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Missing my friend

Dear Mark,

You’ve been gone a little over six years now. I still miss you.

I think about you constantly. Usually in the context of “I wonder what Mark would have to say about this.” (Lordy, I’d give my left arm to be able to hear you rant about Trump just once…. though I’m mostly glad you didn’t live to see this.) I still want your opinion on so many things. I miss the font of esoteric knowledge you possessed, how your passion for the strange ignited similar interests in me. I think I miss that the most. Finding new, weird things to research, bestowed by you.

I’ve started writing poetry and I want you to read it. You would encourage me and find the kindest ways to tell me when I’m full of shit. (Or you’d just tell me I’m full of shit in a way that would make me laugh.) I always liked your poetry but I’m not sure I appreciated it as much as I could have. Not having you here to guide me through this new part of my writing life is probably punishment for that. Karma is, as you would have no doubt put it, an “infectious deathwhore.”

I bought your book. The one they published posthumously. I see you in every crafted line. Your love of language. The symbiotic relationship you had with the past and with legacy and heritage and yearning for simplicity unmarred by hatred and injustice. Reading it is not the same as having a conversation with you–man, nothing can ever replace that–but it’s good to know your voice is still within reach.

I still do the things so many of us do when a loved one dies. I worry I didn’t make sure you knew how much you meant to me. I regret that we didn’t talk more as we moved further and further from each other and the advent of email and cell phones should have made us closer. I think about the things we’ll never get to do. (I always wanted to take you to New York to see shows.) These things pull me down from time to time but I’m okay with that. If that’s the price to keep you swirling in my heart, I’ll pay it again and again.

The thing I share most often about you–and I do my best to keep you alive in this way–is how you were the first person who ever wanted to be my friend. That was, and is, so important to me. I probably never thanked you for that. But thank you.

Mark, you were always a more religious person than me. I do not believe in heaven or hell but I still hope our paths cross again. The heartless cynic in me wants to think there’s a way back. If “souls” are energy and energy can’t be destroyed, well… If there’s something else, I really hope you’re there. Let’s do this again.

All my love,


Published in: on July 27, 2019 at 12:53 pm  Comments Off on Missing my friend  

The Bet VIII (I think)

Has it been eight years? More? Certainly not less. It feels like forever.

Short version: I lost a bet and had to write a short story with the title “The Improbable Cat of Neverwhen” (a title supplied to me by the evilly wonderful Kimberly Pauley ). Limberly won this year’s bet, making her exempt from writing a story. Fellow better Catherine Ryan Hyde was also forced to write a short story (hers was titled “A Cathedral of Bees”) and you can find it here. Our third loser, Gail Doggett, will be posting her story shortly.

Here’s my story: “The Improbably Cat of Neverwhen.”

I’m sure the Bet will be back next year albeit with a slightly different origin. For years, we’ve been betting on the Kentucky Derby. In recent months, though, our core Betters have been rethinking this in light of information about how cruel the world of horse racing can be towards horses. So we’ll be finding something else to bet on next year. What exactly? Well, we’re looking for ideas…

Published in: on July 2, 2019 at 9:40 am  Comments Off on The Bet VIII (I think)