I met Peter in college. He was a senior while I was a freshman. Peter was a small guy with East Indian coloring (and heritage). Peter had bright brown eyes and a 24 / 7 thousand-watt grin. He was just always happy to see everyone, and everyone remembers his smile.

Peter was studying Hinduism, which I often talked to him about. He would sing the lessons in Sanskrit for me, and I would just sit and listen. It was fucking beautiful. He promised to teach me one someday, though I doubt I would have been any good at it. He used to tell me about his master in India, where he visited for training and study every summer, and how his master's son was coming next year to visit the school with Peter. I remember, I was so amazed when Peter graciously asked me if I would be willing to meet his master's son, because he wanted the guy to know "the best side of American women". That was the sort of thing Peter said.

But Peter wasn't the conformist type, I can tell you that. When I got to the school, there were still pictures and articles circulating about Peter's latest protest. He'd posed naked on the quad for a full day, on a pedastal no less, to express his opinion that the school should allow a nude art exhibit to show in our Great Hall. He won, too.

The last time I saw Peter was when he asked me to meet his master's son. That was about two days before the end of my freshman year, and Peter was all excited. Not only was he graduating (he was coming back for postgraduate work), but he was on his way to India to be present at the wedding of his master's son. I guess the wedding of the son of a Hindu Master is a big deal and Peter was ecstatic to have been invited. I did give him a hug, and even a kiss on the cheek even though I didn't know him that well. It was impossible not to love Peter. EVERYBODY loved Peter, and Peter seemed to have no problem loving everybody back. In fact, he told me he loved me before he left, and I had only known him a few months. He was like that.

Of course, I didn't find out until the beginning of the next year of school, when Peter was markedly absent, what had happened. We all found out over the course of a week or so that Peter had died in India. He was purifying himself in preparation for his master's son's wedding by bathing in the sacred Ganges River when he was swept away by an unseen current in full view of over 200 people. No-one had been able to reach him, and his body was never recovered.

For being only in his 20's, Peter left behind a shitload of people crying. I remember, the whole school was insane with grief for like, a month. I didn't cry too much, because I knew damn well that he didn't want me to. I wrote him a short epithet, though, and it went like this:

"Peter's in heaven, laughing like hell."

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