Found Item

Last Saturday afternoon, my niece‘s high school crew was racing in a rowing regatta at Green Lake. I was there to cheer her on, standing on the dock at the foot of the old concrete Aquatheater near the Pitch and Putt golf course, waiting for her race to begin. Just as the sun broke through the overcast sky, momentarily transfiguring the scene, I noticed a ragged sheet of old-style tractor-fed computer paper floating near a blackened pine cone about a foot from the edge of the dock. Since I had nothing better to do while I waited, I knelt down and, using a stick that someone’s dog had been playing fetch with but had abandoned on the dock, I scooped the sodden document up onto the wooden slats at my feet and spread it out as if it were a creature one might dissect. It appeared to be a diary entry or fragment of a letter printed on an old dot-matrix printer. A smear of mud obscured the upper half of the sheet, but an entire paragraph on the lower half was clear enough to make out. The paragraph surprised me with its references to my favorite novelist, Walker Percy, and, although I didn’t care to pick up the slimy sheet, I decided to take five minutes to copy it into the little Moleskine notebook I happened to have in my coat pocket:

Women are so problematical in general I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it. Now I’ve sort of been approaching romance with two different women, Wendy and Michelle (yet another one, with two l’s this time). It’s a strange half-hearted exercise. Half-hearted divided by two. But the strangeness multiplies at times, because I often encounter both of them together. At this point there seems to be a vague wariness and awareness of possible calamity. As Binx Bolling said, however, the possibility of happiness increases with the possibility of calamity. I don’t know though. Why not have them both? These are strange times, as Tom More was wont to reflect. Then there is the Black Widow at the Green Lake Tavern (“She mates. She kills.”) And then there’s this girl with long black hair and brown penciled-in eyebrows with an Egyptian cross tattooed on her shoulder — we were eyeing each other at the bus stop the other day, and then when we got on the bus was crowded so we had to stand next to each other and she kept nudging my hand with her elbow and giving me serious looks. Had I not been leaving town that very hour to go fishing with my dad, I might well have invited her back to my place and let her pluck my eyebrows. I actually considered it. What a terrible pleasurable slide into paganism that might have been. But God, in his mercy, gave me the option of fishing. One of the few very clear choices I’ve ever faced: commit a sin of sexual pleasure with a luscious eyebrowless woman or go fishing. Actually, the fishing wasn’t part of the choice, come to think of it. It must have been a sort of consolation prize God threw in to make it a little easier on me.

Before disposing of the soggy sheet in a nearby concrete trash receptacle, I also recorded a fragment of the paragraph that followed this one. In that following fragment, the author mentions what appears to be the name of the lake where he and his father had gone fishing. My question is, are you are the author of this missive? If you are and you happen to be a reader of Korrektiv (stranger things have happened) please leave a comment here. You can prove your identity by supplying the name of the lake in question. Since it would seem that a few years have passed since you wrote this, we’d like to know how things have turned out with these various women. And we have an honorary Klub Korrektiv baseball cap we’d like to send you.


  1. Br. Jonas Peregrine says

    Well, this is very very strange. It would seem that I am the author of the paragraph quoted above. And, yes, an occasional reader of Korrektiv. No idea how my diary entry landed in Green Lake, but I used to live near there, quite a few years ago. Oh, the name of the lake where my father and I used to go fishing is Chapman Lake, located south of Cheney, WA. I can barely recall the women mentioned in that diary entry. Nothing much came of it. I became a Benedictine monk about a year later, I guess, which remains my occupation to this day. I catalog and mend books in the library here when I’m not in choir chanting the psalms. This is really astonishing.

  2. Welcome Br. Jonas,

    I do hope that you exist and your story is true.

    I’m sad to hear that you didn’t dry the entry in the sun and submit it to found magazine:

    they have some awefully good stuff there, and this would have been a great addition.

  3. Br. Jonas Peregrine says

    Hey Brüx,

    Thanks for the note and interesting link.

    I’m embarrassed to admit it, but, yeah, I do exist. I guess I should confess, though, that Br. Jonas isn’t my real name. I made that up. When I took a name here at the abbey, Jonas was the name I wanted, but the abbot preferred my second-choice name, which I think it might be prudent not to announce on the Internet.

  4. Wait a minute. This is getting curiouser and curiouser. Chapman Lake is not the lake mentioned in the original document. You sure you wrote that, Br. Jonas?

  5. Looks like we got a bunyip on our hands.

  6. Roger (last name withheld on advice from attorney) says

    I don’t know anything about a diary or Benedictine monks or bunyips, but I think I know the girl with the Egyptian cross tattoo. We met at a place on Eastlake, Q-something or other, and did some Cuervo shots before she agreed to do a little modeling work for a little something I was putting together at the time. Small world.

  7. Matthew Lickona says

    But what about the Klub Korrektiv hat? Is this available at cafepress or somewhere? What’s a blogger gotta do to get him some Korrektiv gear?

  8. Br. Jonas Peregrine says

    Maybe that was the year we went to Fishtrap lake. Could be. Yeah, I think there was one year, ’93 maybe, when we went there because we’d heard they were catching lunkers as fast as you could throw a line in.

  9. Br. Jonas: Fishtrap it is! Bingo! We have a hat for you.

    Matthew: Sorry, Korrektiv gear is not yet commercially available in North America. At present, we have a small distribution outlet at our corporate offices in Copenhagen but we’re working on a wider distribution. Communication is problematic between the blog authors and the corporate office, though, so we’re not sure when we will be able to make these items available to satisfy pressures of the market. We realize we’re sitting on a veritable goldmine here, but unfortunately our hands are tied.

  10. ok, so i get this email from roger or ray or whatever his name his saying i should look at this website and the link takes me here. yes i have an egyptian cross on my shoulder and yes i pencil in my eyebrows but i hardly ever ride the bus so i doubt i’m her. interesting if i am uh huh very interesting. nah couldnt be. could it? i’ve been attending an inquirers class at st. elizabeth’s and considering, for very personal reasons which i don’t care to go into, becoming catholic. some strange things have been happening, like this, leading me to believe someOne is nudging me. i think i’ll be going now. enjoy your little blog. ok, the truth is i ride the bus all the time but i don’t remember nudging any guy with my elbow or giving serious looks. so long. peace be with u.

  11. Time is passing through us, echoes of light from the past and the future as well. The Puget Sound is like a needle which threads the past after itself. Wherever you are within it, you are completely hemmed in with events that have happened and events that will happen. It’s like being submerged in water. You can see it, but you’re pressured from all sides.

    What Mr. Potter failed to mention is that Br. Jonas has been dead for 50 years.

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