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Dear Kev, Nick, B-Rok, and Howie D,

Whaaasssup? Not much is new with me, except I checked myself into rehab. I decided I’ve blacked out for the last time, at least in a non-dance routine setting. Two days ago, I suddenly came to in the bathroom of a Gulfstream jet. There was an empty bottle of Jim Beam up my ass, and the plane was flying over Madagascar… with no pilot. That’s when I decided I needed to make a change. I’m sorry to leave you guys hanging with the tour about to start, but I finally had to confront this personal demon full-on, maturely, like a soldier.


But seriously, I feel awful about the short notice. I’ve let you down, I’ve let my family down, and most of all, I’ve let Burger King down. Their promo depended on my goatee. The individuality I express through my facial hair is an analogue of the individuality ordinary people express in the way they order their Whopper.

Can you feel the goatee? I’m rubbing it on the paper now.

I pledge this to y’all: I’m going to clean myself up and come back better than ever. I promise: I will smell like Joop again.


Dear Kev, Nick, B-Rok, and Howie D,

They want me to say I’m an alcoholic. But I don’t want to say it. I want to sing it. They won’t let me. They say I’ve got to say it. I say, "No way, cuz."

Can you guys get a message to one of my fans? She’s a fan of all of us, I guess—but honestly, she likes me best. Her name is Kristy, and she’s eleven. Tell her that I’m getting her letters, but I can only write one letter a day on account of my serious case of the rehab shakes. Tell her she’s sweet and smart, and not to worry about her braces. And tell her that the capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg. She’s learning the capitals.

Tell her that no problem is too big to overcome. Except ’N Sync.

Life is hard (yeah)
It ain’t easy (no)
But it’s worth living yeah (yeah)
So keep on goin’ (oh)

You know what, dudes? For months, my flask was my only friend. Isn’t that sad? She was my crutch, my girl, my muse. She helped me write "Shape of My Heart." She was a good writing partner—real knack for meter and rhyme. But she hurt me, and let me tell you, next time "MTV Cribs" drops by, she won’t be lounging around on my waterbed this time.


Woke up this morning in a cold sweat. I feel myself slipping, falling... I’m losing everything, except the money and the fame and trappings of megastardom, but that’s what I have to lose before I can get it all back and make a triumphant return. Our management is too good.

Our lyrics are the only thing that let me carry on.

Jam cuz Backstreet’s got it
Come now everybody
We’ve got it goin’ on for years
Jam cuz Backstreet’s got it
Come now everybody
We’ve got it goin’ on for years
We’ve got it goin’ on for years
We’ve got it goin’ on for years



Dear Kev, Nick, B-Rok, and Howie D,

It ain’t easy finding stuff to fill the time. Life with the band is so busy: photo shoots, backrubs, fellatio. Here it’s talking, listening, watching TV. Some people brought books.

I’ve got a lot of time to think and reminisce.

I’m thinkin bout you (yeah)
I can’t believe we’re through (no)
It ain’t true (no)

I’ve still got it, right?

Remember how in Orlando we’d hang out in the fake alleyway behind the fake convenience store and smoke fake cigarettes? I’ll never forget those fabricated times. They’ll always give me ersatz strength, so that just when I think I’ve seen the darkest virtual night, I’ll know in the back of my mind that a studio-created dawn is on its way.

Also, I’m working on a piece for The New Republic on the dangerous illusion of campaign finance reform. I submit that the very belief that it will help save American democracy is itself indicative of the sad state of American democracy. The institution must be revitalized by the people, from the ground up, not through some procedural patch. Draft enclosed: Can you mark it up, Backstreet-style, and send me comments? It’s got a mean bridge, but I can’t seem to nail the chorus.

Depression and anxiety got me here. Hope, discipline and a consuming hatred for Justin Timberlake will make me well.

Alexander James

Dear Kev, Nick, B-Rok, and Howie D,

We’re making progress. Today we substituted non-alcoholic beer for our favorite real beer. I went from Heineken to Kaliber. Some loser went from Coors to Sharp’s.

Not everyone here is like that, though. I’ve found a few guys I can sing with. They’re not us—Backstreet!—but it’ll have to do until I get back.

Dietrich Brach (from Ohio, in for glue): sings soprano… a little nasally
Phil Buchholz (Arizona, Percodan): mezzo-soprano
George Brievogel (California, imported beer, like the rest of us): tenor

I, of course, sing in a range that only dogs can hear. As I say when I’m drunk (never again), it puts the bitches in stitches and the meat in heat.

Anyway, I was thinking that for the next album, we could do something darker and more personal about addiction. Maybe a ballad to Jenna Bush? Or we could speed it up and dance to it if you want. Either is cool.

How are all y’all? B-rok, how’s the girl from Memphis? Howie D, how’s the new Fender amplifier? Kev, you enjoying your sexual identity crisis?

"I wanna kno-ow!"

If that girl from Indianapolis calls again, tell her I’ll wait for her. Tell her my heart is pure and my phallus will not harden until she turns 18, or 17 in her home state of Illinois.

It ain’t true (no)
But it’s funny (oh)

Alejandro Jaime

More teen-pop tee-hee:
The Britney Papers
OK, I Did It Again

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