Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

Dear Lyla,

I... uhnn, I’ve just filed my tax returns tonight and by this far into the future it is with a somewhat heavy heart that I realize I’ve started getting the hang of it, even though what we should be doing right now, all of us, is hanging out at Luke’s listening to his Gin Blossoms albums while he doused the pot in the refrigerator with water to keep it fresh for prospective buyers after the street party over the weekend. Idyllically so.

There was this comedy-slash-variety show on TV the other day-- late at night, in fact-- and I could swear over a stack of bibles it was Paola the reporter was interviewing, half-buzzed outside this bar, Paola of all people. Luke’s Paola, yours and mine in a sense, as well, and she was telling the reporter she liked her men hairy, scraggy, downright manly, like a lumberjack or a truck driver. It was the familiar drunken slurring in her voice that made me smile.

What I want to tell you by that is... It seems I’m done with the nightmares and night terrors, Lyla. I think I’ve finally made my peace with those years and tears from back in College. And I have no idea just how it came about but it happened just like that. I’m chalking it up to the serenity of getting older. I haven’t got a clue, really.

And I haven’t heard from Luke in years, either, though I sometimes do dream about him but seldom of you.

Then meanwhile, on the homefront, the latter-day characters of this story...

I haven’t seen much of Dennis anymore, even though we do manage to get together from a drink every now and then as if in a danse macabre, as if rehearsing for the next death in the family. Kay on the other hand has gone corporate big-time with no time left for these juvenile antics of the gang. And Johnny seems to have struck the motherload and is making a buck out of it if you’ll believe Martha, who’s been drifting off in her own way, slowly, whereas Jimmy’s finding himself enmeshed in the drudgeries of grown-up life, caught in-between his company, the teaching, his Master’s paper and caring for his mother. Then there’s Bryce, good old Bryce whom has taken up redecorating the apartment as of late and now spends his days like a Grail crusader after the perfect Missoni for the living room. And of Cindy I haven’t heard in ages and I think she must have returned to that no-good boyfriend of hers.

Then there’s me and Cybill-- Cybill and I-- and we’re doing all right ourselves, actually. In a small way, baby steps, but I’ve changed jobs, she did too, and now we’ve even started talking about moving in together. Who knows. And we’re so much in love with one another.

Still earlier tonight as I was doing my taxes I couldn’t help but whistle Lost Horizons and think back, think of Luke and Paola and yourself-- And there came about this urge to write you once again even though each passing year makes thinking of you more and more like attempting to bring something back from lucid dreaming, and that’s just something you can’t do after you grow up.