Sunday, July 29, 2007

Letter from Angie Babbit


I think my email address used to be "" because the offending university took first six letters of one's last name (if one had that many) and the first two letters of the first name and voila, a clever email address.

So, in fact, my name is not Babbitan. It's Angie Babbit. Angela Michelle Babbit (formerly Talbert), if you want to be precise. You can call me Babbitan, if you want to. Nobody will ever know the difference.

When I asked Richard months later why he was embarrassed by my question, he said something like, "nobody had ever asked before." I guess everyone else had assumed it was a play on words, or maybe they were afraid to ask?

Did I ever tell you about my second meeting with Richard? I got lost on the way to the restaurant. He'd given me directions -- something like "It's just south of the sex clubs." I wasn't about to tell the cabby to take me to the sex clubs, so I found a pay phone and asked information for the address to the place. When I got to the wrong restaurant, I told the cabby to take me to Richard's house. After paying the $35 cab fee, I was completely broke, considering I still had to get back to Kansas. Richard wasn't home. There was a little restaurant down the hill, and a skinny waitress was very eager to help a lost girl from Kansas. I waited her tables while she called over to where Richard was still, an hour after our meeting time. I took a bus, which I should have done in the first place. I think it was $2.

By this time I had a splitting headache which didn't go away. We walked across the street for dinner, and once we were seated he said, "I left my pen at the other place." He looked pretty intent on getting that pen back, and I assumed it was something special to him, so I offered to go find it and he agreed. Without further (or previous) conversation, I went across the street, and the pen was gone. When I returned he said, that's OK, he'll just ask the waiter for one. It turned out the pen I had been searching for was just a disposable Bic pen, and the only reason he wanted it was to sign one of his books for me. You should know that Richard's books were never the primary reason I was interested in him. I have two, and I am embarrassed to say I haven't read either of them through. But there he was, giving me his book, first thing. I gave him a candle that I'd found in Oakland.

There was veal with capers, and some zucchini on the side. I'd already told him I couldn't afford it, and I think he was put out. He had to wait over an hour for me, and I was asking him to pay for my meal!

My headache persisted, and I went to bed early that night on his roommates' hard bed. I was grateful for foghorns and wind chimes.

Michael Andre wrote:
Angie --

Flipping through an old notebook, I encountered remarks you made about Richard, and I posted them.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Angie Babbitan

"Take Richard Morris to bed with you. He's a surprise at every turn of the sheet." Angie Babbitan asked him if he had slept with that reviewer. Richard was embarrassed, then admitted she was speaking from experience. It was more than a play on words.