Tag Archives: rip

Your birthday.

Stacy, I don’t remember exactly when or why you and I became friends.

We weren’t, then we were.

There was no gradual easing into that hot tub, testing the waters, seeing if we recoiled as our knees touched, feeling out the awkwardness and tension until we were comfortable baring it all. We just dove in, our naked souls jockeying for the best seat, immediately basking in the essence that was us. Two teabags in a cup of instant friendship. Not steeped and cured until finally ready to sip. Lipton friends. Delicious friends, with sweetness and tartness and ready for the world.

We weren’t, then we were.

There was no series of meetings or conversations during which you and I slowly realized that there was this spark and we clicked. We didn’t meet by sharing a casual laugh over a funny situation or the mutual derision of a snack food. There was no oh-you-like-this-movie-too or i-love-this-song moment. In fact, we didn’t even have the same taste in movies or music or books or art. We appreciated each other’s appreciation for different things, but our interests didn’t bring us together. Your love for the hardcore, my passion for pop; your interest in absurdity, mine in romantic optimism – we were polar opposites in many ways. But despite those divergences, friendship rocketed forward, light speed, throttles to full.

We weren’t, then we were.

What we were was more than friends. Soulfriends. Soulmates. It’s a weird phrase, but it suited us. Our first conversation was as self-referential and fulfilling as each subsequent one. Our talks were deep yet easy, hovering on the precipice of being pretentious and overthought, fascinating and too big, spanning entire universes of ideas and concepts. We were always soulmates. The world just hadn’t lined us up yet so that we could meet. Before we knew, our souls did.

We weren’t, then we were.

Today would have been your 39th birthday. We had big plans for our inevitable he laughs cynically at the concept of inevitability now fortieth birthdays. Big, grandiose, ridiculous, if we were both single at forty we would get married and build a commune of thinkers and creators and writers and artists types of plans. And you know what? It would have fucking happened. When we got together, tremendous things occurred. Mountains shifted, gods bowed on bended knees, and the unlikely became SOP. Our friendship had always been like that. That intensity – that force of nature – that Wonder Twins form of water and form of animal – it had been there from that first nanosecond.

We weren’t, then we were.

Your voodoo dolls hang in my office. Our photo hangs prominently on my wall. That smile – your smile, dives into your eyes and takes over. It’s beautiful. Everywhere I look, I see memories of you and me. The weird. The random. The non-sequiturs that made us laugh. We were always in on The Joke. But then you had to know the punchline before the rest of us.

We weren’t, then we were. 

But now, when I’m foraging for humanity in the wilds of the world, and I see the odd, fucked-up absurdities that were our cornerstones, my heart hurts. No longer can I share those with you. My soul sister – the one who would appreciate them, no matter how dark, how inappropriate or how too-soon. You were the only one with whom I could share that. That was our friendship.

We weren’t, then we were. 

Anastacia Campbell

But that’s not true anymore. There are others now. When I lost you, your other soulmates  – these tendrils you connected to each of us – found me. And I found them. They’re in my life now, and we carry you in our hearts. In our thoughts. In the twisted laughs and fucked-up memes we share. Stephanie. Tom. Krystyna. Racheal. And so many more.

Stacy, it’s our commune! Of a sort. It’s the best kinds of people joined together. By you. And I will always remember exactly when and why all of us became friends.

You were, then you weren’t.

Happy birthday, Stacy. I love you.

I’m so angry.

The thing is, I don’t let myself get angry anymore.

buzz buzz buzz

I haven’t lost my temper in years. Literal decades.

buzz buzz buzz

I trained myself in college to count to three, take a breath, and reassess the world. Was it really worth losing my temper? The answer was always no.

buzz buzz buzz

But this week? My safeguards have said “fuck it, we’re on vacation until people stop dying.” Grief and sadness have worn me down until I can’t feel anything except this constant buzzing. I wear it like a second skin, arcing and sparking off me, just waiting. For one last person to show a disregard for humanity, a contempt for civility, a lack of respect for me or someone I care about. That’s all it would take.

buzz buzz buzz

I realized exactly how angry I was on Thursday night, after a show, when a drunken idiot, sporting a mid-90s MTV VJ hair style and a pin-striped shirt indicating he knew how to fix air conditioners, took offense that we didn’t care for the awful joke he needed to share with us and decided to hurl invective at us. It wasn’t anything special or anything we hadn’t heard before, but I started to get mad. And when I closed my eyes for a second to count to three, instead I saw myself putting my right hand on his neck and throwing him to the ground, kneeling on his chest and driving my fists into his face until he was a sopping, bloody mess, with swollen eyes, a broken nose, a gaping open toothless maw for a mouth. I opened my eyes and dared him to say one more fucking word, which, as you’ve guessed, he didn’t.

