I found this crumpled among Philip’s things…. penned three months before his end.
Recalling a distant day on Eighty Deuce (verbatim):
A Perfect Day-
I woke up earlier than mom and Michael one Sunday morning when we were living in apt 3A so I guess I was about 8 years old because we lived for two years in each of three separate apartments at 32 w. 82nd. The very first thought I had was “I wanna walk Barney to the east end of castle lake, where I could sit on the rock with him and have the sun on my back while I coaxed him to go swimming. It was a beautiful summer’ like spring morning so I only wore a short sleeved blue and white patterned shirt, blue jeans and sneakers. Mommy always said once I got something in my head-something I desired-I either achieved or got it (or died as children often do in their imaginations). So anyway I quietly got up and asked Barney if he wanted to go’ bye-bye’. He said “sure” the way only Barney could. So we softly left. We did exactly what I wanted to do. Boy, it was a beautiful day. And mom, to this day doesn’t know that Barney went swimming unless she reads this or you tell her or both. I don’t snitch myself. For me, at that time, this kind of thing was MY own paradise. Just a few blocks from home and I WAS home. And vice versa. When I got back we didn’t see anybody except a few kids I knew from across the street. I began talking to one of them who was a year or so older than. He had a pretty big plastic toy truck. It was about the size of Barney’s head. He asked me if I would trade Barney for the truck. I said no. BARNEY LOOKED INDIGNANT. He was though, glad to be home when we got upstairs ‘cause mom and Michael were awake and he (Barney) was dry and naturally sniffing in the kitchen. I don’t remember the rest of the day but I do remember the night.
Michael and I had pushed our beds together and seeing how we had the television in our room and the next day was school, my brother and I got under our quilt and sheet covers and mom and Barney lay in between and we watched The Late Show movie about a British highwayman with all the lights off. Boy, that was a great day. The TV was like a fireplace telling a story. It was love it was home it was peace. And I’ll never forget it if I lived to be 200 years old. Just the four of us. It was home. The Result? Thirty-two pointless failure laden years.
And on the back he writes: “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal; the tragedy lies in having no goal at all.”-------Benjamin Mays