Curiouser & Curiouser

Life’s short. Get curious.

Jaquish, Son of Jaquish July 21, 2009

Filed under: adulthood,life — curiouserx2 @ 5:33 pm
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n113181008616_281 It’s a mad world we live in, indeed, when we learn of a friend’s death not from a late-night phone call, or urgent e-mail, but from a Facebook invite to a memorial service that we accidentally come across one week too late.

The first time I met Cary, I was auditioning for his new cover band. I wanted to be a rock singer, they needed a feisty frontgirl, and Cary seemed to think I was it. From that moment on, Cary became the big brother I never had. He kept an eye on me, showed me the ropes, and drove me insane with his constant worrying. When I began dating our guitar player, he nearly disowned me for my poor decision. And while he could drive me crazy with his lecturing, he was more often than not correct and always had my best interests in mind.

After I’d quit the band and struck out for Austin to make it as a “real” musician, the calls began. The first came as I waited at a Jiffy Lube for my car to have its oil changed. To hear Cary’s familiar voice on the other end of the line as I paced the sidewalk in my new, alien town was a comfort and relief. Sometime during our conversation, the mechanic told me I was all set. I waved him an “ok,” but my phone call went on for a good half hour more.

Every few months I’d get a call from Cary, checking to see how my music was going, if I was safe, if I was happy. I’d ask about the circus (he was touring with Barnum & Bailey’s, playing bass in the circus band), and if he was headed my way, we’d set up a reunion. The first was in Austin, where we talked into the wee hours at a local favorite bar of mine. The next night, he took me out with the circus crowd to a salsa club where we danced with clowns and animal trainers and trapeze artists.

My most recent Cary call came as I was preparing for my going-away party, the day before J and  I were to move from Columbus to North Carolina. I had about 20 minutes to tell him what I was up to, that I was happily in love, that I was on the move again, that the music was on hold. He was excited that things were going so well, and said that he’d let me go because I sounded busy. I said I’d give him a call when the madness dies down.

I never made that call. I regret that painfully.

Instead, someone  from the old band days recently befriended me on Facebook, and as I was going through her photos, I saw that Cary was now on Facebook also. I went to look him up, to add him to my friends, to finally be better at keeping track of him the way he tried to continue to watch out for me.

There was no page for Cary. There was an invitation to remember him at a memorial service. Held last weekend.

I know Cary had an unusual and fantastic life. I know he saw endless outdoor wonders and traveled the country on his motorcycle. I know he lived precisely the way he wanted to, by his own set of rules.

None of that makes his early end hurt any less.

All I can do is try to express how grateful I am to have known him, how drastically he swerved my life’s path, how special he made me feel, and how lucky I was to have known him.

It’s a bit of a cruel reminder that I perhaps need to work harder at keeping in touch with the people I love and care about. But a reminder nonetheless.

I have some phone calls to make.

~a

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Red Hot American Summer July 13, 2009

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All right, all right.

I’m forced to give in here and admit that the London post is going to take much longer than expected to pull together, and I’d feel like a bad friend, daughter and blogger if I left the slate blank for much longer without so much as a word to indicate I’m still alive, kicking and screaming at the top of my lungs a la John Mayer (anyone else captivated by the irony that he sings that line in falsetto – and that he still has a career?)

I’m writing to you now from Davidson, North Carolina, no longer an Ohioan, no longer 9 to 5-ing it, no longer sure of the future, and bizarrely at peace with all of this.

And assuredly having the best summer of my adult life.

Probably because it so closely resembles the summers of my childhood. Yes, we’re fixing up a house and I do wait the occasional table. But somehow I’ve been granted this incredible situation in which I (for a couple of months, anyway) have less cares and more free time, in which I ride bikes, go swimming, get enough sleep, go for ice cream, go to the movies, take late-night walks, take road trips, take naps. I was finally able to visit Evil Twin,  who’s now a mere three hours away, and not only did we go out on the town dressed to the nines and drank a few pints, we STOLE A DOG. Yep, this dog had run away from its home too many times and when it nearly got hit by a car, its family officially lost ownership rights. Now she’s Moose’s new big sis.

I live this way knowing that, just like summer break, the bells will soon be ringing, calling me back to a more regimented lifestyle in which there are rules and responsibilities. We’ll be taking another day trip to Wilmington to scout the campus area for apartments. J and I came to an agreement that  our safety and well-being are probably more important than being able to walk to the farmer’s market. And then there’s also an impending job hunt looming over my head.

But right now I’m going outside to catch some lightning bugs.

And the rest can wait.

~a

Oh, and, P.S.  Something completely unrelated, but nonetheless hysterical:
Designated Drivers