Editor’s note: Meerkat returned to JB’s desk yesterday. He isn’t talking, but did leave this letter.
To my foster father JB,
As I sat in the conference room trying to remember the name of the girl who was wearing red (who likes empanadas and wears a lot of beautiful scarves), I was filled with panic when all I could come up with was that it started with a “kuh” sound. I began to think about all the things I fear.
I think what I fear the most would be losing my memory. What if I woke up one day and didn’t know my kids? I am also scared of the following: running out of ant larvae, being mistaken for an African Lemur and the shade of blue known as periwinkle. Anyway, there I was, filled with dread, imagining a situation where I wouldn’t know who I really was. This feeling was highlighted by the fact that you seemed to embody these fears by forgetting me and leaving me there—alone—to deal with my discovery.
I cannot thank you enough for that. You have changed my life.
How I woke up the next morning in Shanghai doesn’t matter. What is important is that I had to get as far away from you as I could before I could find my own way home. In between climbing Everest, watching a monk die of starvation, saving a petit français garçon from being run over by a bicyclette, helping a Forever 21 buyer select cardigans for the fall collection and presenting the Crown Jewels to Her Majesty, I had plenty of time to think about my family.
My isolation created a desire so deep that I now know I will never forget them—I couldn’t. My experiences led to a breakthrough so powerful that I now know who I really am.
My time away from you created a profound hunger—I need you to feed me your wisdom. How did you know I needed this journey? You, foster dad JB, have saved me. Let us spend our last few days together soaking in each other’s glory and friendship.