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That was a Little Joke

Johanna,

I ran into Maybelle Addington in Sioux City. She was working in a barber’s shop and I went into it to get a haircut. I never saw a woman barber in a barber’s shop before, so I was surprised at first when I saw she was a she, and then surprised again when I saw which she she was. So I was doubly surprised and Maybelle didn’t have any hard time cutting my hair because it was all standing straight up.

That was a little joke.

But meeting up with her wasn’t. Or I guess it isn’t. I really did, and I was surprised and so was she.

Maybelle told me all about what’s happened. I thought for a long time about what to say and the only thing I can come up with for sure is that I’m sorry. Not that I’m sorry for you, because I’m NOT. But I am sorry that all of that happened. Maybe this isn’t the best time to bring it up, but I can’t seem to keep myself from writing it, so here goes. All I ever wanted was for you to be happy. Even if I didn’t know it or couldn’t say it or whatever then, its true, and I’m sorry. All the time I’m wishing that I could just go back before all of this foolishness shook out’before all this mess with you and me and him. I know it’s way too late, though. Still, its like this finger, like someone’s finger in my back, pushing me ahead when I’m standing in line for a fiery ferris wheel and I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go.

I don’t know what to do.

Nicky

Letters from Underground