each man’s hell is different

I get reports about a dear friend in
Europe, this man is not the complaining
type
so what I’ve learned doesn’t come from
him
but he can’t hide everything
and some of it filters through from
sources:
he must go to a hospital every other
day, he is dying by the god damned
inch
his home life has long been
unhappy
and now
his wife has become
suicidal.
most of my letters to him
go unanswered
and when he does
reply
the responses are clipped and
stark.

I’ve learned he can’t drink, smoke,
even consume coffee
and
there are
occupational
problems.

he’s not
old.

my friend always wanted to be
a writer.
he became a translator
working the language of the
successful practitioners
into his own.

the long hard hours
with the dream getting further
and further out of
reach
his wife going
mad:

“you’re always typing!”

a killing unhappiness:   never
knowing what you might have
been.