Levi, I’m at my friend’s house right now but I wanted to reply to your email right away, because you telling me that you think I’ll succeed in the department means a lot to me. When I sent in my application, I wrote a little bit about how I’ve spent a lot of time around people who weren’t very interested in being artistic. I suppose they didn’t value things that weren’t part of our high school curriculum, so I tried not to either. I was really surprised when you and Joshua hired me because I’m so unfamiliar with art. The first few weeks were exciting, and you’ve been great as the assistant arts editor, but I feel a little bit like a fish out of water, so that’s why I told Joshua I might quit. I’m not sure I belong.
Hey Levi, thank you for being so supportive. I’m still at my friend’s house, but I’d love a movie recommendation. What’s a good movie for a night when I’m tired but don’t want to watch something dumb?
Hi, I picked one of your sci-fi movie suggestions last night, and I watched “Moon.” I cried, but a lot of things make me cry; “Up” made me cry. I haven’t seen it in a long time — I should watch it again, but I need to rewatch “The Devil Wears Prada” first because I like that movie a lot. I’m jealous of all the pretty clothes they wear. I have a very pathetic T-shirt-and-jeans kind of style. Anyway, then I watched “Modern Times.” I love Charlie Chaplin.
Hey there, do you think I should review one of the films from the Mill Valley Film Festival? There are so many; I don’t know which one I should take. On another note, there’s an ad for a horror movie about an Ouija board that keeps interrupting my happy Spotify playlist because I can’t afford the no-ads membership. I hate horror movies. Don’t pick a horror movie for me to review, okay?
Hi Levi, I watched both of the avant-garde film shorts you sent me and here’s what I think: The first one you sent me is probably the oddest thing I’ve ever seen. The second one is significantly odder. I like the second one better. I’m curious about how you’re going to analyze them. Also, I’m watching “The Devil Wears Prada” now. I feel sad about my clothes.
Hi! Today I decided I don’t want to live in California, or at least not in the Silicon Valley. There’s something about growing up here that makes everywhere else seem appealing. I think I want to move to someplace on the East Coast, or maybe somewhere outside of the United States — a big city somewhere. Anyway, how’s it going?
LJ, coffee again on Thursday?
Hey Levi, I’m doing well! Ashley and I loved “The Lobster.” OK, I’m running off to breakfast now; I’ll talk to you later!
Hi, it’s later now. What should I name my plant?
Hey, I’m going to miss you over break.
Merry Christmas, Levi! I watched “Fences” yesterday; bring tissues when you go! How’s it going back in Sacramento?
Hey there, they showed us “Singin’ in the Rain” at our film screening tonight and then it rained while I walked home; it made my life feel cinematic. I wish I was a film major because then, my life would be literally cinematic. But what if I end up doing something unrelated and underpaid in 10 years because of it? I miss seeing you around in the office.
Hey Levi, sorry it took me so long to respond! How’s your thesis going? Do you want to get coffee sometime soon? Also, what should I watch tonight?
LJ, how’s life? (P.S. I wish you weren’t graduating.)
Hey, your email made me cry. Not just because it felt scarily like a bookend and I cry easily, but mostly because I’m scared of how much I’m going to miss you. I know we didn’t see each other as often this semester as we did in the fall, but knowing you were always around as a friend meant the world to me. You’ve supported me more than anyone else here; I’m really glad you sent me that email in September. If you hadn’t, we would never have gone to all the football games we did together, and you wouldn’t have texted me about all those movies or ranked my ridiculous movie list or listened to my vaguely existential monologues. I can’t imagine what my semester would have been like if you hadn’t convinced me to keep working at the Daily Cal. We will definitely stay in touch.
Hey Levi, what’s the weather like in Sacramento? I’m sorry I haven’t started watching “Big Mouth” yet; I’ve been busy with my column. Arts isn’t the same without you. Come visit me soon, OK?
Olivia Jerram writes the Thursday arts & entertainment column on experiencing art through other people. Contact her at [email protected].