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would call me late in the night from somewhere on the road, a ghost town in Texas, a rest stop near Pittsburgh, or from Santa Fe, where he was parked in the desert, listening to the coyotes howling.But most often he would call from his place in Kentucky, on a cold, still night, when one could hear the stars breathing.He loved Beckett, and had a few pieces of writing, in Beckett’s own hand, framed in the kitchen, along with pictures of his kids.That day, we saw the typewriter of John Millington Synge and James Joyce’s spectacles, and, in the night, we joined musicians at Sam’s favorite local pub, the Cobblestone, on the other side of the river."I mean, I wasn't attractive, I wasn't very verbal, I wasn't very smart in school.
Without a word, eyes closed, we tramped through the American desert that rolled out a carpet of many colors—saffron dust, then russet, even the color of green glass, golden greens, and then, suddenly, an almost inhuman blue. Blue everything, he said, and the songs we sang had a color of their own. We were friends; good or bad, we were just ourselves. Sam walked to his bed and lay down and went to sleep, a stoic, noble sleep.I pictured myself sitting at the kitchen table, reaching for that tattooed hand. A long one, where he told me of a dream that he had hoped would never end. “I wasn't attractive, I wasn't very verbal, I wasn't very smart in school.As we playfully staggered across the bridge, he recited reams of Beckett off the top of his head.Sam promised me that one day he’d show me the landscape of the Southwest, for though well-travelled, I’d not seen much of our own country.