COMMENT: [Part of the same letter referred to in the reflection If Only We Would Listen. When my friend and I said good-bye, and after he had received the letter, only the customary handshake was extended.
A handshake can be such an inadequate way to say good-bye. And yet, in 1973 America, for two men who were living in the center of the mainstream, a handshake was, I suppose, already bordering on too much touch. In those times and circumstances, even though the relationship was more casual than formal, and perhaps also because my friend was a priest, it was not clear to me if more physical displays of affection were allowable.
I felt an emotional fraud of sorts that day in that handshake—a covering over of what was being felt on a deeper level. The cultural sterility that I experienced in that moment was confusing, frustrating, painful, and by definition empty.
It is sad when men must look so foolish trying to look so strong or to conform to the expectations of others. rt]
No photo at this time.