Bernie Lischer was someone I could look up to. He was about six foot four inches tall, and he could draw. I couldn't draw, but he could. There's something else about him too. He was as independent as independent was. There is a kind of tragic relationship that happens when two such people come together. Please give me a minute to explain. In this case, the two protagonists may even have had quite a bit in common, enjoyed each other's company. They may even have been said to be good friends, not that anyone ever said it. They may have embarked on the occasional adventure, like finding something new or alive or even open late in never-was or perhaps-it-was-but it sure isn't now rural America. They may have tried to stir up different humor in the land of acapella, official comedy troups (the kind that do improv of improv), and the well-known campus humor publication that may have been humorous once, at least according to your uncle, who also enjoyed other hilarious traditions—the formation of a giant pile of dirty underwear in the Freshman quad? But they (our two beloved protagonists) may have pulled some rugs out from underneath some powers that be, or at least tugged a little—when no one was looking—okay, well they did make some plans, which definitely would have worked. It might have all been very Mark Twain.
But here's the, like, tragic part. When the bell rings, and the class is over, each will go his separate way. He went his way. I chose the other one. The friendship never undone—not really. No breakup—never a break up. But then later, one wonders why it ended—if it ended. What nook or cranny of this country did he decide on? Or did decide on him? Did he tell me, and I just forgot? Do I listen? I should have. College listservers you say? Alumnae emails—help keep us together—keep the money flowing. Down the chimney, Santa Claus with forty pounds in Cisco stock. Reunions? He wouldn't be there, if you hadn't guessed. And neither would I. Soundtrack to this page? I don't even know what he liked. I should have paid more attention. If there is another Bernie, I will try to listen harder, especially at the end, when it really counts—or is that when it really counts? I wish I had at least written something down, on paper.
Status: FOUND! FOUND! FOUND!
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