Albert Camus
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Post Title: Quote

Post Date: August 25, 2012

I read a review of The Boxer and the Goal Keeper, an upcoming book on the friendship between Sartre and Camus. Apparently they were both “smitten” by the same young actress. Each had an affair of sorts with her. I came across a quote about love that I thought apropos for a poet. And I am sure a lot of people feel this way. Not this poet. I love my wife dearly and she is the purpose and pleasure of my life. I just wanted to share this.

“...But perhaps Camus had their close encounter in mind when he wrote: ‘It is necessary to fall in love — the better to provide an alibi for all the despair we are going to feel anyway.’”

Post Title: A Long Time Coming

Post Date: March 31, 2013

I haven’t been feeling like myself in the last month. Something has been missing. Now I know what is missing. The fact is that for the rest of my life I will never be able to speak with my old friend, Bob.

But in the past month I had not cried for my loss. The news came from out of town and I was removed from the situation. And so it never really sank in. But it all hit me the other night. I was cleaning out my old travel briefcase; the one I use for itineraries, maps, and brochures. I used to treat it as my travel journal. I would jot down notes and collect things from my various trips. Last night I was preparing for a trip: getting itineraries, contact information, maps, and addresses to take. 

As I was cleaning out the detritus of older trips, souvenirs and just general keepsakes, I came across one piece of paper that reminded me of Bob. It was an old comic-strip clipping from March of 1996: Crankshaft by Batiuk and Ayers. One of Crankshaft’s friends, Mr. Meckler, was talking to someone about how he never made it big as a musician. Mr. Meckler told the youngster, “But success isn’t what gives life its meaning... The zest is in the rattle of the dice in the cup.”  

At that point I just started sobbing. My wife sat there wondering what the problem was. It broke my heart. I remembered Bob’s joie de vivre and how important it was.

Bob taught me a dice game in 1980. I don’t remember the exact date because, the truth is, we were probably drunk. The game is called Farkle. Some people compare it to Bunco, but it is played with six dice and the player can keep going or stop, depending on their “gutsiness.” One of the phrases we used to say was, “No guts, no glory.” This was repeated over and over during our games.

At any rate, I had a good cry last Thursday evening. But I had an overwhelming feeling that Bob was with me at that moment. I truly did. I am no longer worried about Bob. I think he is all right. I regret the loss of my old friend. But he was an amazing person. He had a great sense of humor and a great laugh. I will never forget that.

Post Title: Friendship

Post Date: August 10, 2014

My friend, Bob, died a year and a half ago, February 26, 2013. I miss him. I found a note on my desk tonight, something I wrote on the anniversary of his death. I want to capture it here and get that scrap of paper off my desk. I am trying to clean things up. It is not working. Oh well, baby steps. Here it is:

It has been a year now. As if each 365-day block creates a milestone of loneliness. As if the man-made entity serves as some sort of remembrance. But the truth is, each little day, each little moment, minute, hour, I have missed you. You were my friend. I enjoyed every conversation, every thought, every plan, every joke. You were my friend. I had known you for 34 years. Outside of family, you were the longest relationship of my life. I am glad we stayed in touch. I wish we could have talked more. Thank you for being a friend. May you rest in peace.

Title: Pondering Dave | Address: ponderingdave.blogspot.com

Author: Dave Normand | From: El Cajon | Blogging since: September 1997

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