May 6, 1994: ALL THINGS IN COMMON

Dear Dominic,*

Our buddy Plato once said, “Friends have all things in common.” That doesn’t mean that friends agree on every issue; it means that the importance of friendship transcends the people who share it. It’s a reflection of divine love, I think. It makes us bigger than we were, more noble. It is a large part of why we are here. Without friends, life would not be as sweet.

You’ve been a friend to me for more than seven years now. That’s twenty-one in dog years. A long time, and yet it’s rushed by in a twinkling. It seems like only yesterday we were sitting in Ms. “E”‘s sewing class, and you were explaining that Yoda was the Antichrist. I still chuckle when I think of those days. In fact, the still-unfinished tapestry of our friendship is rife with such humorous scenes. Like the time we were at the Academic Decathlon in Olympia, and I crashed my grandma’s car, and the highway patrol came along, and “T” took a picture of you sitting in the back seat of the trooper’s car, and you ripped up the picture because you thought your mom would think you’d been up to no good if she saw it.

Dominic, our friendship thus far has been defined as much by what we haven’t done as what we have, but that’s okay. I still hold out hope that we’ll eventually scale Mt. Lassen together, bike from here to Mexico, collaborate on the Great American Novel, egg “M”‘s house, make play clothes from your mother’s drapery. These are a few of my favorite thoughts. When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling down, I simply remember some of these things, and then I don’t feel so bad. I can think of your good humor and companionship, and it cheers me up even when you’re not around. That’s quite a gift.

Dan and I in Olympia, Washington, to receive a governor's scholarship.

“D” and I in Olympia, Washington, to receive a governor’s scholarship.

The following is an excerpt take from the journal I keep. I wrote it in January.

I want to write some things about my friend Dominic. Dominic is my best friend. I love him as I love all my brothers; as a bonus, I also get along with him.

Dominic is a teacher. He is teaching me to play the classical guitar. He is also teaching me about faith and good will, and this he does by example.

He’s got a fun sense of humor—reminds me of myself in this way and other ways.

I don’t know whether I am Dominic’s best friend, but he treats me as though I am. He treats everyone well, as far as I’ve seen, and this helps to remind me to endeavor to behave similarly. I do think his good influence has rubbed off on me. In return, I have bequeathed Dominic with a smarter mouth and an unrelenting skepticism. I’d say that’s a fair trade. At the time of this writing, Dominic is planning to become an English professor.

Good luck at Marquette. I wish you all the best. I will miss you.

Your friend,

“D”

* Written for Search Retreat.

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