buzz buzz buzz

I’ve been walking that edge for the last three days now. Normally, a buzzing like this precipitates an anxiety attack, and some deep breathing and mental acknowledgement of my inability to control my life will alleviate it; or, in extreme cases, I’ll just take a Klonopin and a nap. But this is different. Deep breathing just accelerates my adrenaline, and the rush of blood in my ears brings a smile to my face. I don’t even want to write about it – I want to walk around until I see someone who deserves to be hurt and I want to hurt them and just keep hurting them because it isn’t fucking fair that we’ve lost good people who should still be around and all of the shitty fucking assholes are still oozing around and i just want to feel something right now because i haven’t cried yet and i’m so fucking goddamn angry at the world and i can’t breathe because fuck you for still being here when they’re not and i know it can’t bring anyone back to smash my fist into some idiot’s face but it might bring me back to the place i need to be because i’ve lost my center.

Fuck.

I’m so angry right now.

 

My thoughts on death; also, RIP Scott Campbell

A man I knew died yesterday. I can’t say that I liked him very much, or even that I knew him at all. Scott Campbell was a biology teacher at my high school and I never gave him much thought or consideration over the years since I graduated. It wasn’t that I harbored any ill will. I just didn’t even think of him.

A recent connection through Facebook brought me up to speed with his life. While he was alone in most of his photos, he was always smiling, that awkward, dorky smile that I remember. He had moved to Denver where he taught and lived his life as a single man. He traveled the world. He loved his sister, Donna. And he had a brain tumor.

On July 19th, he underwent brain surgery. I’ve taken the liberty of copying and pasting some of his Facebook wall posts verbatim because I think they demonstrate his optimism in the face of abject despair.

July 24: “covld use a visitor”
July 30: “3-5 weeks in rehab”
August 2: “i need visits”
August 3: “Rehab isway hard”
August 5: “Wishiknew when iwil be able to go home”
August 7: “Has no ijdea whereimgoing after i leaverehaab”
August 15: “Recovery is tough enouggW/o the Addedfinancial stress”
August 20: “Looks like im goinginto a a skilled nursing facility next wk”
August 23: “100dgree fever!”
September 9: “Stillinthe hnoshosbut hopetogetOusoon”
September 10: “STANDUPTOCBNCER!”
September 14: “KMovingtoa newnursing/rehabhome”

On November 4th, his sister posted under his account: “I am reading all your letters to him . . . He can no longer speak but acknowledges our presence . . .”

And on Sunday, he died. I haven’t been able to get his death out of my head all day. Our paths barely crossed, our interactions 20 years ago were minor at best, and his departure from this world will have no direct or indirect effect on anything that happens for the rest of my life, but his passing fills me with no small measure of sadness.

The reason, I think, that Scott’s death has affected me so much is because it seemed so goddamn lonely. This is supposition and extrapolation on my part, of course, but in this giant theater of the Internet, our perceptions fuel our motivations, our fears, and our dreams. I won’t make apologies for imagining a world of stark loneliness, no partner with whom he shared his life, no progeny on whom he doted, and only a sister, sparing him moments of her existing life. I envision a man, wasting away in a bed, knowing that his time may be limited, bathed in the sickly glow of a laptop monitor as his support system is represented by ones and zeroes, completely and utterly alone.

I wish I could be positive and hopeful and just say that Scott, you will be mourned by those who love you, you will be missed by those whose lives you touched, and you will be remembered by those who knew you. I wish that I could just simply hope that your last moments were filled with love and happiness and warmth, but the dark part of my soul insists that they weren’t. It whispers to me that your last moments were filled with unyielding loneliness. And that terrifies me. For you. For everyone. For myself.

RIP Bea Arthur

As you probably know, Bea Arthur died yesterday at the age of 86.

Most people remember her the best for her Emmy award-winning role in “Golden Girls,” where her acerbic sense of humor shined, or her starring role in “Maude”.

But here are some things you might not have known about Bea Arthur:

  • She was the inspiration for Dirty Harry.
  • The word “Cuntsicle” was coined by her when she met Joan Collins.
  • She once climbed the Empire State Building just to prove that she could.
  • She’s actually Robin Williams in a wig, speaking with a rough accent.
  • Kathleen Turner and Bea Arthur started a phone sex line in 1983, but it didn’t last more than a month.
  • She’s the only woman to have slept with 23 consecutive presidents.
  • With one punch, she could knock down a redwood tree.
  • Jimmy Hoffa was actually hidden inside her vagina.
  • When Tom Jones saw her, he’d throw manties at her.
  • She and Betty White once killed a man and buried him in the desert.
  • Her real name was B. Arthur. The B stood for Brian.

RIP, Bea. You will be missed!