Love Letter – – part 13


Actually, Mrs. Pascal would have liked me.  I was friendly and cheerful.  I always helped those who appeared to struggle.  But I was not yet even becoming the man God intended for her and I was too selfish at that point to recognize her demure, elegant beauty.  Love Letter – – part 12   from the beginning

I even grew spiritually by attending a Christian leadership camp called The Summit the summer after sophomore year.  It was in Manitou Springs, Colorado at the base of Pikes Pike.  My folks and I visited the Air Force Academy before they dropped me off.  I’m not sure that I actually grew spiritually.  I spend hours studying the politics of the Christian right – – even picketing an abortion clinic.  I regret it to this day.  You and I must really talk politics some day my friend.  I think one contribution to your struggle must be the Christian imprimatur on decidedly non-Christian politics.  Fair and balanced.  Mrs. Pascal and I are Democrats.  I once had a bumper sticker reading Pro-Life Democrat.  I took it off after someone put a 10 penny nail through my rear passenger side wall.  It either happened at the Mexican restaurant where Russell and I eat or at my place of employment.  Catholic Mexicans or Anglo Evangelicals?  I wonder.

3/15/13 – – KL airport, awaiting Singapore

I did fall in love at the Summit – – with Colorado.  The love continues to this day.  Mrs. Pascal and I maintain it and have shared it with the boys.  After a week of classes at the Summit we had a free day to either River Raft (not sure why I capitalized that) or hike Pikes Peak.  I chose the mountain and completed my first and only marathon that day – – one mile to trailhead – – thirteen up – – thirteen down – – one mile back.  To be 16 again.  Actually, Mrs. Pascal and I will go stay in Manitou on our anniversary trip this year.  We’ll acclimatize in a B&B then hike 1/2 way up one day and camp, summit and return to Barr Camp for a second night – – then back down.  Oh, to be 41.  At least the company will be great this time.

I can’t exactly tell you why it happened other than the groundwork I’ve laid.  You have all the information I’ve had when I try to figure it out albeit from a shallower depth of field.  But it did happen.  I was reading The Talisman by Stephen King.  I was a voracious reader of fiction in high school reading all Tom Clancy and beginning King.  The Talisman is scarey.  “But Pascal, name one Stephen King book that isn’t!”  On Writing . . . Meditations on the Craft – – brilliant and on my multiple reads shelf.  So, I’m sure that reading a book with a significant component of lycanthropy didn’t help.  I was spending the night at Chris Alvarez’s house a week before junior year was to start.  Our friendship was still there but strained.  And we had a fight – – I don’t even remember about what.  I do remember leaving his house at one in the morning with the clothes on my back.  I was angry, confused and lost.  The roads of suburban San Antonio outskirts were not as well marked as the trails of the Rocky Mountains.  I walked until dawn began to break.  In the course of that walk I became more angry, more confused, and more lost.  When the police arrested me trying to throw a newspaper vending machine through a convenience store window I had lost everything – – my way, my clothes, my mind.  There were two arresting San Antonio PD officers.  One man, one woman.  At first they were understandably perturbed by a naked raving lunatic.  But then compassion.

One brought me a blanket.  The other said she would remove the handcuffs if I was calm.  They asked who my parents were.  I said I had none.  They asked why I was naked and wandering.  I said I had become a werewolf for the first time last night.  And I believed it, so on one level I was not lying.  What is a delusion?  A fixed false belief.  Why do I know that following Christ is not a delusion?  Because I’ve been delusional – – it is different.  I was transferred to the PICU of the San Antonio State Hospital and was not charged with any crime.  I was under an order of emergency detention – – a 48 hour hold that allows a person to be held involuntarily until competency can be assessed.  The P in PICU stands for psychiatric.  The ICU means the same as it would elsewhere.  At SASH it is a place for high risk suicidal patients or violent psychotics.  I represented the latter.

-to be continued-




Photo credit:  Handwritten letter by Descarte: by PHGCOM [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( via Wikimedia Commons



  1. Hi Pascal – very intense, and also very understandable given all that you had been through growing up. The care represented by the blanket that the officer brought you helped me get through reading this. I think it’s things like this that we can call “life-defining” moments and the faith that helped you after that is likely even more life-defining for you.

    Liked by 1 person


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