Among the many messages of condolence I've received, there was one (it arrived today) that blew me away... and took me back nearly sixty years. It was from a woman who, as a little girl, lived on the street where I spent the first twelve years of my life. We are the same age. And we haven't seen each other since we were seven years old. She doubted that I'd remember her. But I did. (She was, after all, the first girl I ever loved.) I'm going to write back, of course. But I need to do something right now. Tonight. And this seems to be the only place where one can work undisturbed -- and be served beer at the same time. (Thanks, Llewellen. Keep 'em coming.)
I know you'll never see this; but it is important, somehow, for me to acknowledge the chunk of my past -- our past -- you resurrected. It's the only currency that matters right now. Thanks for bringing those kids back to life. I really needed not to lose those memories. There were exactly eight kids on the street back then... you, me, Richard, Robert, Lenny, Meagen, Ricky and Donny. And I can see all of our houses and the train tracks at the bottom of the street. The school was only a block away, hemmed in by factories and foundries. Nobody had cancer or Alzheimer's -- with the exception, I suppose, of Mrs. Avison who could never remember our names.
I still have a picture, somewhere, of you in the back yard. What's with all the mud?
How about Hurricane Hazel, eh? Our roof was nearly torn off and the centre of town was flooded.
There is a story in all this. Maybe even a novel, who knows?
Your letter was more important to me than you will ever know. And I can't express my gratitude properly.
So I'll just say thanks. To the woman who was the little girl who was my friend.
I'm a lucky guy.
6 months ago