on November 7, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Life can take nightmare turns with dream logic

Life can take nightmare turns with dream logic

A good friend’s wife had ovarian cancer, time stood still, and then he was handed a different clock. Things that mattered the day before didn’t matter very much.

Jack and I were in art school together. He was the best painter in the building.

We were on the same intramural basketball team.

We listened to the same music. He told me about Country Joe and the Fish. That will give you some idea.

I stayed in California for my MFA, and he went to Yale for his.

Then years went by, we went in different directions, and I thought that was that.

Tyus Edney brought us back together. He did it in 4.8 seconds.

Edney dribbled the length of the court against Missouri and scored the winning basket with 0.0 on the clock.

I heard from Jack.

Off and on, I have been hearing from him ever since, especially in the past few years. Most of the time we talk about the football or basketball teams, but we get around to art and even the edges of politics.

He is just as intense as he was in college. He will let you know exactly what he is thinking. Some of his thoughts are not the prevailing ones. Neither are mine, so we are a good match.

We were exchanging emails about the football team, and then his emails stopped. He is a well-known Los Angeles-based designer. Projects are coming in and going out all of the time.

Deadlines are always looming.

So I didn’t think very much about it.

Then I received one of those messages that we all receive – eventually.

His wife was in the hospital.

It has been a couple of weeks now. She was released after an operation and treatment, but she went back to the emergency room.

It has been touch and go, and obviously the football season moved to the back of the bus.

Jack stayed in Bacall’s room, and he has been compassionately watchful every single day.

It’s been said before: Life, real life, is much more important than games.

But games can help get us through some things. It’s hard to explain if you don’t have a team. If you have a team, your heart goes into it.

A win brightens the day. We were unbeaten while I was in rehab. It made a difference.

At my age, I get a couple of emails like the one about Bacall every year. I have sent some of my own that were almost like it, only mine didn’t have happy endings. Just endings.

I haven’t seen Jack since he left for Yale. That was around 1970.

In the past 44 years, a lot of people have gone through my life and out the back door. The Internet is an odd thing, though. I have frequent reunions, usually with former students who want to reminisce.

It’s been great to reconnect with Jack.

Jack met Bacall at the UCLA extension school in Santa Monica, and I can still remember how he talked about her. He made her sound very intriguing, just like her name.

They have been in love ever since.

I like success stories when it comes to love. There aren’t enough of them. I cannot imagine what I would do if something happened to Jennifer.

I guess we learn these things from others. Maybe even from books and movies.

But when it comes right down to it, what do you do? What part of you tells you what to do?

Balloons in the room won’t do it. It has to be deeper. And maybe you have to find something in you that you didn’t even know was there.

“He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.” (“To Kill a Mockingbird.”)

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at [email protected].

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