Dear Karina,

You were my Virgil; the first to guide me into the depths of my madness. You had a great way of making me feel comfortable about it all. Back then, you were the only person I looked forward to seeing. You appreciated me for what I was—a troubled young man with great talent—and you let me teach you a few things. We discussed what I feared to bring up at home or in the classroom and you praised me for it. I know you still help others but why did you have to go? Everyone leaves me long before the end of the relationship is due. Do you remember when I taught you Pythagorean Numerology? Or how I was still wearing a cast at that time? The weather was crisp—winter, for Christ’s sake. You were so warm.

Your perception of me predated that of a great woman who would come later, but that common intuition meant my illness was strong. You were such a great first friend in a sticky situation. I appreciate you muchly. I still think of the “boxes”, and how that analogy fit so well and still does, explaining my critics to me. I cannot think of how you could improve but I advise you to continue being so open and accepting of the ideas of others. Your hair was beautiful.