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A Letter Left Too Late To A Former Neighbor, Recently Departed

Zan and J,

What a delight to hear from you. I regret not being able to gab face to face (or face to beard, as the case may be} but it is the electronic age and email is better than nothing.

As you might have suspected the landlord wasted no time in renting your apt. Saw somene moving in, but have no notion who they are or what they do but I do know that I wish you were still resident there rather than he, she, they or it as the case may be.

You mentioned that you might be working with bees. Has this become a reality? Whatever, I hope you are happy in your new environment and hope to hear from you whenever you have the time and inclination to write

I feel a bit sad when I see that the blueberries and other farm goodies have taken leave for another year, but hopeful that neighbors who have recently taken up new residence might return with the coming of Spring. In any event I would like to know how you are and what you are doing so please let me hear from you if only to tell me the current length of the beard.


C. Byron


* * *

Dear Mr. Byron, 

I apologize for the long delay in my response! I'd like to use the excuse that the house has been a handful, but really time is just passing too quickly and I sometimes forget that there are letters in need of replies. Inclination I have plenty of, but it comes with a heavier dose of procrastination. Which isn't good for anyone. 

You'll be happy to hear that the beard is doing fine. He shampoos it and conditions it regularly to keep it nice, though I think it's reached its maximum length. Still, I think you'd be impressed! It's so big he shouldn't be in need of any bees to provide extra beard, but the bee plan is going forward. He's been reading up on beekeeping, and he and my dad plan on getting some hives together in time for spring. Who knows, we might even be enjoying some of our own honey by summer? We'll have to send you a jar to have with your morning toast.

Something in the universe made me think of you the other day. I hope you're doing alright, and that your back and heart aren't giving you too much trouble. I know how much you enjoy your walks; I hope the New York winter hasn't kept you from getting out too much.

I look forward to the return of the blueberries too, and hope that the farmers markets in Ohio can provide, though it won't be the same not seeing you there and enjoying a leisurely stroll back to the building with you. As for us, we'll be back to visit before the blueberries, maybe even before spring! We'll knock on your door, though I know you don't answer if you're not expecting anyone. Maybe you can expect us? It would be wonderful to see you again.

With many thoughts of you from far away, 

Z & J

PS We're going to take your advice and watch the Peter Sellers film Being There soon. I know it was a favorite of yours, and I'm really looking forward to finally seeing it. Some things you just shouldn't put off any longer...

(I don't know what the internet connection is like in the afterlife, but I really hope this reaches him. Somehow. Rest In Peace, Mr. Byron. May your walks through the park never give you any more pain, and may your good neighbors up there in heaven/out there in space stop and talk with you about the state of the world for as long as you want.)

© Zan McQuade. All rights reserved.

Reader Comments (3)

It's a sad and beautiful world.

February 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermrs. kennedy

Being There is a sad and beautiful movie. Watch it. I love you.

February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexis

Oh god, this is making me WEEP. He didn't get your letter! I can't take it! It's too sad!

(He still got it. Somehow.)

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNothing But Bonfires

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