The man in prison and I exchanged letters two or three times a week for all those years. Then, last December, after twenty-seven years of incarceration, he was released. He returned to his home state of North Carolina and began to live like a normal person. We exchanged letters far less frequently, but we met regularly in Zoom sessions, and for the first time, each of us found out what the other looked like.
Then last week, he came north to visit his family in this area. I invited him to dinner on Sunday. He came at ten in the morning, and we spent the day talking. I can assure readers that, for me, there is nothing like spending time with someone who understands what it’s like to suffer from PTSI. This man and I are soul brothers in a way unlike any other relationship I have. All I have to do is look into his eyes, and I know him.
He told me that he has read all my books except Friendly Casualties which is not yet out in hardcopy. To say that I was enormously complimented is to put it mildly.
So often these days, I quietly celebrate the wonderful life I lead. I live in a house I own that is ideal for my purposes—in the middle of a forest and devoid of external care (no lawn) and blessed with a magnificent view from the deck on the back of my house overlooking a small lake half filled with water reeds. My generous annuity allows me full time to write. Best of all, I have friends whom I love—I know men are not supposed to love each other, it’s not masculine, but we do anyway.
What more could I ask?