Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Conversations


"What book are you reading now," he would ask.
No matter what my answer was, he was interested. My reading tastes range all over the spectrum and still, he was interested. Because he was a voracious reader, too.
He recommended books to me; among them Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit and A Confederacy of Dunces. I've read the former, not the latter - yet. I recommended books to him, too. He enjoyed them, although for the life of me I can't remember any of them right now. No matter what we read, we always discussed it afterwards. What we liked; what we didn't like. You know, the usual. He was younger than I am and seemingly more naturally intelligent. Our conversations were usually long and often insightful. His comments were never without forethought and I was often their sole beneficiary.
"Hey, do you like this band?" he would ask.
We often listened to music - his music. His ipod was queued into his radio so at any time during the day we might be listening to Radiohead, Dave Brubeck, the Beatles, Trey Anastasio, the Grateful Dead, whatever. He knew so much more about music than I did. Often, he would tell me where a band was when they wrote a song, or where he was when he first heard it. He knew all the liner notes on a CD cover and musical minutia was a specialty. Always, there was the soul of an artist who, while not making his own works, appreciated and understood the creative works of others. And he shared this appreciation with me - or anyone within earshot. Our conversations were not exclusive. We were cube-mates and were grouped together solely by fortune. My good fortune.
In the time he worked with me I found him to be insanely intelligent, creative, bilingual, dirty-minded and charming. His laugh was infectious. We laughed together. A lot.
"Did you hear that _____ died a couple of days ago?"
This was the ending of his final chapter. Yesterday I was informed that he died over the weekend. All evidence points to an accidental drug overdose. The overdose that too many of us predicted would kill him.
The drugs came late in my relationship with him. But they became his everything.
He had so many chances. He threw them all away.
No more discussions. No more music. No more laughter.
This is such a waste.
And I am so fucking angry about it.

4 Comments:

Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Sorry friend...I've been there more times than I would have liked. That's how it happens when you befriend those who choose this path. It doesn't get any easier either. You accept them for who they are, enjoy them for the time you have with them, and know that there is a sucky end to almost every one of these stories.

9:00 AM, May 21, 2008  
Blogger Bridget said...

I am sorry for your loss, my friend. It's never easy and these types of endings are the worst. You can't say, "He lived a good long life or that he was suffering from an illness and that it's good that he's not in pain anymore." ...but perhaps he was in pain. It sucks nonetheless.

Hang in there.

9:01 AM, May 21, 2008  
Blogger Murph said...

I am reminded of a joke we have shared that started with my cousin but has been 're-used' for others: "It may be a wasted life, but it's his wasted life."

Somehow that no longer seems funny. Because it's really not. Not any more. I guess it took seeing a truly wasted life to bring that home.

I'm sorry for your loss, and the loss of those others he must have touched as deeply as you.

9:44 AM, May 23, 2008  
Blogger Letera said...

Wow thats a really tough one. I am so sorry Andy. I have had a friend who killed herself and it was so aweful. Took time to get over it to.
Again I am so sorry for your loss and I understand why are you so mad. You have a right to feel that way.
Hang in there.

11:55 PM, May 23, 2008  

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