Katie Wheeler-Dubin

Dear Cooper Union
February 8, 2012

Dear Cooper Union,

My name is Katie Wheeler-Dubin and I am in love with Raphael Villet. I don’t want
Raphael to go to Cooper Union. I don’t want him to move to New York. I can’t lose him to

I can tell you how this happened to me, how I think it occurred, my abduction, my
ensnared senses, the music of his attention. I can tell you that maybe I was born for such
seizure, that our partnering was no mere twist of happenstance, that our fates were no two
bits of floss in an ocean, randomly intertwining, but rather, godly calculation. Let me tell
you about Raph, Raphael Villet, who is extraordinary. He is the real thing, no phony, no
two-bit faker or performance. His aura haunts me like sunburn, like a winter shadow. His
commitment to his interests surpasses so many of our contemporaries, he puts in no
heart-halves, no whims, no flights of fancy. He’s all in, deliberately and steadily and
responsibly, so seriously. Let me tell you about his long legs and arms, the reach of his
mind, his sense of humor that is at once subtle and sneaky and lovely, the silence he holds
like a hot cup of ginger tea. I do not have to compete with him, though sometimes I
struggle to speak into such silence. More often opaque than easily read, he is not so easy to
pinpoint. The burn of his eyes leaves such a fine dust upon you. He is not someone you
need to claw open for your words to reach—Raphael listens, he is open and willing to
soak up, he is excited for the changes he will grow into. Let me tell you how he’s poured
into me like dreams do, let me tell you of the “hhhhhssss” sound he makes with his mouth,
his hot hands make ghosts upon the windshield. He catches so much of what most of us
miss. You don’t know the glow about him (like he’s traveled to the other side of the desert
and might, one afternoon, show you the photographs he took there) but I do. Let me tell of
his influence upon me like wood-smoke, that his drive within, his hunger, his pocketing of
details fuels my own hunt, increases my own appetite, inspires me to reach higher.
Illuminates for me those qualities of tenacity and doggedness. He has so many irons in so
many fires, I wonder how he doesn’t burn up. I don’t want to lose a man whose knack for
twisting unusual from the melange of mundane is so routine. He takes me along shadowed
roads to bridal dance parties, he wins tickets on the radio regularly, he melts into the beat of
places so readily. He will never grow complacent or reach a place inside himself that says
he’s done. So easy to spot in the crowd but difficult to keep track of, he prefers peripherals,
emits a natural swag. I don’t want Raphael to go to Cooper Union. It’s taken me so long to
center him in my vision.

This is not a letter of recommendation, this is a request. Please don’t interrupt. Please don’t
interrupt. Let me tell you about the mornings and midnights I hope to share with him, his
long fingers, that animal rough of his hair.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

(419) 299-2384


Katie Wheeler-Dubin

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