladle full.”

[NOTE: Joanna actually uses words like “rumpus” and “hipwaggin’” and phrases like “cicada cadence” and is such a thorough delight that she glows in the dark.]

Found the printed rules for Vampire Tag.

Found my and Nick’s beer-pong champion certificate. We are mighty in the art of drunken pong.

Found a raggedy Andy sort of a doll that my godmother made me when I was born. It’s as old as I am. This makes me nervous as I’m not sure at what point a doll gains sentience…

Found a translated copy of the Malleus Maleficarum.

Found a music CD Torrie made for me (entitled “Josh’s Chubby”).

Found a box of Magnum XL condoms and a box of razors—props for the magic act Nick and I did for a burlesque show. The items on my shopping list, that day, included magnum condoms, razors, a banana, bikini briefs, lemons, and a few other items. The checkout girl watched me with very wide eyes (probably wondering what I had planned for that night).

Found several abstracts—some I quickly pocketed—some fluttered away—one got caught in a spiderweb trying to fly out my window…

Found a hipbone from Cro-Magnon man.

And the excavation continues…