I remember you, Lanny Berger. You were the fat kid, so shy, you could barely speak. In fifth grade, your appendix burst and you were in the hospital for weeks. Mrs. Nelson said they had you on a bed of ice to keep your fever down. Did she make that up? A bed of ice? You were the kid who always asked me to dance at Emigration Ward dances. I still see you walking toward me, feet pointed out slightly, your upper legs chafing against each other with each step. You weren't my first choice or even my third, but there was something always likable about you.
I never knew you with a moustache. The last time I saw you was when you came home from basic training, clean shaven short hair. You were nineteen. You came to the house bearing gifts: a necklace (a heart on a thin chain?) It was my first awareness of someone's unrequited love for me and made me sad. You wanted to see Dean Collett and I drove you to his house in Rose Park and picked you up later and drove you home. That's our history together. Did I ever write you a letter? I have no idea.
I'm glad you found true love with a woman who found you gentle and loving, that you had children, two dogs, and that you loved to hunt and fish. I'm glad you had lots of friends. Your death has surprised me with emotion. I remember you, Lanny Berger. I remember.