Peter. It struck me today that I haven't talked to you in 8 years, since you and your family moved back to Manchester. I feel like a bad friend, because you are probably the only one I haven't kept in touch with out of all of the friends that I've been separated from.
I have your phone number lying around somewhere, I think, but I've always hesitated to call, for some reason I don't know. I guess I don't know what I'd say. What would or could I say? It's been so long that too many events have passed by to properly catch up, I guess. Where would I start? Would I tell you that Steve is doing his PhD now, that Brigid is still in St. John's - but, see, that's where it gets complicated, because Brigid isn't *still* in St. John's, she's actually *back* in St. John's, but she's been back for long enough for me to consider it as though she's still there. She was actually in Thailand for a while back in 1997 or so, and then went out west to British Columbia - but like I'm saying, that's why it's so complicated. There's so much to unpack, and everything unfolds and spirals out of control until I realize there's no way to hold all the loose ends at once and make it a story that could cover over and smooth out the awkwardness of hearing a long-lost voice come to you out of nowhere.
Pasts can't collide and not make a mess. It just doesn't happen like that, I'm sure it'd be weird.
We often talk about you, about babysitting your sister while Herb snuck in through the back window with a bottle of Johnnie Walker. Brigid and I especially talk about getting in touch with you, but we never do. We just talk about it, and then think about it for a while, as the pages of my books turn yellow and the words get rubbed out.
I live in a different city now, I have for the last five years. Friends have died; friends have taken on much different shapes than the ones you'd recall or recognize. I want to tell you these things. I think that secretly, I write this in the hopes that you'll read it, or someone that you know will read it, as if chance is the only acceptable way in which to meet again, as if an effort would be forced and unreal. I'd like to someday see your house on Lomond Road, and raise a glass with you again.
Remembering is an act of consent.