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The swing

Jack,

I had a great dream last night. It was all about Mary Welsch(sp?). I didn’t actually get to get too close to her in the biblical sense, which was too bad, but we did have a great conversation. I can’t tell you what that conversation was about. For all I know, it was probably all just blablablah. It was a dream, after all. But, man, she was beautiful as ever.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I haven’t seen Mary in something like 26 or 27 years. But I imagine she’s probably more beautiful now. (I’ve always gone for older, if not old ladies. When I have to go to a retirement or nursing home, it will be like being banished to the Promised Land.)

So, after talking to Mary for such a long time, my first thought on waking was you. Don’t ask me how Mary Welsch, the elderly, and Jack Simpson all meet. All I know is that they did.

I wanted to say “hey” and see if I couldn’t coax a word or two from you. From your last E-mails, I can see you write a hell of a lot better than you used to. And you have something I don’t—the gift of brevity.

And, about your query below: Yes, moose can be very recalcitrant, as in, “This moose is recalcitrant both responding to my pleas to move its ass and my need for it to get the hell out of my way. (These muthafuckas is scary.) — JFS Simpson”

Another thought this morning and having to do with you and some other fine people, not all of whom have one eye:

The pain of distance and time between the people I admire, am fond of, or once called friends is something I don’t think I’ll ever get used to. Most people I know understand these separations as life and part of what happens in maturity. Something to accept. It’s something I don’t do well.

It’s an odd, confused feeling for me to have. I don’t really believe that the old days, even ours, were all that awful or great. They were fun and sad and joyful and embarrassing, just like any time in our lives. We have good memories and bad ones, and we tend toward the good ones when we sit back and think about those times. It hurts me to meet my high school mates, of whom I haven’t heard a thing in thirty years, and see them regretting the day they walked away from graduation. I think you’ve seen the kind of emotions I’m speaking of. High school or college turned out to be the acme of their lives. Everything else after has been denouement or anti-climax.

I have always been one to be done with what I get done with. High school was over, and I left and never looked back. College faded in and out, and I was never really done with that. But my college experience has been so fractured that each time was and is different with new people—except for Professor Williams. Each time, when completed with a stint at school, I didn’t look back. The same with jobs, interests, hobbies. Done isn’t for me all the way done. It’s just that there are new and exciting things to find out about, to do, and to master or to fail before moving on again.

Despite or because of all of that, I often think of you, hope you are well, etc. Maybe I’m thinking of Mary more than I realize. (Actually, before last night the last time I thought of Mary was about the last time you and I E-mailed. Not that she—or my memory of her—isn’t something to think about. After having a dream like the one I had last night, I wish I’d think of her more.)

Now, I say this at my peril—what about taking some time in the fall for a get together? I think it would be fun. I have no other reunions—not high school, boy scouts—and don’t want any. But it might be fund to take a weekend vacation somewhere I’ve never been and in a way I haven’t before.

Write or call soon.

Patrick

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