It’s late at night here, dear boy. It’s possible that we’ve already passed midnight, and worked our way into its officially being Saturday. I don’t know because I’m not near a clock. The one on my computer has mysteriously stopped working. Nowadays, when things like this break, we let them stay broken.
Where you are, it’s definitely well into Saturday, and you’re sitting on a terrace meditating in afternoon sun. Or you’re inside, approving the purchase of new maroon robes for the other monks. Or you’re…I don’t know, I just do not know. My imagination falters whenever I play the game of guessing what you’re doing.
As I write you these missives, I worry that a) you’ll never see them; b) that you’re dead, and I don’t know it; c) that they’ve put you in prison somewhere and have stuffed a Party puppet in your place; or d) that you read my every word yet find them profoundly disappointing. Perhaps you aren’t on my side. Perhaps you don’t endorse my undoing of Beefcake, my cheating at cards, my sleeping with men. Possibly, you detect malice in my motives rather than seeing what I’m doing as a justified attempt to set things square.
In my better moments, I imagine you as affectionate as you used to be, and that you don’t care what I do because you love me.
Isn’t that pretty much what we all want? For there to be no A, B, C, or D options? I couldn’t vouch for the Buddha, but isn’t that what Christ said we should offer one another: a love that transcends circumstance?
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.