Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Didja ever send an e-mail to a dead guy?

OK. This entry just about shows you where I am spiritually, not to mention on the friendship level: I just sent an e-mail to a guy whom I am almost certain is dead.

I mean! Can't I do something silly once in a while? Can't I grasp at vapour, send arrows into the void? For this guy, maybe.

It was one of those wildly unlikely friendships that sprang up overnight, and it was during one of the most trying, even overwhelming times in my whole life. We would meet at Starbuck's, and very soon his sardonic humour (often blacker than black) would make me laugh myself teary-eyed.

(Excuse me - have to go grab a cup of Red Rose tea. This post has nothing to do with anything.)

Anyway, this guy, he kind of had everything wrong with him. His health, I mean. He carried it around with him, and I worried. But he didn't talk about it much. Preferred to make gruesome cracks about the joys of depression and the futility of visiting psychiatrists, who would say things like, "You look fine to me", when you were obviously at death's door.

Hey, my friend, at some point a few years ago, your e-mail didn't work any more, and I had your phone number but was afraid to ask your wife, "Is Raymond still alive?" I still have a book of his, it's in my front room cupboard right now waiting, for what I can't say. Friendships like this blow in with force, then melt in the fog of inevitability. Don't they? This guy knew Sylvia Plath (not personally!), and when I handed him my version of the poem Daddy (called Daddy II), he winced, and guffawed, and groaned in all the right places. He "got" it.

To be loved is lovely, but relatively commonplace. But to have someone "get" you - I mean really "get you" - how often does that happen in a lifetime?

So what's the deal here? Is he dead? Is he? I just tried about seven potential addresses and e-mailed him to ask if he was alive or not, and am waiting for it to bounce back at me, as everything seems to bounce back these days.

Where does everything go? Where are the people? I look around me, and my life seems as white and bleached as a pure untouched sheet of paper.