31 August 2008

Letter 3.19

(During the three years that Bob was home, or not at home but a-roam like the Nepali rhino in America, we saw each other three times. The first time I went to see him in Boulder, Colorado. I don't remember much we said, just taking in each other bemusedly, a few 'rhino' hugs, and the usual banter between sit-down comics. He'd been occupying himself with camping in the Rockies, a girlfriend, a book about his monk years called Getting Off, and a job mixing chemicals in a chemical factory which poisoned him -- giving new meaning to being a working stiff. Our visit ended with a bout of jaundice that landed him in the hospital. As he nodded out of sedation he asked me to read to him from a draft of Worthy Bones I'd brought along. I stopped reading when he appeared to have dropped off. But, eyes closed, not a flicker of waking on his face, he said softly, but very clearly: 'Don't stop.' -- Hūm)

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