I could sense it coming. But I couldn't write anything beforehand and I cannot write anything worthy of him now. So I just sat down an hour ago when I heard the news—Aaron told me as he clicked on Gawker—and sat a while and got up to write and then blubbered a bit and, staring at the screen, read through some emails from him.
I'd asked him last year to write a letter to the Immigration Services sponsoring me to finally become a permanent resident of the United States. Who better than my fellow Englishman immigrant of the last 25 years? A while later, he emailed:
“Safely in the U.S. mail. I managed to say that your faith had allowed you to extend a warm hand to so many of your fellow men, and then remolded that bit to make it sound a touch less close to the heart's desire.
Brunch? Sunday? Smooch Hitch”
“lol. many many many thanks. an honor. brunch sounds great. we tend not to be conscious till around noon, tho. xx a”
“Dearest Andrew I always think of Sunday lunch as beginning at about 2.30 ("a lavish and ruminative feast", as Waugh says about elevenses). Want to come here?”
Yes, I do, Hitch. Yes, I do.