Hello, it’s me again. Not much, how about you? What more is there to say really — I figure it will take a while before we can regain that easy easy intimacy that we once had, right? And maybe we’ll never have it again. You look good though, as you always have. The summer light flatters your attributes, though I’ve always found you uniquely beautiful no matter the season.

I’ve been too busy to unpack all the memories that I’ve stored in old shoe boxes with tapered candles, and clear plastic bags with my summer sweaters. Slowly, though, they emerge, rather hastily accessed between responsibilities. Recent ones mix with ancient, like a cologne of bayberry, mothballs and Stop and Shop coffee.

I’m staying with old friends of yours — Maddie Lecoq and her mom, Patti Thurston, in their house on the hill that overlooks the Big Camp like a sailor in a crow’s nest. Patti knows you perhaps better than any living soul, and her affection is palpable. She has her pug, Otis, as her most constant companion and is quite okay with him and you and her place teetering on your bluff. I am blessed to share a small place here in a relic virtually untouched by the irritable tide of progress and change. Here I sit on the same sandy couch that I did almost half a century ago, conjuring up my olfactory memories buried deep in my synapses of strawberry incense, pot smoke and Breck shampoo. And the sublime touch of honey haired teenage girl gently (and absentmindedly) rubbing my eight-year-old my neck, singing a Joplin tune. Heaven was oh so close atop that hill all those years ago.

Here Patti shows me yards of beaded curtains made by her grandmother whilst whiling away the time in a wheelchair. The beads made of meticulously rolled triangles of colored newspaper have been shellacked and still faintly shine. These beads remind me of a letter that I recently discovered written by my great-grandfather to his dying Boston terrier. In a wheelchair too, Frank chose to spend his time much differently than one might in our technology addled age — he wrote letter upon letter to those he loved, sharing his gratitude and lessening his grief.

Perhaps we haven’t drifted apart as much as I may have imagined, you and I. I feel your embrace both strengthening and softening with each passing moment.

Peter is away this week but will be back next week. As always, with fondness — Brad.