Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Way We Were

Last Tuesday I was having a bad day. It could have been for a variety of reasons. My hours at the English language academy have been extended to accomodate parents who wish to fill the summer vacation hours of their children. My partner and I have been packing our belongings, selling our furniture and downsizing our worldly possessions in preparation for our move to Toronto at the end of this month. It's been incredibly hot and humid and we've been having trouble sleeping at nights in our non-airconditioned apartment.

However I think the REAL reason was because I was mourning a friend I lost two years ago this month.

It all started with that daily intermediate writing class. The activity was to write an advice letter after reading a story about a boy who was teased and bullied. I was disturbed that the children thought "killing yourself" was not only a viable option but the most hilarious solution. Much to my dismay, they launched into numerous morbid methods in which this final solution could be achieved. I tried to point out that this would not only fail to solve the teasing/bullying problem but also would create further problems. The kids were too busy cracking up to care so I just moved on...

I realized later the reason I was so upset was because I'm still angry at "GB Dave" for thinking suicide was the answer to his problems. "GB Dave" was named thus to distinguish him from my brother (who is and will always be the original in my life). GBD came from the town of Great Bend and was a few years older than me. He held the title of "first" in many areas of my life. My first gay friend. My first introduction to the joys of champange and Godiva chocolate. The first (and only) fervent Barbra Streisand fan I've met. My First Hollywood Screen Kiss (and thensome). My first introduction to a gay dance club. My first introduction to country club brunches and dinners. My first ride in a red convertible.

Our relationship never turned romantic because we were just so different but the friendship remained and deepened over the years. I was there through all the people that excited and disappointed him. I was on the other end of the line whenever he needed to talk. It was ironic that I had initially hoped he could mentor me but turned out mentoring him somewhat as well.

I always thought things would get better for him. I put my faith in his goodness, not his darkness, in the medications, not the side effects, in people lifting him up, not tearing him down. In the end, he didn't even bother saying goodbye to me because he knew I would try to stop him as I had before. I regret that I was unable to attend his funeral (My mom and ex-boyfriend were kind enough to go and report back. Even though no mention was made of GBD's partner, Babs was played at the beginning). I regret that he was unable to love himself as much as we loved him. I regret I haven't forgiven him for leaving me like this. I will someday I know. But today is not that day.

If we had the chance to do it all again,
Tell me, would we? Could we?


Jolie said...

Wow, I'm so sorry for your loss. I know he was a good friend and very important in your life. I think when someone dies suddenly, especially by their own hand, it makes the loss so much greater. Forgiveness will take time, but it will happen. Then you will be able to remember the good times and let the bad go.

Jay Price said...

Thanks for the touching memory of GB Dave. I can't drive past the country club--or any country club without thinking of him. He touched a lot of lives for the good--if only he realized that.

In the Jewish tradition, which he loved, ther is the practice of saying "Kaddish" on the anniversary of their death. It is not a morbid sense, but an annual celebration of their lives. I'll say Kaddish for him tomorrow at Temple.