Confidentiality Notice

The information contained in this transmission may contain privileged and confidential information.  It is intended only for the use of the person(s) named above.  If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and permanently delete the original message.

Also, if you are Monica Stephenson and this transmission was supposed to be addressed to Morgan Branskey, and my inattention and the automatic address-completion function were responsible for the error, please not only delete the original message, but forget it entirely.  Among the key items to forget, which repeating contradictorily risks further branding in your memory, are: 1) my growing doubts about our three-year-old relationship; 2) my opinions of your friends, who (I believe) warp your potential by confining your identity to the party-girl you were in your early twenties known as “Drunkica”; and 3) my attraction to my new co-worker Molly Wendel, who, to quote the original possible message, “represents everything Monica does not: sparkling intellectuality, unerring warmth, and the most toned pair of upper arms I’ve ever seen.”

Conversely, if you are Morgan Branskey and the opening of this transmission was addressed to “My love,” please know that all elaborate descriptions of sexual fantasy were intended for Monica Stephenson and are a now-routine and desperate way for us to try to  add color to our pallid sex lives, and should not be reciprocated by reply email, as they were that one time two years ago, which has continued to make things really awkward between us, even after you claimed it was “just a joke” and that you didn’t really think there had been a “simmering, wordless passion between us ever since our eyes met on that first day of Wednesday-Night Victorian-Lit Book Club.”  Let’s just remain the platonic, Brontë-sister-loving buddies we are.

If you are Molly Wendel and this transmission was intended for either Monica Stephenson or Morgan Branskey, please forget everything in it, save for two items: that I am currently doubting my relationship, and that those doubts are in no way related to a repressed attraction to my friend Morgan, because I am completely heterosexual.  So heterosexual that I sometimes even think about what it would be like to be in a relationship with another woman, perhaps someone I have successfully partnered with on a company-wide budget-reduction project over the last month and have a totally natural rapport with like we’ve known each other for years, to the extent that we already semi-flirtatiously call each other by our first initials.

By the way,  Molly, if you are Molly, Monica, whom you met very briefly at the last office party before I suddenly announced we had to go feed our cat, wants to know if you do Pilates, or maybe Bikram yoga.  When I asked why, she said, “Because her arms are so defined—haven’t you noticed?” and I was like, “No, not at all, I never gaze, all mesmerized, at her arms,  but, really, I have.  In addition, I saw you reading “Sons and Lovers” the other day during lunch, and although that is technically categorized as early Modernist, many critics argue that Lawrence exhibits the anxiety of Victorian influence, and I bet you’d be a great addition to this book club I’m in which you may have read about in an email to Morgan and which you should ask me about immediately before you wipe it from memory.

If you are my mother, nicknamed in my email program “Mom,” and this transmission was intended for either Monica Stephenson or Morgan Branskey, delete it.  To delete it, click on the check box next to the message, then click the button marked “Delete.”  No, you can’t just click on the “X” in the corner, because that only closes the window.  Not Microsoft Windows, the browser wind—never mind.  I know, I know--the kids today with their electronics.

Teddy Wayne is the author of the novel "Kapitoil," available from Harper Perennial.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.