The last time I saw Jim I had gone to his apartment in Brooklyn to help him sort through the many drafts of his novel in progress. He wasn’t well, but for all his body’s betrayals the raconteur was in fine form. It took at least of couple hours until we parked ourselves in front of his computer and got to work. He had color-coded passages he wanted to ask me about and the screen looked like a Dan Flavin installation. The day was spent in serious debate over everything from adverbs (which I felt he used too liberally) and semi-colons, emerging themes, and what his main character Billy Wolfram would or wouldn’t do. Before I left, he showed me some memorabilia from his rock and roll days, and then we talked about the ending.
When I left, I was relieved to be in the fresh air, to feel the late sun on my face. I double-checked that I had the flash-drive where I had stored for safe-keeping the many drafts floating on Jim’s desktop. I looked back at his strange little building sort of stranded on the edge of Brooklyn, imagined I saw him in the window, and waved just in case. I wanted to go back and I wanted to go home.
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