The Emails of Natalie Portman and Kelly Conaboy

Our emails.

Image: Henry Hagnäs/Flickr

For over a month, the Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and the writer Kelly Conaboy have amassed countless emails. Mysteriously, it seems as though some of the emails have disappeared. This frequently happens to emails, and it’s fine. To preserve the emails that remain, and in advance of Portman’s directorial debut, here are some of the emails, reflecting on time, etc., and the joyous banalities of life.

>> On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 4:31 AM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

It is so crazy. You know how sometimes you look at email on your phone and you swipe, or, you don’t mean to swipe, but I guess you accidentally do something near-enough to a swipe motion that the email goes somewhere and you’re not sure where? “Archives”? I’m not sure what that means. If you’ve sent me an email prior to this email I guess that’s probably what happened to it. If not, nice to meet you. My name is Kelly, ha.

>> On Wed, May 25, 2016 at 5:44 AM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

Natalie, I thought of the funniest thing. I woke up and had to get to my computer to tell you about it. OK, so. You go to someone’s house and they have an empty fish tank, but then you realize it’s not an empty fish tank, it’s just where they keep quarters and pennies, etc.! Like coins. (There’s water in the tank, too, when I said “empty” I just meant “empty of fish.”) I guess, I don’t know. I’m writing it out now and it’s not as funny as when I woke up but I still think it’s funny. Maybe not “funny” funny but definitely bizarre. Let me know what you think.

>> On Thu, May 26, 2016 at 12:35 PM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

Oh my god, I’m so annoyed! Do you ever get this message: “The Shockwave Flash plugin crashed” or something like that? I get it all the time, and I just— ugh, why are we even using Shockwave plugin? Also my computer has been so laggy lately and I don’t know why. All I ever do is just go online. I’m not downloading a virus or whatever. I’m not playing video games on my computer. Why is it like this?

Anyway, I’m sorry for complaining. How are you? What do you think about the nature of time? Just kidding. No, but really. Does time feel fast or slow? When I’m doing something fun it feels fast but if I’m brushing my teeth it feels like forever. Same for you?

>> On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 12:21 AM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

Three Different Tiny Muffin Tin Recipes, and How Well They Work


>> On Sun, May 29, 2016 at 7:31 AM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

You know how sometimes you look at someone’s phone and they have like 200 unread text messages? Why do you think that is? Is it that they’re reading them on another device, and that device doesn’t clear the “new”ness of the ones on the phone? (Does that make sense?) Or do people just get a lot more texts than I do? I think I get a good amount but maybe not.

I’ve been staying up at night, not being able to sleep, and I’ve been thinking: It’s crazy being a writer. And then I wondered: What is it being an actor? I’d love to hear your thoughts. For example is it good or bad? You can say “G” for good and “B” for bad, or maybe something like:


If you respond like that I’ll know you mean that it’s good being an actor and if you do this:


I’ll know it’s bad.

Let me know if you’re not getting these emails.

>> On Sun, June 5, 2016 at 3:44 PM, Kelly Conaboy wrote:

Hah, just realized. At the end of last email I said “Let me know if you’re not getting these emails.” How would you know to do that if you’re not getting them? Anyway I wanted to tell you something. I got a manicure yesterday and immediately, after walking out, messed up a bunch of my nails. Do you ever do that? I almost never do, but I guess my mind was elsewhere.