October 1, 2013

Goddammit, Bill.

Not even 24 hrs since you left this world.

I'm supposed to be grateful for the memories we've shared over the twenty-four years we've known each other, and I am, I promise I am, but goddammit all I can think about now are future memories denied - yours, mine, and everyone you knew.

Our last conversation, all too brief in retrospect, contained the following exchange:
Me: "How are you, man?"
You: "I'm dying."
Me: "Well, stop."
It was at the apartment you got with Sean, what we all secretly hoped would be the change you needed in your life, hoping against hope that it wasn't too late. You lived there for nearly six months. Number of times I hung out with you and Sean in this apartment: zero. I thought there would be time. Opportunities deferred.

I wish you knew how scared we all were, to a person, about the prospect of losing you. Only a few people ever told you unequivocally to your face, and to my shame I was not one of them, those few futile words excepted. I remember times where you made tentative stabs at talking about your own fears, and I didn't follow through. We don't do confrontation well. If I had told you how much I loved you and dreaded the prospect of a life without you in it, I don't know if it would have helped, but goddammit, at the very least my conscience would be clearer.

I wish you had it in you to heal yourself. This wasn't cancer, goddammit, this was controllable. The mountain was steep, and climbing it would have been the hardest thing you've ever done in your life, but every day it got higher. Who knows what day that was when you passed that threshold and decided, consciously or subconsciously, the mountain was just too high.

As far as I can tell, you saw your weight as an insurmountable obstacle until it became a self-fulfilling prophesy and stopped a heart so full of love.

The little things so many take for granted. Window shopping. Walking around town. Going to a concert or a ball game. Going to a movie without needing a special seat. Getting into your car without complicated choreography. It wasn't so long ago that you did these things. And bit by bit they became impossible, each item added to the List Of No-Longer-Possibles was another humiliation, another surrender. Goddammit, you surrendered far too soon.

I wish you found a previously undiscovered well of inner strength, that you stunned us all with your focus, tenacity and will power, that you reinvented your entire life and bought yourself (and us) twenty, thirty, forty more years. To see you so transformed would be a greater victory than, well, any sports championship. I wanted you to have that victory more than anything, and I regret that I never told you that. I wanted to see you on top of that mountain.

Now I can't help but compile The List Of Lasts:
  • Last concert we went to: King Crimson, NYC, March 2003
  • Last play I was in that you saw: Blackadder II Live!, April 2011
  • Last time we listened to music together: your house, after a dinner at Flatbread Co, April 2012
  • Last time we went for a beer: The Mead Hall, Sept 2012.
  • Last time we watched Doctor Who: same day, I think. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"
  • Last time we had scotch and cigars: October 2012, with Sean and Mike. It nearly killed me.
  • Last movie we saw together: Star Trek: Into Darkness, May 2013
  • Last time we had a meal together: North By Northeast, Inman Sq, my birthday, June 29th
  • Last time I saw you upright and conscious: Tuesday, August 27th for about 5 minutes at your apartment
  • Last Facebook comment: September 12th, on a video I posted of Chris Squire's isolated bass track of "Roundabout"
  • Last time you left your apartment: Saturday, September 21, 2013
  • Last time you took a breath without a machine: early Monday, September 23, 2013
  • Last time I saw you alive, albeit comatose: later that evening
  • Last heartbeat: about 6:30pm on Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Last time I could listen to King Crimson's "Starless" without weeping: same.
 I'm mad at myself for letting opportunities slip by. I've been in "Our Town" enough times that I should know better.

And I'm mad at you for leaving the party too soon.

Goddammit, Bill, you were supposed to grow old with us.

Graduation day, UMaine, 1993 (Bill, me, Sean and Frank; Mike in the front)

My 40th Birthday weekend, 2011

January 7, 2013

Yet Another Edition of Piercing Analysis From Random Facebook Apps

Your results:
You are Data
Mr. Sulu
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Geordi LaForge
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Scott
Will Riker
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Jean-Luc Picard
Beverly Crusher
Deanna Troi
Even though you are a genius
you are always striving to be better.
Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test