The 23rd of October 1968 – Springfield, Illinois

(found on a desk by the lamp that had been turned off in a dark room where the lights had been all turned out in a house without wires in a town without electricity in a world that was in the process of dying-to-be-reborn)

Oh Dear Dana,

How heavy nothing feels. What a weight the night has, when the night has come. My shoulders droop when there is nothing for them to carry.

And carry is the prize, and carry is the way to live, carry weight and do, perform.

The stone has slipped, and I have fallen. The world has come loose. I can, for once, stand straight and tall, without having to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun, cover my ears from the boom of the announcer’s voice, announcing my name.

I was the hero from the sky. I was the marauder in the ring. I had the pressure on my spine, butterflies in my gut, fluttering.

I played it well – the part, the costume, the mask and painted face. I made a good show of it, had a good run at it.

The trophy escaped the grasp, always just beyond fingertips.

But what are trophies? What is the purpose of an ending, let alone a good one? We are here to live and breathe, of course, to die. We are here to accumulate, but to enjoy accumulation for no purpose. Nothing comes with us beyond, after. But you can pause and think and smile. And you will go insane.

Of course the loss is bitter, of course the weight of nothing presses down. But we cannot carry always everywhere.

Let the shoulders sag. It is time to rest.

All the Best,

Francis

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