Love of a mountain

May 10
My dear Sam,
It is not the first time I have thought to write to you, only I've not known what to say or how to begin. You see, already I am faltering with excuses.
But today is different. As I sit here in the garden I feel the warmth of a spring sun add strength to my bones as well as my resolve. The sky is a hopeful blue and the air quiet, tranquil as though nothing in it could disturb me. I wonder what you are doing at this moment, do you feel the reverse, an autumnal pessimism, for example, or are you grown cynical of such language in your young manhood?
I write now with the simple hope that you will reply and that I can learn news of you; it is, after all, seven years, I counted them with care. And then you were still an adolescent, no more than a child. See how I remember you with plump freckled cheeks, your hair too long falling across those blue eyes, your fat (and muscular) arms, your brown hairless chest and the flabby stomach you hated so. Such puppy fat.
Seeing you leave that day so indifferent I was sure you felt nothing for me, but years of returning to think it all through have led me to conclude differently. How can two people live so long together, do so much together, talk so long together and there exist nothing between them. I have come to believe, to hope, your display of indifference was a childish, a momentary phenomena, the reasons for which are clear. Surely beneath that cold exterior there were emotions seething? Or am I wrong, am I fantasising?
I did not mean to become so demanding, rather I had hoped to approach you more gently, but what else is there to say. Unless I jump over this impasse of time and memory, humble myself to say these things, to beg response, how else will I ever know?
A chill breeze has found its way to the garden and I should go indoors.
Yours affectionately,

May 30
Dear Sam,
I am just writing a quick note to be sure you got my letter. If you did not, please send a card saying as much and I will write again.
John Bodey

June 10
Dear John,
I must admit to being moved by your letter. I was tempted to ignore it as the rambling of an old man with little left to live for, and probably would have done so, had not a friend, Django, seen your reminder note and asked me who you were. I shrugged my shoulders at first but he persisted later in the day. Inexplicably I was anxious to explain after all and for an hour Django listened patiently. He little understood about the mountain, but was insistent that I reply. Sometimes I listen to him.
You will be pleased to learn that I shed all the puppy fat and more. I doubt if you would recognise me with short red beard and cropped red hair. They joke about me being a Scotsman - is there any Scottish blood in your veins? It would explain the temper.
You want to know something about me and yet you say nothing about yourself. I am a cynical young man, young by virtue of my age and cynical by virtue of the age. That's good. But really there are reasons, buried perhaps, who knows, in the mountain. Django says hello.
That's all the time I have.
Yours sincerely,


Full story - 20 pages


Paul K. Lyons

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