“Casper lit me up, from kindergarten through the end of high school, and I miss him.”
posted on April 2, 2015, at 12:32 p.m.
I’m going to call him Casper, because that’s what I named him in two of my early stories, just as I named another boyhood friend Lester in the stories he inspired. But both were far more to me than simply friends — the term doesn’t begin to encompass what we had, which was a meeting of souls, of minds, of a galvanizing streak of disaffection with society and the received way of things, of mutuality and a reversion to nature that is the most substantial gift I’ve ever been given. We were children, then we were teenagers. I’d say we did the usual things, except that Casper, who never made it out of his teenage years intact, wasn’t usual by any measure. I didn’t know it at the time — I’d never even heard the term — but Casper was schizophrenic, the disorder settling its hooks into him as he grew into the hammered musculature of his adolescent self.