This might be a little bit self indulgent. If that’s the case, so be it.

The words to this hauntingly beautiful song were written by Robbie Robertson about one his band mates (Richard Manuel) from the The Band who, after battling some personal demons, hanged himself in a hotel room back in 1986.

Given some recent events in my personal life, I’ve tried to look at them in a different sort of context. It’s funny how words can do that.

For borgette on the occasion of her 20th trip around the sun.

Are you out there?
Can you hear me?
Can you see me in the dark?

So, how long has it been since we last spoke? Or texted? Or e-mailed? I’m guessing it’s going on three months and some change and after each passing day the silence only grows louder. Shit, I don’t even remember what started the whole thing but I do know there’s an emptiness that was never there before.

I don't believe it's all for nothing
It's not just written in the sand
Sometimes I thought you felt too much
And crossed into the shadow land

I hope those words pertain to the both of us. I hope your sophomore year is going well both academically and socially and that college is everything you expected it to be and then some. I’d love to hear your take on things and what’s going on in your life but since I’m too damned stubborn I guess it’s my loss, at least for now.

And the river was overflowing
And the sky was fiery red
You gotta play the hand that's dealt ya
That's what the old man always said

So, for the time being, I guess I have to settle for memories that are becoming increasingly distant and pictures stuck between the pages of a dusty photo album. It’s small consolation.

Fallen Angel
Cast a shadow up against the sun
If my eyes could see
The spirit of the chosen one

I don’t know how many times over the last few months that I’ve picked up my phone and was “this” close to either giving you a call or shooting you a text but I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it. (I wonder if there’s a word for that somewhere in the English language, if there isn’t, there should be.) Maybe I’m afraid of what I might say or worse yet, what you will.

In my dream the pipes were playing
In my dream I lost a friend
Come down Gabriel and blow your horn
'Cause some day we will meet again

I’ve asked some friends what to do about our current dilemma and most the time I get the advice that life is too fuckin’ short, pick up the damn phone. I wonder if you told any of your friends about what is going on between us and if you’ve heard the same thing.

Fallen Angel
Cast a shadow up against the sun
If my eyes could see
The spirit of the chosen one

I feel guilty when people from our neighbors on down ask me how you’re doing and all I can do is either lie or shrug my shoulders and say “I don’t know.” I’m certainly not ready to toss twenty years down the drain in a fit of stupid, misguided pride.

All the tears
All the rage
All the blues in the night
If my eyes could see
You kneeling in the silver light

So yeah, sometimes I shed my tears and shake my rattle at the sky. I put on my music and a false sense of bravado and try not to let anybody know that the distance that’s come between us seems to be growing farther and farther and I feel helpless in trying to narrow the gap. I guess, if you decide to read this, it’s my feeble effort to do so and get the ball rolling in the right direction.

If you're out there can you touch me?
Can you see me, I don't know
If you're out there can you reach me?
Lay a flower in the snow

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I’m tired of being a stubborn asshole. I think someone much smarter than me once said “Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

I’m ready, I hope you are too.

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