One of Vernon’s old college friends from Norway saw that his Facebook page has been active from time to time and wrote him a nice letter on there. He had contacted me last year, though we’ve never met personally, and showed interest in coming to visit Vernon, when time and funds allowed. I was touched that there was another old friend of Vernon’s popping up to care. Apparently they had been good friends in their early twenties in Oslo (maybe art school in Bergen too?) and had re-established connection several years ago on Facebook.
I had the iPad with me yesterday and Vernon was up for a new conversation, so I read him the letter, which he thought was ‘too short.’ So I went back and read over their previous correspondence. (Sorry, Helge, I hope you don’t mind…) I was struck again how funny and amicable Vernon was when he wrote emails and notes. Made me miss that, but it also made me smile.
They talked a little about the days in Oslo together when they were so young.
Here is a bit from Vernon after we first moved to California:
The part about the American’s being mental cracks me up. Well, it was an election year: I think there was some culture shock there!
But when he talks about visiting his old streets of Oslo, he writes his friend exactly what he told me on that trip.
I remember him saying the same thing to me, though not with the word coma. What a way of phrasing things.
Anyway, after I read him the thread of letters, Vernon wanted to write his friend back. I don’t know if the correspondence made him remember things exactly or if the memories were suggested to him, but what he dictated to me seemed like he was trying to make sense of his situation. Always light and kind in his manner, he wrote this long note…the longest he has ‘written’ yet. He was inspired…even if he thought he was still in Norway himself—or England, I’m not sure (nor was he.)
I’m sharing this today, because its a reminder that Vernon can be reached and brought out of his mental cage. The past can merge with the present and overlap again, sometimes several times at once. But he wants to be connected…and on days like this, he tries his best.
Anyway, all our memories—and realities— are so subjective and mutable, who cares if Vernon always gets it all right at once? At least he is trying. Thanks, Helge, for reaching out directly to him.
Vernon made a point of adding an afterthought. He said it was important.