Thursday, December 09, 2004

Christmas came early...

Last evening, I was curled up on the sofa under a blanket (I may have been dozing) and the boyfriend was across the room on the laptop...when the phone rang. The boyfriend answered it. "Speaking...this is NOT (blankety-blank)...stop messing with me!" he said, sort of chuckling. It was a good friend of ours. A friend who vanished from our lives three years ago.

We've known this man for years, and like all of his other friends, our feeling has always been, "He's SO talented...but so fucked up." We care about him deeply, but it got to the point where I simply had to stop being nice to him. His addictions were completely out of control and I couldn't handle being around any more of his drunken/loaded behavior. It was just too hard, and too sad. I felt bad shutting him out, but his downward spiral was so deep, I knew I couldn't help, so I had to walk away. The boyfriend is a much softer touch and never stopped being kind to him.

The boyfriend arranged to have him come here to give him a chance to try to start a new life...and he fucked it up royally. He abused every friendship he had here until it got to the point that no one would help he went to one of our sister islands, but his time there was fairly brief. One day three years ago, I picked up the phone to call him there and his roommate said he was gone. Not just 'out,' but in back to the States. As tough as I had tried to be with him as he got worse and worse, I was still crushed that he'd leave without even telling us. And that was the last we heard from him...until last night.

I know that it took a LOT of courage for him to pick up the phone to call us last night. I know that because he told me how ashamed he is about everything he did while he was here. He's been living with his mother in Washington state. I had suspected all along that that might be the case. We've always had her address and phone number, and we'd thought about calling her to find out where he was. But we knew what kind of pain he'd caused her in the past, and if he was still fucking up we didn't want to upset her even more. So we never called her, but that's where he's been. He's had a lot of health problems in the last few years. He told me I wouldn't recognize him--that he has severe scoliosis and walks bent over like a 75-year-old man and that he walks with a cane. Then he said, "But I still look like the same guy--I just walk bent over." He was trying to brace us, so we wouldn't be shocked the next time we see him.

The boyfriend told him that sometimes he pulls out the live CD's they recorded together here..."Man, you were killin' it!" I, too, sometimes pull out those CD's just to hear that soulful voice and keyboard playing. He's a very, very talented man. He's gigging. He said he's got a standing gig at a club up there that he's been doing for about a year-and-a-half.

But the best news is that he's been clean and sober for a year. We've been through several clean and sober times in his life, so I know that that's only good news..for TODAY. This man has a much deeper bottom than most. Mugged? More than one night? Nope, that didn't do it. Have your car stolen? Nope, that didn't work. Sell all of your possessions (including your prized music gear) to buy dope? Not gonna make a dent. Have all of your friends push you away? He'll just try to make new friends. Go to jail? Well, you'll get out eventually.

Addiction can kick the shit out of some remarkable people. I just hope it stops beating up on him...because we'd like to have our friend back.

Lately, as this year draws to a close and we look forward to '05...which means a huge fucking milestone birthday for me...and a new chapter in our lives together (if we ever figure out what that's going to look like...ha!)...I've had this feeling...that 2005 is going to be a good year for us. And I have to say, getting that phone call last night? made me feel like the good times might just be


Blogger secret agent josephine said...

cheers to that!

2:59 PM  

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