Monday, June 21, 2010

Seymour Redux....And not seen through glass


My friend -- we'll call him Seymour-- was a mass of contradictions--and he had a really short fuse.

In the middle of a drinking bout, he's pipe up and say, "You know, Ivan you bring out in this feeling of inferiority/superiority in me. Sometimes you piss me off."

Well, I noticed that wine sometimes brings out the Jekyll and Hyde in you, certainly an old girlfriend, but never Seymour. At least, not till tonight.

I try to change the subject. Talk about writing. Where it leads to...And Seymour had for years been so supportive. For instance, he started, without my prodding, "The Black Icon Fan Club", after I published that zippy little book... Fans from Detroit to L.A.
Seymour, a computer whiz, had said, "You now have fans all over the world," for which I thanked him.

But something was going on with Seymour He was surely not himself. Something wrong with his family? A touch of petit-mal, borderline epilepsy? Seems that of late, anything "left"-- lefthanded-- that he had to do, was leading to pain and disorientation. Certainly when he turned left to look at me.

He seemed tired, irritated by the things I I was saying.
Drink in hand, Seymour goes to my work station. Boots up the computer.

Somehow, he finds my blog.

Flat out he declares, "Creative Writing... Nice. An ugly man has created a beautiful blog!"

I wonder what he meant by that.
I said I knew he wasn't feeling well and I was going to avoid an instictive response. Seymour and I had been friends from Mexico to Copenhagen, to L.A.

But he did not desist. "Look at you. Shot nerves. Trying, almost visually, to feel better. Rumpled suite and baggy Polack pants.
He smiles. "You're not from L.A."

"Well, Bukowski sort of was."

"But you're not Bukowski. Not even close.

"Your latest novel was about a guy who was nothing but a big raw nerve. Everything in life was pissing him off."

"Seymour,I could say something..."

"Say nothing. You've lost your wife-- who is a nice person-- your money and your sanity over some damfool 'artistic quest'. "
I gather friends around me who are of use to me. To me, you're a shadow of your former self. Almost a dead cat. Useless."

Oh Seymour, Oh Seymour. I fear you might be on your ninth life yourself. You seem to have a stroke coming on.
Otherwise, I'd kick your ass right now.
I emailed Detroit recently.
Poor Seymour did have a stroke, a big one. Anything left to him was nigh onto impossible.

I weep for a friend, a productive, intelligent, hardworking friend,family man,who, I think, has gone mad. Certainly very ill.

And we dead cats somehow clasper onto a tenth life.


Looks like Seymor and I aren't quite dead cats yet..
He emailed me yesterday to proudly write of his first son's recent wedding.

Seymour has been very ill, and I trust he is returning to health.
How appropriate. A note from Seymour. On Father's Day.
And I too, am a father.

Things in common in a forty-year friendship which I thought had died--worse if Seymour had died...We go back such a long way in Singlehood and fatherhood.
But he didn't die. And he said he was sorry that he had dropped to ball when it came to our friendship.

This sort of love doesn't seem to die.


JR's Thumbprints said...

Cheers to a rekindled friendship!
Raise high the roof beam ...
Or the Jim Beam ...
Start a fire ... look for some kindling ... don't let it end. said...


The persistence of friendship/kinship--and Seymour and I are hardly kin.
And yet the relationship persists. He loves mathematics...At least he used to be able to do mathematics. I love art.
...Maybe that's the attraction.

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