Thank you so much for the lovely Christmas gift. As a prostitute, I do not often receive gifts this time of year, and your token of affection really brightened up my week. Joyeux Noel!
Obviously, you must have misheard me when I told you I wanted some earrings, but really, it’s fine. An ear is fine too. I already know where I’m going to display it. Another painter once gave me a lock of hair and part of a hat, so I think your trinket will look great on the mantle next to it. I’ll put it up just as soon as the blood dries.
My friend Cecile seems to think that you’re crazy. Yeah, exactly. Crazy about me! I can’t wait until you’re a famous painter and we can travel the world like that “Gauguin” you’re always talking about. I would like to see Fiji, wherever that is. I’d love to smell the tropical air, see the native customs, and hear their music. Well, we don’t have to listen to too much music.
Please come visit me again. I heard you’re back in the institution, but if you can sneak out, I can give you your birthday gift, wink-wink. I long to lie in your arms, whispering sweet nothings in your ear. Your right ear, I mean. I guess I can whisper sweet nothings in your ear all the time now!
P.S. I didn’t want to say anything, but I can’t help it. Ew. Couldn’t you have wiped it off at least?
Readers may be surprised to learn that in the long history of people mailing gross stuff by letter, Van Gogh’s ear ranks near the bottom. Here are the top three grossest things ever mailed by letter:
1) Feces. Reggie Finley and Amelia Josephs were working together in a lab in Palo Alto in 1993, studying mice feces to see if they held a cure for cancer or anything else cool. Trying to be flirtatious, Amelia left Reggie a letter in his mailbox with a lump of her own feces and the message, “Let me know if you ever want to get together and analyze this.” Reggie, however, thought Amelia was kind of weird looking.
2) A rotting whale carcass. It was mailed to Lizzie Johnson of Alameda, California, in 2001, with no return address.
3) Not to be outdone, Gauguin cut off his entire head and mailed it to Van Gogh’s girlfriend Rachel, winning her affection and proving himself to be the best artist ever.