Dearest J. Julius,
I'm glad we got to know each other as adults. That sounds strange - let me rephrase it. I'm glad we got to know each other at age 19, me in my octopus T-shirt, you in your 12-piece suit, sitting together in your living room on camelbone chairs and sipping precisely the moment called for, both of us happy and young and full of love. I'm so grateful that we could share time in October when we were both doing so well; I'll always have splendid memories from that trip - you blanching endive and kale while I tuned the harpsichord in your kitchen, spending the night with Wolfgang Amadeus, your 5-foot stuffed owl, meeting your families and driving through your hometown in the glory of a late October afternoon, you pointing out the people and places that you loved, that love you still.
The last time we spoke, we had been planning to spend New Year's together. I'm sorry I ran off to California on you - I guess you ran off on us, too. The whole time this terrible thing has been happening, I've been wandering through mountains, on trains, living in cabins in distant places, unable to contact and connect with the people I love, especially you - and I suppose you were in a similar place, lost up in some distant mountain range or vast ocean, trying so hard to reach out but finding only open air and no words. I hope you could feel our love, that you still do. Like Ruth said earlier, I hope more than anything that you'll find at least one envelope not foiled by tea stains, hidden somewhere in your waistcoat with stamps and paper and pen and all - and you do, in your own way. It's true that you're gone, but you'll always be speaking through my words, moving with each of my steps, bringing people together the way you always have done with magic and grace. There is so much left here on earth that will always remind me of you, from Mozart to Lady Grey tea to our French Canadian grandmothers' meat pie. The world lost so much when you left. I am so sorry, friend.
I visited you a few days after someone had been killed in a car accident right by your house, and I remember holding your hand as we crossed the street, grasping tightly for fear of losing one another on that little Brattleboro road. I've been holding your hand close to my heart ever since, and it's hard to believe that I could ever let you go. You taught me all I know about being a gentleman, and the love and friendship that you shared so freely with those you encountered will never, ever be forgotten. I love you, Julius. Be well, and until we meet again, I remain