Perfect Cleverness

I once worried, if I understood how to control my approach to Life, Life would lose its mystery. On the contrary, it has made Life that much more mysterious to me. In honor of Its magic, I continue to trust in what I call The Perfect Cleverness of the Universe.

Making plans to head to L.A., my childcare falls through so I begin filing through my Rolodex of Plan Bs. As I am calculating various numbers, I get this really strong urge to call a couple just as an aside. You know, a Hey, just checking in! The first call is happy news. One set of the kid's favorite aunts and uncles is moving back from more than a thousand miles away. The kids are thrilled to reunite with their awesome cousins and look forward to meeting the second to the latest addition in this paternal clan. Of course, there is a moment when I consider that upon returning from the West, we can reunite but that is before I dialed in a second call. An unanswered call of unhappy news.

First, I am compelled to say, my real awareness of life starts in the 4th grade. It is the time where my memories are more sequential or fluid. Before that, life is fragments. Visual moments. Sounds. I am all over the place in my thoughts. In the 4th grade, I begin to focus. I remember vividly looking around the classroom during our reading time and wondering what everyone else is thinking. I wonder why we think at all. It has always been one of my greatest desires to know. Such a Clever Universe. Anyway, I remember catching the eyes of my friend. I can tell he is wondering what I am wondering. We will laugh about it in the years that follow Mrs. Osbourne's class.

We were thinking the same things.

We call my friend The Bod because he does not really have one. Even in 4th grade it is evident that he will be a shrimp for life. But what he lacks in muscle mass he makes up for in wit and intelligence. He is my best friend. Maybe I should be speaking of him in past tense. He's still here. Only he's not here. I tried to call him and because that phone call did not go through I began thinking of him: Why didn't he answer. He always answers. Within the day, I receive an email from my girlfriend who is worried and wants me to join her in visiting him very soon. In her letter, she tells me his drinking has destroyed him. She is preparing me for the shock of him not knowing us. As I read, I am thinking that kind of lightening never strikes twice. There is a place in you that gets grounded.

He won't remember our last conversation. The one where I tried to discuss his drinking. The conversation that made me into everyone else who didn't understand him. The one that almost ended our friendship. He also won't remember the Charlie's Angels scripts we wrote together or playing bass in his old band. No, he won't remember me. But he might wonder who I am. He might wonder what I'm thinking. Maybe there will be a visual moment or a sound that gives him a clue. He was always so clever.

Dear Grandma,
So much love to you for preparing me
for the fragments of whom I'm about to meet.

I Love You,

P.S. Mom and Dad love you & everyone's fine.