- I reminded you of Whitman, told you to read him BEFORE the morning news avalanche of expected accounts of horrific rapacities and Bush Administration deceptions and delusions, because we are larger, better than I thought; I did not know we held so much goodness.
- I gave you Ginsberg’s Deliberate Prose, told you to explore his goofy genius, he wrote one line just for you (and me): “Candor ends paranoia.”
- I gave you The Color of Summer, funny & heartbreaking novel by Cuban dissident and creative pain in the ass to Castro Reinaldo Arenas, but I don’t think you ever read it, since you never referred to it, what a shame, since you missed out on such lines that I’m game to mimic as: “Of course I saw him… Am I blind? But he’s not my type.” … “This is me you’re talkin’ to, my dear,” La Reine replied. “You’re drooling so hard you can’t even talk. I can hear that little heart of yours go pitty-pat from all the way over here. In fact, I think you’re about to have a seizure.”
- I told you at least every two weeks—for years!!—that you are writer, embrace your karma, dharma, vocation, destiny, genius, whatever.
- I made you laugh more than anyone else, except Steve Martin or that other comedian giving his roast of Steve Martin.
- I cracked mildly risqué jokes with you about Miguel and Minh, and even-now-unavailable-and-long-gone-Geoff-from-Cafe-Hugo.
- I listened to your 105 rants about Rummy and Cheney and Georgie.
- I tried phoning you and emailing you in mid-to-late November when I was on the road, as I wanted to tell you of my reawakened, ardent, and aching desire to write (like Walt, like Allen, like Reinaldo)!!! But where were you? And what was with all those distant, detached, and dull monosyllabic responses when I called you right before the beginning of the SOA’s solemn funeral procession on Sunday?
- I was Robin to your Batman at Loyola University for the workshop on torture, and even those septuagenarian nuns came up to us afterwards, Rita and Cynthia, and said, with beautiful freedom, “We’ll go with you to Cuba.”
- I supported you when you were in campus days of rage and woe, even when you quit the first time and I happened to run into you on Broadway, such a sunny day, remember?
- I’d talk walks with you in the park and exclaim how I wish I had my tape recorder to capture your Gene Sharp-esque savvy for the benefit of a wussy peace [sic] movement.
- I inspired you (was it really me?) to write the best review –ever!—of Stature and Terror (and one of two in existence), and give the longest author introduction—ever!—at a book reading in the Western Hemisphere.
- I hugged you in the alley as you blurted out Alejandro Martinez had just committed suicide.
- I even encouraged you to indulge in some perhaps not justifiable Lou Reed-esque Walking on the Wild Side, just to blow off some steam.
- I was told by you, in so many words, on various occasions, always via email, such things as “You’ve saved me” or “You made all the difference” or “If it wasn’t for you, I’d…”
–from novel-in-progress, Our Heroic and Ceaseless 24/7 Struggle against Tsuris