the thing you have to know is that i don't remember much. it's like whole pieces of my history have somehow gone missing. slowly, i'm trying to lure them back but, for the most part, they are not there.
but i remember this conversation from october 2011.
i was in new york. i'd handed in the levy that morning and just given the horrible awful talk on social media where i said 'things like that' twelve times. i had just left a fancy dinner where other people picked up the bill.
walking back to the west village in the rain, i felt like- on an incredibly small scale- i had arrived. (i was staying in a room the size of a ship's steerage cabin and sharing a unisex bathroom, so my arrival was miniature at best.)
i called him. he answered. and we talked.
i think this was the first time we talked since he'd told me he was ill. i remember none of the details of the conversation beyond the fact that i said multiple times that i was walking down fifth avenue in the rain and that he had just gotten an ipad and he recommended a pile of books he'd gotten from a borders close-out sale that i neither read nor remember.
what i remember very distinctly from this conversation is the sense of freedom i felt whilst having it. the wildness of being in new york and walking in the rain. the feeling that the world i was trying to pry open was finally starting to give.
what i know now, what i did not know then, what makes that sensation of freedom more vivid, is that he had less than a year to live.