So I can’t sleep, and I was just thinking about the time I learned that Rod Serling had become hospitalized shortly before his death. I was 21 years old, living in New York City, recently married, but still without children. I decided to write him a letter. I believe I sent it to Strong Memorial Hospital, if memory serves. I wanted to tell him how much I admired his writing. I wanted to tell him that the words he chose moved me, that he showed me how words have tremendous power not only to influence and persuade, but to call forth beauty as well. The letter came back undeliverable. I may have addressed it wrong. It may have been too late.
I remember I was on my way to a fancy Italian wedding on Long Island when I heard the news of his passing. I often wonder about that letter. What did I do with it? Do I still have it somewhere beneath a lifetime of collected debris? Did I lose it in one of multiple moves? Did a stranger find it and read its contents? Or did it just return to the earth? I’ve had modest success as a writer, but now I wish I could just find that letter that I wrote so long ago, a letter that captured my exuberance for the written word and my gratitude for someone who opened that door.