Our interaction didn't last long. He wasn't someone I'd imagined getting to know. I remember his first name and I have two letters from him without dates, without envelopes (no return address). The only thing I have from him is our one creation, and whenever I look at it, I wonder where he is.
I'm not talking about a missing father or a lost lover. I'm remembering my one-time collaborator, known only as Chris, who was a counselor the same summer as me at an arts camp in Connecticut. I worked in publications, he worked in book arts. He made all kinds of wonderful books and book-like objects: book with drawers, fold-out books, collaged picture books. The last I heard from him, he was going to teach somewhere in Central America.
Despite the wonders of the Internet, it's still pretty hard to find someone when all you have to go on is a commonly used first name. If I knew how to contact him, I'd say, "Hey Chris, I had so much fun working on that book with you. Want to do another one?" And he'd say yes, and we'd collaborate on a whole series of books that would tour art galleries and museums across the country, ending up in both public and private collections, inspiring the next generation of artists and writers.
Until that happens, though, I'll just share the one book we did make, which is titled (appropriately enough, if Chris is still in Central America) From Now, to the Faraway.