Light a candle for it is his day…
The man still lives. Hope that this doesn’t offend.
I’ve learned, only since to trust instinct.
I know that things ‘people’ do are sometimes awful low.
What he chose as his craft is simultaneously spooky and romantic to me.
I rarely think that I deserve oversight of what he was…what he’ll always be.
So brief a union we had. A rope woven thick as opposed to long.
I’ve looked to you. I look to friends you’ve had.
Humble as you are, you MUST know spirits.
What insight hath he passed from over there?
To you, he MUST have dropped knowledge.
The depth with which you knew this kid…this man.
His transition must have been, for the lack of a better word: Brilliant.
Brilliant as in magnitude.
Brilliant as in clarity.
Brilliant as in PALS.
I have few. I have had two or three.
They let me know. At some point, I’ve let them in.
And only recently, they’ve let me know.
I am one that has discovered that I was dangerously close.
So close to spending the rest of my life in solitude.
From one “slow-burn” spark amid a firestorm of flame…
I was seared with the definition. Her name was Anna.
She has taught me volumes.
She has taught me depth.
She has taught me magnitude.
She has taught me clarity.
She, through me, has shed light on what a best friend is.
She has, in some sort of surrogate fashion, allowed me to appreciate the partner in crime I’m not able to commune with now.
That ‘someone’ that I, like most male youths’, shared as a child, yet lost on the way up the ramp to manhood.
Something so fucking tangible when I close my eyes as a male adult: the love for me PALS.
Something so foreign to me when I open them up: those same cats at me side.
She, through my stories, ARE those boys…who are now men.
By listening to me describe with fabulous detail the shenanigans…
She has become those who I have, only recently, to begin to seek in this world:
She is the Scott E. She is the Jason M. She is the Erin W.
She IS those men…for I cannot speak to those men…
They are gone. They have moved on. Regardless of the scars we left on each other.
Why? I cannot tell you.
You have memories you want to reach back and touch.
Boys you grew up with…you know them as men. You have that.
FUCK!! There was strength in numbers back then, remember that?
We unwittingly relied on the counterparts to ourselves. Our lives in their wits.
For myself, and I trust you as well, we were to meet our ultimate weakness.
You must’ve known when you first laid eyes on her…
…at some festive occasion, as I had with Anna.
Without knowing it, this was to be the spirit we willingly told Everything.
Spilt milk, my friend. Narration of our memories.
And man, I thought that I had some stories…
I may have never said it, but I envy the lawlessness that you must have enjoyed with your crew.
Details aside, you are able to share with members of that crew to this very day.
You are able to say that you are still tight.
Something you shared with them back in KC, I dont know.
Regardless of what we may have had in common when we first shook hands on that 3rd floor of that building late in the Summer of 89′, I was to envy.
At the risk of sounding cliché, Tucson was a new beginning for me. A snake shedding skin.
I wandered for 6 fucking years wondering if the “now” was real. If I had finally started.
And if there was 1 thing I could count on, it was the reminder that I had a lot of baggage.
Empty fucking baggage.
My stories were pale compared to those of my new friends. You and All The Rest.
I was SO must more content to listen to others spin webs.
And when I saw how fake my childhood friends became only 120 mines South, I cringed.
I never really felt ‘left out.’ I never wanted to ‘one up’ someone’s experience.
All I wanted was to gain strength from a host of new friends whom I admired deeply.
And that I did. I gained so much that filled canyons left by MY advancement FROM my friends.
You and all I met and loved from that town mean more to me that I can ever express.
Some so-called sages sing. Some construct prose. Me? I bounce.
We spin wonderful cathedrals of stories. I reminisce. I bounce the stories off of her.
And, my Gods, man…I cannot be the only one who realizes that every experience had “back then” had something approaching a spiritual meaning.
I havent the slightest clue where this either was intended to go or where it’s going now.
I just wanted YOU to know that I considered him a teacher.
Anybody can teach you something either by pointing or rehashing.
This man taught by example.
He threw the lesson out there either to be followed or to be tested.
I did not have a chance to pick his brain in the final hours, and for that I am truly sorry.
But I know know that the Man was special, and that I will always remember him as the champion of Duality…the man who’d give you either side of the story…”What kinda mood j’a in?”
Whether he knew it or not, he was wiser than us all for he was able to perform at that break-neck pace and still carve a smile…
“As if, reaching a peak; reaching a perch…looking back down at the Comfy Ones who’d been watching the Monkey climb…looking back down at them and saying, “Here?” And stabbing an arm to the Northern Sky, and shouting, literally to himself, “NO! There!” His climb was his business…something he did exceptionally well. For people like myself…I am unfortunate enough to know the Man when he was humble and level with the Circle, and to NOT know him, once he had made it to the Top.”
For that will always be a curse under which I may never let myself slide:
Having ALL the knowledge of what PALS meant, AND knowing his FUCKING NUMBER,
I allowed myself to live literally 1.5 miles from that Man, and NEVER make contact.
I’ve been to one funeral. AJ Switzer. He was a good friend. Kind of a role model now that I think about all that he taught…all the stories that he told…all the bucking of the system…
At that ceremony, his brother, who was “there”, said that just 12 hours earlier, he’d been saying some prophetic statements:
“Never go to bed angry, Man. Never go to bed with friends as strangers. Cause you’re never gonna know when (your) God is gonna pull your card… And you’re never gonna get to say what you wanted: “I’m Sorry,” “Thank you,” or “See you on the other side.””
Brian, I dont know…..
I’m thinking too much…and that’s always been good for me.
It’s always something that I’ve strived to document…like here.
I think about the kid every day.
I think about the shit I’d say.
I think about how much of a baby he was and how I could say anything to him I wanted…
I think about how quick he was to point out how Whet I was and where.
He, and the rest of the friends I gained in Tucson were collectively constructive….
It’s kinda like the beauty of the movie Swingers…
Here. we have an old premise: A dumped – hurt guy, who ‘must’ endure consolation from friends.
In every other rehashing of this storyline, the “friends” jab the guy. They point out how his weakness is that upon which he dwells. They jibe and make fun. They attempt to make him strong by pointing out that which he is better off thinking irrelevant.
In Swingers, however, the friends are the champions. The friends are the saviors.
They grab the destitute by the lapels, hoist him up and complement him.
They encourage him to get back on the wagon. They squelch his anxiety.
In return, he gives them Rebirth. He moves on. He becomes as strong as they say he is.
He finds his NewSelf.
If you havent seen the film, please…do me a favor and agree with me.
Nothing to wrap up, my friend. This, like all Jeep Trails, will forever lead to other Jeep Trails.
All I’ll say, is that the Man now has 2 days. Today is one.