A denouement via email

 After the first ten years, it was a friendship that continued mostly by email, though we didn't live that far from one another. Timing, ability to get around, the obligations that claim the hours... all that came into it. But now, because of those emails, I am left with proof of the endearing oddball he was. A mutual friend, a theatre director, used that word, oddball. A catchall word, one of the kinder, that assumes a multiplicity of unusual  traits, so, in that way, correct. Intelligent, funny, paranoid as a character in one of the Russian novels he liked to refer to. Full of pain, from the illness that gripped him when he was young, from the loneliness his acerbity and intensity guaranteed; and, near the end, from the side effects of medication for the post-polio syndrome  that hampered normal activities, a pain that finally enraged him. It had been almost ten days since I heard from him, an otherwise almost daily emailer. The emails came from addresses such as wildblab at yahoo; Superior.E.Blab@; doublestriplestinkywinkgazinki@; izwuzz@gmail; oinko.boinko@

The subject headings were just as unique: Dearest sweetest monkey toes and lips; or Phew...I'm off the hook...looks like I'm not the only playwright who got castigated for using profanity; then,  Sorry just trying to organize pain m,angem,ent; and, I am so far behind..writhing in agony has replaced writing about my characters

so i feel weary from infection plus the pain of having the equivalent of 300 infected molars in  a leg sized jaw!

Yet also, Have you noticed a change of voice tone in female news readers?
They all sound as if they were having breathless high blood pressure issues during orgasmic speed sex with giraffes while hang gliding over Hudsons Bay.

His signature might extend several lines, or feature a picture; one time Vishnu, another an image of a thoroughly muscled arm. When he was younger he worked out at the gym and bulked up to an almost grotesque state at one point. He used to be the first guy you'd ask for help when you needed to move.

The polio that kept him bedridden as a teenager, also made him a constant and prodigious reader then, and throughout his life; literature, philosophy, theology, economics; books about other writers, too. He might send a link to an article about Thoreau, or a snippet like this:

When artist Baroness Elsa punched poet William Carlos Williams in the nose in 1921 for rejecting her advances he prepared for a rematch by training on a punching bag.

When she attacked him again  on Park Avenue he said that he "flattened her with a stiff punch to the mouth" and had her arrested by the police.

In his second last month he sent me a list of books he had read or had started in recent weeks, which included: Divine Filth: Lost Scatology and Erotica; How The Mind Works, The Stuff of Thought; Death in the City of Lights, Calming your Anxious Mind; The Loom of God, Tapestries of Math.

Though several of his plays had been produced, he'd won grants and was considered by many who knew his work to be an under appreciated comic genius, he worked in social services with the street people most of us never get to know, those with mental illnesses, addictions and physical disabilities. The hardest cases. He knew how to talk to them, was big enough that he didn't feel threatened by unpredictability, and his wide ranging compassion inspired their trust. Eventually, though, respiratory problems and difficulty walking forced him to go on disability. Things got worse. Is it any better I wrote?

The pain makes weep
 Not from
Just from physical anguish 

Finally, it got to be too much to bear.