I selfishly looked today for comments on my blog, knowing there would be none, and there you were. I was in a state of profound confusion, not believing you were writing me. I have looked for you many times. I really care about you and never felt you to be anything but an extremely valuable friend to me. I have claimed a number of times you saved my life. And it's basically the case that you helped to create the person I have become. By being such a great friend.
You were in intense pain when I met you. It is easy for an individual to forget that. You were. But you were massively smart, giving, and in some ways like many people I have known, a bit too good for this broken world.
I too (due I am guessing to the intensity of my own problems at the time) look back upon my treatment of you with less than pride. But I know I really cared about you. So many people over the years have asked, "How did you become friends with that guy?" Oh, really, the answer is simple: I simply invited myself to everything he owned and took away all possibility of any privacy in his life. Had you not seen me as somehow worthwhile, you surely would have viewed me as a demon.
I mention you constantly to people who never met you. Everyone else (people like David Boyer, and James from Cappacino's (he's still around, ogoling women. I've noticed as I've aged, I have joined him with gusto!) though I am sad to say I haven't seen John Pearson, Zsuzsa, or any number of lovely souls from way back in the day that you shared with me, and who found me so much more interesting because I was your friend.
Emily used to tell me (I haven't seen her in over a year. We haven't been together in seven years, but the fact remains that I was basically a boy until I met that woman. Before Emily/ After Emily. Funny how time slips away.) that she would see me with you, D, and hunger so very much to walk with us. We were walking around, a couple of broke down posturing intellectuals, and this pretty twenty-one year old was spying us like a couple of bathing virgins through the leaf fronds of this Tree City USA. I doubt we were aware of our status. Come to think of it, we were bewildered by our youth, unaware of the things you learn from age.
I don't want to go on here. I have no address (God, I can't believe I might actually talk to you soon. You are one of the best friends I have ever had, Dennis. One of the best.) I have no phone number. I need these things to fulfill one of my dreams: to talk to one such as you.
One last comment. Remember when we went to see a movie at the Ryder series called Dark City? Afterwards, in calm deliberate tones you explained to me your objection to the films spirit. Do you remember what it was?
Now, look... I have tried in various ways in my life to bring about the sort of revelation that Saul found on his Damascus Road (remember talking about my novel?) Once I thought I was struck by lighting, during a cross country meet, but in fact had only decided to throw myself upon the ground due to God's thunder sticks. My friends shrugged their shoulders. It wasn't the first time I had spouted jibberish. Nor the last.
Your objection to Dark City's animating spirit was that the premise of the movie presupposed that a God like control of the universe by a man was something to celebrate. You argued that such a scenario was somewhat opposed to the teachings of the Gospel and the Christian worldview in general. In fact, such fantasy, you argued might be considered the work of Satan.
At the time, and in so many other cases, I found your argument bewildering, and yet filled with your longing for company with people who do not wish to control for the spiritual in the manner we are so accustomed in this material plane. To want such control is to avow, without really saying it, an active and robust atheism. Most people are not atheists. And yet such films nourish fantasies that make atheism rather attractive next to such canards as "turn the other cheek." I was unconvinced by your words to release my atheism (I have remained one.) But I was inspired to consider for the rest of my life a the subtle beauty that a distance from God can take form within. I currently am not bereft of some happiness and peace. But for the millions who have little to live for, I can't imagine that the loss of their faith through the mysterious action of their cultivated appetites comes easy. I thank Dennis Smith for teaching me, in a fashion I have never met another capable of, how to love such deserving, but lost souls.
I love you Dennis. For the love of God, tell me how to reach you.
Your Friend (and debtor), Andy Coffey
My Contact Info:
George Andrew Coffey
311 S. Arbutus Dr. (David Boyer's House.... remember that place?)
Bloomington IN, 47401
Cell: (812) 679 7271 (Call it!)
My voicemail identifies me as HonkeyTonk Construction LLC. Believe it or not, that's me. From bookworm to termite (of a kind.) I'll talk to you soon my friend.