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Bill Pascal at Graduation. (Photograph). Accessed January 2 2023 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/bill_pascal

A grainy photograph of Bill Pascal. He smiles at the camera in a way that is almost smug. He is older when I see him.

Bill Pascal Obituary. (1944, January 23). The Evening Chronicle, p. 9. Reel 16, Evening Chronicle Micro 108, University Archives, Vassar College.

            Somewhat interesting. The author describes some of the strange behavior Pascal exhibited in his last years of life such as spending the entire day riding trolley cars to nowhere and threatening to kill his neighbors on multiple occasions. Pascal’s death was natural. The author writes about death with a sort of cold cynicism. I would prefer it if it was kinder.

Duncan, J. (2020). [Little brown chair in corner of room; empty]. Personal Collection.

Photograph of the little brown chair in my room. I found it on the side of the road before it rained for three days. Not particularly comfortable, but it’s fine for throwing my coat on. Pascal seems to like it. He is not featured in the photograph.

Jacoby, M. (2022, August 31). How to tell if a boy loves you,  WikiHow,


The author has a jaunty little pose in her picture that makes me believe that she knows everything about love. The parts about eye contact and body language are both relevant.

McVey, J. (2023, September 21). How to tell if you can see ghosts, Wikihow, https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-You-Can-See-Ghosts

            This article appears to come from a person who is somewhat experienced in the paranormal. Only step five is relevant to me. I appear to be much better at seeing ghosts than her.

Murray, F. (1983). Child prodigy to adult disappointment: The emotional repercussions of failing to live up to one’s potential. The Journal of Children’s Psychology, 4(2), 47 - 70.

            The author provides a detailed overview of the life of adult failures. The author’s criteria to be a failure is excessive.  The author doesn’t seem to understand how hard it all is.

Pascal, B. (1910). On the possibilities of the future: How to correctly predict what will happen next. Yale Press.

            I tried to read this book. I did. I couldn’t. Maybe its denseness speaks to the author's emotional state during his childhood.  It’s hard to imagine being so young and writing something so intelligent. I was once young, but not intelligent. I cannot relate.

Pascal, B. (Personal communication, January 1, 2023) 

The first time I dreamt of Pascal, I couldn’t move. I lay in bed and he stared at me from the little brown chair with his sad eyes. It’s very intimate to have another person look at you in such a manner. He makes a lot of eye contact and sits towards me with his pelvis pointed in my direction. It was kind of nice to have someone look at me for a while

Pascal, B. (Personal communication, February 12, 2023) 

In this dream, Pascal got up and sat on the corner of my bed. The weight of the bed shifted. He put his head in his hands and wept. I stared at the ceiling.  It felt more polite that way. I think this counts both as a meaningful conversation and a difficult situation.

Pascal, B. (Personal communication, April 19, 2023) 

 I dreamt of Pascal. I dreamt that he sat in the little brown chair. I dreamt that he stared at me with sad eyes. I dreamt that I sat up in bed. I dreamt that I stared back at him. I dreamt that I asked him “Why are you doing this?”. I dreamt that he did not answer. I dreamt that we stared at each other.

Prayer said nightly (2023).

I do not know how to cite this prayer. So, I will cite it the way that I want. Simply. It is mine, but I do not think I am the author. There is something much bigger than me and that is where the prayer comes from. I say this prayer nightly.  I say a prayer that Pascal will return. I say a prayer that he will stare at me. I say a prayer that he will stare at me with maybe love. I say a prayer that I will not sleep alone ever again. I say a prayer for wasted potential. I say a prayer for the little brown chair at the foot of my bed, presumably haunted.