I was running today, and I listened to that song that recalls you to me.   You probably find the song trite, and who’s to say that you ever really liked it; I might have made that up; you know me well enough to know that’s a possibility, that sometimes reality is overrated, that sometimes I’m prone to rearranging it to suit my needs. It was warm out, 75 degrees.

I was wondering if I should not have worn the long-sleeved shirt because of the weather, but I saw an old man on the path ahead with a cardigan and a fedora, and I thought, To each his own.

The song played. “Purify my mind.”  I thought how we who were raised Catholic, we are still always asking forgiveness, aren’t we? I’m asking forgiveness and sometimes I don’t even know why.

The man stood by a metallic folding chair. When I crossed his way he motioned for me to stop and told me he had good news to share with me, and showed me a religious pamphlet titled, “Steps to Peace with God,” by Billy Graham.  I decided to be polite and take the paper. He told me to share it with family and friends.

I turned the pamphlet over to read the back, and after an elaborately designed bullet point were the words:

“Admit your need—that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness.”

It was truly weird.

And I know what I’m sorry about. I wonder if you get angry when I write these things about us, and I use your name without even asking if it’s okay.  And I wonder if you get mad when I write about him.  I’m sorry about that.  It’s just that recently I was thinking about years ago, and one thing I realized was that he is a person who allowed me to be myself.  I think he understood me.  At that time when we were inseparable I could be made fun of for being a good kid, for being a smart kid, for being a drama kid, whatever.  But none of that mattered, because I had this friend. So I ask forgiveness, because part of me will always love him for what he was.

The other thing I needed to tell you. The chorus is singing a song based on a Tennyson poem, and this line struck me: “Ring out the false, ring in the true.” When we met, I felt like a very closed person, that expressing feeling was somehow a dishonorable thing. And while you seemed to say you had the same notion, in practice you jumped in and told me what you thought, who you were. I think every conversation you and I have ever had has moved me closer to ringing in the true. That is the gift you have given me.

I called you and we talked about none of these things. Talking about the feelings, you know, can still be difficult.

Also, I forgot to tell you that Erica is training her dog to think that the word for squirrel is “zombie,” just because it would be funny to see the dog perk up when we say it.

Never doubt I lerve,


No comments: