Monday, February 26, 2007

Delivering Mail To Miller

Over on the Common Ties website is a short anecdote about someone who used to deliver mail to Henry Miller during his final year of life. The mailman in this case was James Michael Dorsey [photo below], who was 23 at the time, but now defines himself as an "author, photographer, lecturer." Dorsey's story is a brief portrait of an old, talkative Miller who would rather tell his life story to a young man than to read his mail. Miller's houseguest, Twinka Thiebaud [seen in banner art], also makes an impression on Doresey's memory.
"I found myself staring at an ancient looking man in white pajamas, wearing large black rimmed glasses sitting in the middle of the bed, surrounded by newspapers and magazines. He was writing on a legal pad and without looking up, he told me to sit. While I looked around for a chair, he peered over his glasses and said, 'Here,' patting the bed.
'I see you met my assistant,' he said with a wry smile.
I was shaken by my experience and wanted to leave, but being young and naive, I did what I was told.
I handed him the letter, which he tossed aside onto a pile of unopened mail. He began to fire questions at me. What was my name? Where did I live? How old was I? I was completely bewildered by this onslaught from a total stranger and stammered out answers as quickly as I could.
I spent most of an hour sitting on Henry Millers bed before realizing my job would be in jeopardy if I did not get back to work. As I rose to leave, the old man called out, 'I will see you soon.'"