Sunday, November 05, 2017


One of the most influential people in my life has been a short bespectacled Chinese woman in Berkeley, who smoked a pipe (Drucquer's mixture 805), liked books, and had eclectic tastes in music and in movies.
She wrote a nasty letter years ago which I never answered.
We have since lost contact.

No, she was never "date material". Just a very good friend and a cherished colleague, and still in many ways an example to follow. As were her associates, who have also faded beyond radar range.

My tastes in books and pipes still reflect that, though as far as music and movies are concerned there has been no lasting effect, because I am rather unmusically inclined (tin ear the size of Texas), and I've watched films she would not countenance in a million years, being rather fond of gangster flicks, tearjerkers, and chopsocky.

I still have that letter, but I shall not respond. The misunderstanding that moved her to write it is not material anymore, that her opinion of me changed so staggeringly is no longer as oppressive.
And I have largely gotten over it.
A lot has changed.

She had a lovely pipe collection. I still have a number of her pieces which she traded me. Excellent smokes. Occasionally I light them up, but most briars I use nowadays were acquired since that time, and many of the markers of memory remain in boxes on my bookshelves.

As I mentioned, I do not know what happened to her since then.
But I hope she still has that Sasieni sandblast apple.
It was a lovely pipe, and gave her much joy.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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