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The School of Journalism and Mass Communication where I teach no longer shares a building with the School of Business. Business has moved into a beautiful new building maybe a two-minute walk away.

Today was the first time I worked in my office since the business faculty moved out. I walked down the corridor where their offices were, and the rooms were mostly empty, save for the furniture (naturally, new building = new furniture).

I found myself deliberately walking to the end of the hall to look into one empty office in particular. Its former occupant was a friend of mine. In fact, he was the first faculty member from outside journalism/mass communication to introduce himself. We had similar (sardonic/sarcastic/ironic) senses of humor. He was worlds smarter than I am, and I'm certain he knew it, but he never let on.

As with the other offices, all that was left in his was furniture. I spent a few moments looking into the window because I knew he doesn't have an office in the new building. He was diagnosed with colon cancer last year. He died at the start of the spring semester this year.

I have dreams about my friend. In the dreams, he is dressed in his usual white shirt and looks as healthy as a glass of milk. In the dreams, we laugh and joke just as we always did. I heard somewhere that if you dream about a person who has died, it means that person is happy. I try to hang onto that comforting thought during those times when I try to understand the death of a brilliant man who was eight years younger than I am.

His presence has not disappeared from campus, though. A conference room in the new building has been named after him. I hope there always is somebody on campus who can tell his story.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
nodressrehersal
Aug. 15th, 2013 01:23 am (UTC)
Nice, the dreams about your friend, and the idea that our dreams are indicators of their happiness.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 15th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
You know how much significance I attach to dreams ...
minnesattva
Aug. 15th, 2013 06:57 am (UTC)
Yeah, the dreams are hard.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 15th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
You would know.
sahlah
Aug. 15th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
How lovely to remember your friend with a smile and laughter.
patrick_vecchio
Aug. 15th, 2013 01:28 pm (UTC)
The last time I saw him, he was near death. I'm glad the dreams remind me of who he was before he got sick.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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