October 8, 2021

About T. R. Softly

T.R. Softly is someone I’d like to know in real life; he was only partly self-consciously willed on the page. Friends have asked if he is me. No. He’s a generation younger, has a working knowledge of things I can only pretend to, occupies his time in very different ways, and has a capacity for derring-do that I can only write about. He’s chief of his realm; I’m a scribe. But as those who know me will no doubt attest, TR does have interests and some experiences akin to mine: we both went to Yale, making my research job easier; he has skills that mirror some I once pretended to; and he is, no doubt, someone, imagining a different life, I might like to have been. He’s unconventional, mostly imperturbable, and sees to the heart of things, rather than filtering his impressions and thoughts through preconceived patterns, as his father and others around him do. He’s genuinely curious about a wide range of human activities (he goes to the trouble of demanding that a Yale administrator let him take courses that don’t seem to belong together). He’s got a good BS detector. He’s also, perhaps admirably, perhaps surprisingly, naïve about his personal life. He has good friends, whom he keeps, but is always ready to move on to the next case. Which means, I suppose, I’ll have to keep on writing.


  1. Judy October 21, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Yes, I find TR interesting. He has many attributes I admire. My curiosity about him has been piqued. Would you kindly pass these questions on to TR? I’m waiting for his responses with bated breath. I hope he does not deem them too personal. I don’t want to offend.
    Does TR have a sense of humor? How can you tell? Have you heard TR laugh out loud? What is TR’s favorite color?

    • Author October 25, 2021 at 7:13 pm

      I’ll pass these questions along, though it may take a few more days. TR is off on assignment. I can tell you that those who know him think he has a sense of humor. See pp. 98 and 125, for starters. Have I heard him laugh? Of course. He’s definitive and mellow. Favorite color? Not sure it’s ever come up.

      • TRSoftly November 6, 2021 at 9:27 pm

        Just noted query about favorite color. Can’t be definitive without further study. But these Pantone possibilities: 16-4708 (Silver Blue); 18-0136 (Treetop); 18-1326 (Copper); 17-5126 (Viridian Green); 15-0343 (Greenery); 18-1148 (Caramel Cafe); or 19-0203 (Gray Pinstripe).

        • Semper Fidelis November 7, 2021 at 4:09 am

          TR Thank you kindly for your response.
          First, i apologize for my faux pas. I have neglected to introduce myself. I am one of your most loyal fans, your most humble, Ms. Semper Fidelis.
          Now, about your color preferences. Note that these “possible” preferences (yours until such time you give the colors mentioned “further study.”) are colors found in nature.
          That intrigues me. I wonder if your success has something to do with a willingness to color out of the lines; as modeled by Nature (not contained within lines). Like a force of nature, could your success have something to do with your propensity to take oppositional stances? To look South while others are looking North, so to speak? To March to the beat of a different drum? To make a conscious choice not ‘color within the lines? (Metaphorically, of course).
          Later. …
          Your loyal admirer and fan.
          Ms. Fidelis
          PS. May I have the extreme honor of joining your gang? SF

  2. TRSoftly November 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    You’ll have to take up the colors issue with Dr. Blumenthrace. She’s the psychologist. I just do what I do. As for joining, PBDS is not accepting employment applications at the moment. Sorry.

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