To a Friend

Dear ________,

I’m listening to a Bach minuet right now, getting ready to put on some Gillian Welch or Dick Gaughan as I drift off to sleep.  I’m very tired.  I spent all day doing everything I could to hold it together, and as I was riding home I realized that I had taken Cody for granted recently in our friendship and had only just begun to reverse that trend.  At least I had come around.

The news crew asked me something, and as I was speaking I was listening to myself talk and realized something only as I said it:  You only get one or two chances in a lifetime to meet somebody like that, so you take it when it comes.

Well, I want you to know that I don’t take you for granted.  I feel like I want to be better around a very small number of people, and you are one of them.  You are insightful and wonderful to listen to and I’m sure I would enjoy reading through your library.  I also, as you suggested, process emotions slowly and viscerally and I am working my way through this tragedy just about as well as a drunk blind man could make it through a house of mirrors, which is to say, surprisingly and fumblingly better than one might expect, due to absolutely random circumstances.

I don’t understand when people are smiling though.  Don’t they know he’s dead?  Don’t they care?  I don’t feel guilty for looking for laughter and any reason to smile.  We need to move on.  If a legacy he could have left behind is overwhelming optimism that leaks through the darkest days, we need to learn to smile.  How wonderful is it to be remembered with every smile?

I have learned a whole lot through travails; suffering is a capable professor.  It seems we’re never really done learning though.  I shouldn’t but indeed do need to be reminded to say things like this, but I love you and deeply value your friendship and company.

You wrote that if I wanted to talk you’d be happy to listen.  Does it make sense that I just want to listen to someone else talk about their hopes and dreams and plans and desires and past and future?

Dear ________, you’ve been a great friend to me.  It’s not the amount of time we spend together (which is admittedly minimal) but rather the quality.  I look forward to running into you and count myself lucky to be able to call you a friend.

Don’t you go anywhere,


This entry was published on November 12, 2012 at 23:42. It’s filed under Prose and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “To a Friend

  1. Witnessed. Love you, my friend.

  2. Wow, Eric, this is a great piece of writing. You have a gift to compel your reader.

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