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2002-05-05 9:24 p.m.

It is so strange to write a letter if you don't know if the recipient will ever get to read it.

Dear Friend,

It is Sunday at evening when I write this letter to you, although I already wrote it in my head a few times as I was driving up here to Dave and Ray's house to visit Ray and wait for calls from your mother.

From the day I met you, I felt connected with you in some strange way. Even though I did not know as much about you as I would l have liked—or about many of the details of your life—I felt some sort of connection with you across the universe. It is hard for me to explain, as I do not fully understand it, but the gist of it is this: For some reason or reasons that I am not yet aware of, there is a strange thread which connects me—my heart, my thoughts, my emotions, my senses—to certain people. With these people, I know things about them, I sense where they are, what they are doing, when they are in times of need, and so on. Reading, understanding, and processing these "senses" (these intuitions) is so new to me—my untrained/cynical psyche wonders if they are hunches, or just nervous noise in my brain, or simply one of millions of possibilities suggested by an ever–computing neural network. It appears you are one of these people whose mind or soul or whatever knocks on my door from wherever it is.

All week my sense of you was so strong, and I wanted to call you to have dinner with you, see you, talk to you. I would likely see you Sunday night, I thought. How could I describe my guilt, sadness, and sense of responsibility when I admit that all day Saturday, I kept feeling that I should drive south to visit you at Stanford. Something kept saying to go visit her, go visit her at Stanford. Go today. Go now. Go. All day, throughout all that I did, I kept thinking of going to visit you. But I did not connect anything real with my sense. I thought I was being crazy, or obsessing over my thoughts, or whatever. I am ashamed that I drove to the North Bay instead. It seemed strange at the time that as soon as I started to drive north, I knew I would visit you at Stanford Sunday night instead.

And then this morning I woke up to a call from Ray saying you overdosed on Tylenol. "Tylenol!", we almost joked. It appeared more of a cry for help than a well–conceived plan for a successful suicide. Our optimism was turned upside down when the doctor told your mom you might not make it. Acetomenaphin is far more toxic than we could have ever known. There are so many things I wanted to say to you, and yet I hardly know why, since I can not explain with words I have learned so far even why I felt connected with you in this way to begin with.

Yesterday my plan was to hang out and have dinner with my stepfather today, and maybe call you and go out with you afterwards and then sleep on the floor of my office again. I mean, I had this sense that I would visit you for sure at Stanford this evening. It turns out I was right in a way, but I did not actually get to come in and see you—everyone except immediate family gets to sit in the waiting room and stare at the brown, patterned carpet and think about you. At least that is what I did.

There are things I had hoped you would learn from me, and things I had hoped to learn from you. And now I might not ever get to see you again. I feel sad; I feel cheated.

Until we speak again, somewhere, somehow, my heart sings songs for you; songs of hope, songs of healing.