This is not the kind of thing I intended to write today. I wanted to rail about how much the ending of A.I. sucked. I wanted to tell you about our adventures Down East. But we got a phonecall last night that wasn't entirely unanticipated, but no fun to get just the same. And here I'm faced with reflecting on a life that shouldn't have been cut short.
A life belonging to a person whom I loved with all my heart.
I've mentioned him here before. I never talked too much about his situation specifically, because I held his confidence as sacred.
He was open about his attempts to kick heroin, even going as far as to just give everything up that he had, job, home, everything -- to go into a six month hardcore treatment program. And I never wanted it to be that just because he was open I'd be open. It wasn't my fight or my experience.
So in the background of my life, in the corner of my mind, a constant thought was held of of him. A constant prayer vigil. A constant knot in my stomach wondering when he was going to call me next... and now he isn't.
He died yesterday afternoon in Beverly Hospital. He was 34.
He got out of rehab on or about March 28. He was interviewing for jobs. I sent a letter of recommendation to Brandeis University for a job there in the IT department. He was working at a Mailboxes Etc... to make money while in the rehab and just couldn't wait until he could get back into academic computing. He met David Mamet while working at the MBE and had great discussions with him, after all, He was an English major in college and knew his theatre and movies cold.
He moved into a sober house right after rehab. He was supposed to come to my house yesterday afternoon and get that car we'd taken into holding for him while he went to take care of himself.
He had a cardiac arrest at some point while working on his car. They couldn't revive him.
That's all the detail I really know. We got a call from his sister about 8:30 p.m... I wish I knew more.
But I do know this:
He introduced me to my husband. He overslept my wedding. He used to bounce checks when he ordered bacon pizzas from Beverly Pizza parlors. He took my daughter to camp for free. He could beat anyone at "Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon..." we'd play it just driving down the street. I'd throw two actors at him and he'd connect them immediately, usually through "Tombstone," and we'd crack up laughing.
He had an infectious laugh. His whole body shook. He would cover his mouth and giggle like a girl just to crack me up. He was embarassed by his teeth, but that never stopped him from cutting loose and laughing hard. He was one of the most generous and helpful people I've ever known, but that always got him into situations where he was taken advantage of, either in work, friendship or in relationships. He always got handed the shitty end of the deal.
He loved to play stratomatic baseball, dungeons and dragons, guitar, and Magic, the gathering. While incredibly talented on the guitar, he couldn't sing to save his life, so I would sing for him while he played, and it would always make me happy... He introduced me to "Homicide: Life on the Streets," Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, MP3 storage and ripping. He was incredibly kind and loving to our children.
He is dead.
I am surrounded by what's left of his personal property. A car full of stuff, things in my basement... things that he never took out of the house when we told him to move out in 1999 which are in this room, my garage, my daughter's bedroom closet. A couple crates of comic books. A Rocky Horror Picture Show poster. His college ID which he left on the floor and I'm going to keep forever... I'd always said I would. All weekend my daughter wore a nice red knit sweater that he'd "outgrown" while living here. He gave it to me and I "outgrew" it too. It looks nice on Jessie. I had sewn the hole in the shoulder... and I thought of him every time I looked at her in it. How he would have laughed that she fit in it and he once did.
There are so many funny funny stories.
He was the most peculiar guy I've ever know. Liked the weirdest stuff. Got bored one day and tried heroin. End of conversation.
I feel like there should have been more we could do to help him. I think we did just enough, but couldn't do more because we were so removed from the reality he was choosing for himself. There was nothing we could do, but we did what we could.
I can't think of anything else to say. I feel like throwing up. I am still in the process of, well, processing what just happened. I'll write more later.
Joy will find a way