I just got an email from a good friend who is in Afghanistan. sigh.

He played in my rpg for about 6 months before deploying back in June (he's Canadian). He and i talked EVERY night on icq and were very good friends. I have been writing him ever since June when he first left and only heard back from him once. It's been difficult to continue writing to him not knowing if he's okay... if he'd been getting my letters or not (since i hadn't heard back from him), etc. I'd been plugging along anyways, hoping that since everything was being routed through his parents' address that at least SOMEone would get in touch with me if something terribly bad happened.

Here's what he wrote to me today .... :(

Words cannot express how sorry I am I have not kept in touch with you. We're still here for awhile, things are not going well. I seem to have no time, and a list of excuses as long as my arm why I couldn't send you mail back.

I have read everything you have sent me, and each successive letter my guilt grows and grows, because I have not written you back. As you may or may not know, two of my good friends were killed by a landmine a short time ago. Things are very real here, I can't really explain it any better than that. I miss home, and idle cares like your RPG quite a bit.

I have no time, as usual. computer use is very restricted. Again, I apologize. I'm so sorry I haven't sent you letter back. I feel so guilty, I found it hard to sleep last night, to be honest. That's why I had to send you this e-mail. I hope I can get something off soon. Maybe Saturday when we come in agian.

I hope I get home. We're scheduled to deploy back soon.

Talk to you later,



And here was my somewhat cathartic reply... though I still feel utterly lousy and sad regardless.:

I just wrote you a very long letter yesterday... hadn't posted it yet and it's long overdue... then got this note from you.

As fucked up as it seems, hearing your 'news' and the awfully somber tone of your note, at least I know you're there. You don't owe me anything, be it letters in return or apologies for having much more important and pressing matters at hand. I could never begin to understand what it is like for you there and I wouldn't dare belittle it by make a feeble attempt at assuming I could ever come close.

I miss you Paul. I miss you very, very much. It's been weird here... knowing things have to be so fucked up over there for you and trying to figure what the hell to write to you that doesn't sound absolutely stupid and trivial. I've wanted to keep writing to you, but my life is just the every day bullshit, you know? In the past month I've started several letters to you and threw them away because I felt dumb just prattling on about things going on in my life that are SO far removed from what is going on in yours. I didn't want to make you feel like what you are doing is unimportant or yesterday's news... or that I could truly think that you would find my tales of everyday life anything even remotely important. In the overall scope of things... I am (as we all are) just microscopic cogs in the catastrophic wheel that is... whatever the fuck it is we're doing in the world, as a whole, with ourselves, with each other, with the earth that we share.

Anyways... I'm zoning out and I don't want to do that... Sorry.

I did pound out a letter to you yesterday... just tales of everyday this and that. I can only hope that maybe it does you good to read about mundane triviality on occasion. A little escapism, if you will. I will post it tomorrow.

Much love and a million tiny kisses blown your way... shall you catch them and hold them close to you, stow them away in your pockets and satchels; hide them inside your kerchiefs and tuck them inside your boots so that when you most need one, you can easily retrieve it and hold it close to your heart before touching it softly to your lips and letting it loose again, feather-light and free to float away, to soar across the sand and sea retracing its original trajectory until it finds its way home to me.

I'll catch it when it gets here.

Miss you SO much. I truly do.


If anyone out there would like to write a note or contribute something (or ideas for somethings) I could mail to him while he's sticking it out over there, please forward to me and I will get it to him. I'm sure he'd appreciate as many ways as possible to think about something ELSE from time to time....

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