A Final Note To Someone

Dear ________,

I know we have not seen each other in over 20 years. That last time, we hadn’t really thought it was goodbye forever, it just sort of turned out that way. Ultimately we didn’t want exactly the same things and drifted apart.

Such is the way of the world. We aren’t the only ones that has happened to. And we won’t be the last.

I recall the only email exchange since. I was shocked after years of silence to see a message from your sister. She worriedly wrote me in mid-September 2001, asking about our old NYC friends. She also mentioned you were now married and had asked her to write to me because you didn’t have email.

That seems so long ago, and it was. I vaguely remember writing back that everyone we knew in NYC was fine. I also told her I was recently married to a lovely woman and lived in England.

Your sister never replied. I guess that information must have been enough. It was the last time I heard from either of you.

Remember this? I’d had the double prints made of this photo and others? All these years later, do you still have them somewhere?:

New York's Twin Towers. [Photo by me, 1991.]
New York’s Twin Towers. [Photo by me, 1991.]

We won’t see each other ever again. I don’t even want to. It was another lifetime for both of us.

Yet a tiny part of me still misses you now and then and probably always will. That feeling makes me uncomfortable. I suspect, though, it is really only about me longing for some idealized life of more than two decades’ ago, when we were all young and the future seemed nothing but unlimited possibilities.

I also remember you having admonished me more than once about how there always has to be reality in what we do. But that reality has been particularly lousy for me lately. Worst of all, we lost both Mom and my uncle within two weeks of each other in October.

Can you believe it? You liked them a lot. You knew he especially *really* liked you, “the Frenchwoman,” and you loved that. And, yes, Mom did like you, too.

I have no idea where you are now, or what has become of you. No matter what, I hope you are healthy and happy. I hate even the thought you might not be.

What we are is always a result of all of our accumulated experiences to date. I know now in 2016 only with the benefit of hindsight that I owe you so much more than I realized. If it hadn’t been for knowing you at that moment in my life way back then, I never would have flown away.


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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.

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