In certain online circles, he goes by the nym Penguinsscareme. There's actually a serious story behind that, which doesn't stop the teasing. Let's just call him PSM.
We've never actually met, though we've come close once or twice. Might happen sometime, and I'd like that. He comes across as a helluva guy. He has been to exotic places, and has earned his scars and his joys. I think that after the fourth beer he and I would have stories to tell one another. Sharing a laugh - and maybe a tear - with PSM is actually one of the things I hope to accomplish before I leave this world.
It's been a bad couple of days, what with winter making its sudden appearance. It's always that way: Later the cold will just be a part of life, but coming on so suddenly it seems a terrible imposition. My body is flirting with some bug probably brought to the surface by the sudden weather change; I've been cocooning indoors for two days and wondering how sick I'm going to get. Headaches, heartburn. Maybe just a touch of fever coming on this afternoon. W and I went to town for no very important reason, mostly just to get away for a while, and the subject of PSM came up between us. And so it may not have been a complete coincidence when, after a couple of shots of rye, I stumbled upon this two-year-old missive from the friend I've never met:
To lay aside one's own individual sense of being right for the sake of preserving or restoring a relationship with another person EVEN IF THAT OTHER PERSON IS WRONG requires a command of individuality that I rarely see anywhere. It requires humility. As freedom lovers we may tend to think of humility as weakness, to associate it with subjection. But true humility can only be evinced by a person who has the choice not to be humble. I am convinced that one of the most meaningful things a person can do with their freedom and sovereignty is to lay it aside (not lay it down, if you can grasp the difference here) for the sake of another.